I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

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schrute
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I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by schrute » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:08 pm

So we've been together for 2.5 years and live together. I basically cover rent, pay insurances, etc. and I don't mind this part.

But sometimes she gets particular about buying things, that she needs them. For some of her work she needs it and perhaps I'm just too thrifty/stingy with money.

She bought a new iPad Pro ($1,000) and fixed up her old laptop ($600), which in my mind and I mentioned, she should pick one. Also, she's talking about getting a new TV stand ($500) and a new desk for her... the kind that go up and down ($400). My concern is that she buys something, uses it a few times, and never uses it again. For example, she bought this face mask thing for acne and never used it again. I bought her a gym membership $(~$200) which she ended up not using.

Or she bought a car, which I thought it was expensive. Not ridiculous, probably market value, but I told her I don't want one. Period. She wanted to buy it and I thought the price was too much. Regardless, she went ahead, and was peeved that she tried to get me to buy it too and I said no, so she's the sole owner. I really don't want a car. I don't use it, but help her maintain it.

Main differences: I'm willing to wait to get the price I want. She is not, she's impulsive and willing to pay for what she wants now. I don't like this.

She's good about clothes, not always buying, buys cheap like Gap and not Athletica... Maybe I'm being cheap

She works for herself and makes money, but I don't think she realizes what she spends. She's difficult to discuss things with, if I try to bring it up, she says how I'm too cheap... I explain why, saving for a house, eating out, etc. If its something we really need, sure... avoiding the "wants" from the "must haves"... What I'm going to suggest is that at the end of the year, let's go over finances... she keeps track on what she spent and I'll share mine... and then make it obvious.

sailaway
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by sailaway » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:22 pm

One thing that helps me is to have a concrete picture in mind. Not "saving for a house" but saving for a "two bedroom townhome in X neighborhood, which currently costs $zzz, so we will need a down payment of $A."

For others, the point isn't so much savings but about decisions on how money is spent. Perhaps you each put a certain amount to a joint account, and each is free to spend the remainder as they see fit. But the joint account can only be spent jointly. I would pay the joint expenses, such as rent, from this joint account.

Your example of the car raises precisely these communication issues. It came down to car or no car, rather than a discussion of which car or how much to budget for the car. Furthermore, if it were her car, I wouldn't pay maintenance, but I would work out payments for using the car, ie if she gives you a ride you pay mileage or taxi equivalent or something.

Same for the electronics. As told, you told her to pick one, rather than discussing why she might need both or discussing alternatives.

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whodidntante
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:24 pm

It's important that you can talk with your partner about money. It can be a real source of strife when you're going into two different directions. It also sounds like you are enabling your partner. Your partner might not buy an iPad Pro if she has to pay insurance and 1/2 rent (or whatever you agree to). I could imagine that this bothers you, as you have less "fun money" to spend because you are paying the bills.

It's not necessarily a good sign if the conflict stops. There are lots of stories of people who discover their partners have amassed tens of thousands in debt. I have a story like that but won't go into it because it's just an example and the details won't help you one bit.

Mr.Wu
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Mr.Wu » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:25 pm

Let her watch Dave Ramsey’ show. I disagree with many, if not most of his opinions but he surely excels at one thing: bashing people not living under their means.

schrute
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by schrute » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:26 pm

sailaway wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:22 pm
One thing that helps me is to have a concrete picture in mind. Not "saving for a house" but saving for a "two bedroom townhome in X neighborhood, which currently costs $zzz, so we will need a down payment of $A."

For others, the point isn't so much savings but about decisions on how money is spent. Perhaps you each put a certain amount to a joint account, and each is free to spend the remainder as they see fit. But the joint account can only be spent jointly. I would pay the joint expenses, such as rent, from this joint account.

Your example of the car raises precisely these communication issues. It came down to car or no car, rather than a discussion of which car or how much to budget for the car. Furthermore, if it were her car, I wouldn't pay maintenance, but I would work out payments for using the car, ie if she gives you a ride you pay mileage or taxi equivalent or something.

Same for the electronics. As told, you told her to pick one, rather than discussing why she might need both or discussing alternatives.
So I proposed a bit of a used car which she refused. I don't mind taking the car to change oil $50 every once and a while, she does it mostly, but when she can't... no biggie. I don't pay the insurance and I don't pay for the car - it's all hers. It's clear that it's hers. But I don't mind helping out. Besides, she'll give me rides to work or whatever as necessary.

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Thrifty Femme
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Thrifty Femme » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:29 pm

You don't need to handle anything. You need to setup hers, ours, and his accounts. You should contribute equal percentages to the ours account, and pay joint expenses from that account. This way she can spend her money as she sees fit, and you can continue to be judgemental about it :wink:

denovo
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by denovo » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:31 pm

schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:08 pm
So we've been together for 2.5 years and live together. I basically cover rent, pay insurances, etc. and I don't mind this part.....

I really don't want a car. I don't use it, but help her maintain it.....



She works for herself and makes money, but I don't think she realizes what she spends.......

What I'm going to suggest is that at the end of the year, let's go over finances... she keeps track on what she spent and I'll share mine... and then make it obvious.
So you're paying the rent, insurance, I bet the utilities and phone/tv/cable service(s) and possibly putting money into the car maintenance.

You're enabling her consumption because she's not paying for her fair share of home expenses like rent. Why should she be concerned about spending money on other stuff when you've got her covered on all the basic expenses?

I'd do the same if someone was covering my rent.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

denovo
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by denovo » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:33 pm

Oh, does she pay her credit cards off every month?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

123
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by 123 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:35 pm

I would steer away from getting involved with any kind of joint accounts (either assets or liabilities) with her. You can still be friends even if you aren't financial partners.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:39 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:24 pm
It's important that you can talk with your partner about money. It can be a real source of strife when you're going into two different directions. It also sounds like you are enabling your partner. Your partner might not buy an iPad Pro if she has to pay insurance and 1/2 rent (or whatever you agree to). I could imagine that this bothers you, as you have less "fun money" to spend because you are paying the bills.
This is kind of my approach. My wife has about 100k of student loans she is currently aggressively paying off. I have a bank account, she has a bank account, and we have a joint "house account." Every month she maxes 401k, pays $2,500 towards student loans, $1,500 to the house account, and the rest goes to her personal savings account where she can use the money however she wants. I take care of some of the things myself but also max retirement accounts, pay for our cars and insurances, and then put $1,500/month to the house account - and the rest of what I make goes to my personal account.

We use the house account to pay for everything house related - mortgage, taxes, insurance, cable, internet, water, trash, etc... as well as anytime we want to splurge on something like a trip, plus everything for our dog :)

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:45 pm

Thrifty Femme wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:29 pm
You don't need to handle anything. You need to setup hers, ours, and his accounts. You should contribute equal percentages to the ours account, and pay joint expenses from that account. This way she can spend her money as she sees fit, and you can continue to be judgemental about it :wink:
+1

Keep your money separate and fund all shared expenses into a separate account half and half or some other agreed on %. If you want/can pay more than half, fund a specific amount each month (3/4 rent, for example). Keep it consistent month to month. Set up clear rules and follow them religiously. There is way too much slop on your arrangement. Paying for an oil change and treating it like a favor is no good. Make specific arrangements like “for use of your car, I will pay for all oil changes, or x per mile, or whatever.” Stick to it!

Continue to fund your savings accordingly and let her spend what she wants on her personal items as long as she can cover her shared expenses. Do interfere with her personal spending. Do not adjust the % on the fly, make loans to her, etc. If she can’t fund her shared expenses, it’s time for a talk.

This above suggestion is not so much to resolve the problem but to help you find out if you can make it a go as a couple. My guess is that you’re probably incompatible but this will lay down some groundwork to figure it out. What happens as a result will make the path going forward more clear to both of you.

trees
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by trees » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:49 pm

Putting aside the rent issue as a separate matter for a minute - I think some of the other posters are missing an important point. To me, it sounds like you're trying to be very controlling - telling her how to spend HER money. Also, many of them sound like business expenses. It's legit to talk about wanting to save for a joint future, but right now I'm getting a little bit of a "run away" signal... for her. It's totally legitimate for different people to have different priorities, and it's sounding like you're trying to project your own desire to spend as little as possible on her. Spending on "wants" isn't inherently bad. I'd suggest shifting from "I don't think you should buy x" communication to discussing what you both want long term, and if that includes saving a lot, how you're going to get there.

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:55 pm

The BH philosophy does not say this, but it should. Make sure your partner is on the same page with finances as you are if you are a BH. Money is a prime reason for divorce or splitting up.
You sound a but resentful. I am sure she feels that way also at times. Brewing under the surface whenever money issues are mentioned and still lying there like snake in the grass even on a day to day basis.
Your life and your philosophy should be geared towards similar minded people. They say opposites attract. A nice cliche' , but that attraction doesn't mean the union will be long lived.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:56 pm

I'm guessing that what you see as a big issue, she doesn't see as an issue at all. Until you get on the same page about the importance of financial matters, you will never be able even to discuss it enough to come to any agreements or compromises. I also sense some control issues.

Good luck! You're going to need it.

mortfree
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by mortfree » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:05 pm

Being in a saver/spender relationship is tough.

It will get old after a while if you pay all of the boring things and see her go off spending thousands on electronics, vehicles, etc.

Find a balance now

runner540
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by runner540 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 pm

OP, I hear a lot of annoyance about her spending, but no actual facts about how much she spends relative to her income or savings. Are you sure there's a problem?

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Toons
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Toons » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:17 pm

"She is not, she's impulsive and willing to pay for what she wants now."

Behavior modification is in order.
She needs to think long and hard as to why she feels the compulsion to spend.
If she can afford it,no debt,paying cash that is another thing


:happy
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JBTX
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by JBTX » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:17 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:55 pm
The BH philosophy does not say this, but it should. Make sure your partner is on the same page with finances as you are if you are a BH. Money is a prime reason for divorce or splitting up.
You sound a but resentful. I am sure she feels that way also at times. Brewing under the surface whenever money issues are mentioned and still lying there like snake in the grass even on a day to day basis.
Your life and your philosophy should be geared towards similar minded people. They say opposites attract. A nice cliche' , but that attraction doesn't mean the union will be long lived.
It’s impossible to get all the ins and outs of a relationship in one post but finances are often the number one source of disagreements. From what he is posting they both have different views about money. That likely does not change.

ResearchMed
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:34 pm

runner540 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 pm
OP, I hear a lot of annoyance about her spending, but no actual facts about how much she spends relative to her income or savings. Are you sure there's a problem?
This should be considered, which sort of matches the post above by trees.

OP didn't include whether "his lady" is in trouble financially, or getting into trouble.
For all we know (unlikely or not), she is also squirreling away a tidy sum each month...

RM
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stan1
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:34 pm

How much does she save? Does she have an emergency fund, does she save for retirement? If she works from home I can understand why she would want both a laptop and iPad (especially if her job requires her to be on email continuously -- fact of life for some of us these days). If she is self employed and worried about client service she can't afford to be away from email when she's in another room of the house. Her clients may view that as being non-responsive and take their work elsewhere. If you have one car between the two of you (and don't live in NYC, SF, or DC) I'd say that's actually pretty good. $400 is cheap for a desk that raises and lowers (some are $5-10K). I'm playing devils advocate here because I can't tell what the situation is but if it bothers you now it will only get worse. I think you need to have many conversations about this to see if you can get to a happy median. Joint, hers, and his accounts may be one solution but if her spending upsets you and your frugality upsets her it won't solve the problem.

schrute
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by schrute » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:40 pm

denovo wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:31 pm
schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:08 pm
So we've been together for 2.5 years and live together. I basically cover rent, pay insurances, etc. and I don't mind this part.....

I really don't want a car. I don't use it, but help her maintain it.....



She works for herself and makes money, but I don't think she realizes what she spends.......

What I'm going to suggest is that at the end of the year, let's go over finances... she keeps track on what she spent and I'll share mine... and then make it obvious.
So you're paying the rent, insurance, I bet the utilities and phone/tv/cable service(s) and possibly putting money into the car maintenance.

You're enabling her consumption because she's not paying for her fair share of home expenses like rent. Why should she be concerned about spending money on other stuff when you've got her covered on all the basic expenses?

I'd do the same if someone was covering my rent.
No, this is a bit extreme. I pay health insurance from my work and rent. I cover cable. When we talked about it, I said it was easier if I take care of rent, cable, etc. And she takes care of the home stuff, like toilet paper, soaps, etc. She covers her own phone.

Also, the car thing, once in a while when she can't. She takes care of her car maintenance 90% of the time, like changing tires, breaks, oil.

But she'll forget to buy stuff like toilet paper... Or buy stuff I don't like or want (super natural/organic toothpaste versus regular Colgate). Or that we have cleaners come to the house, she takes care of that too. Personally, I don't think we need the latter, I'm fine cleaning up myself... but that was an argument not worth continuing, it gives her piece of mind since she has allergies.

So she's not exactly a freeloader.

schrute
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by schrute » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:40 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:34 pm
runner540 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 pm
OP, I hear a lot of annoyance about her spending, but no actual facts about how much she spends relative to her income or savings. Are you sure there's a problem?
This should be considered, which sort of matches the post above by trees.

OP didn't include whether "his lady" is in trouble financially, or getting into trouble.
For all we know (unlikely or not), she is also squirreling away a tidy sum each month...

RM
No, she's not financially in trouble. All her debts are paid, except for the car and phone, etc.

schrute
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by schrute » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:42 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:34 pm
How much does she save? Does she have an emergency fund, does she save for retirement? If she works from home I can understand why she would want both a laptop and iPad (especially if her job requires her to be on email continuously -- fact of life for some of us these days). If she is self employed and worried about client service she can't afford to be away from email when she's in another room of the house. Her clients may view that as being non-responsive and take their work elsewhere. If you have one car between the two of you (and don't live in NYC, SF, or DC) I'd say that's actually pretty good. $400 is cheap for a desk that raises and lowers (some are $5-10K). I'm playing devils advocate here because I can't tell what the situation is but if it bothers you now it will only get worse. I think you need to have many conversations about this to see if you can get to a happy median. Joint, hers, and his accounts may be one solution but if her spending upsets you and your frugality upsets her it won't solve the problem.
I don't know her exact savings rate, we're going to go over finances/taxes, so I'll know. But she complains about me being too cheap sometimes. She wants to save for retirement, she certainly wants all these things. She has a small emergency fund.

The iPad is for doing creative work and helps her hand more. The laptop is just another place for her to do it too.

We live in the Bay Area and I don't need a car. She does, but work is very close.

So she has her own bank account, she knows I have my own accounts, and we have a joint account together.

More or less, her spending annoys me, but then again I'm pretty cheap.
Last edited by schrute on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ResearchMed
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:43 pm

schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:40 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:34 pm
runner540 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 pm
OP, I hear a lot of annoyance about her spending, but no actual facts about how much she spends relative to her income or savings. Are you sure there's a problem?
This should be considered, which sort of matches the post above by trees.

OP didn't include whether "his lady" is in trouble financially, or getting into trouble.
For all we know (unlikely or not), she is also squirreling away a tidy sum each month...

RM
No, she's not financially in trouble. All her debts are paid, except for the car and phone, etc.
That's sounding good, obviously.

Is she also saving?

Is this really only a problem in terms of different choices, and not "one is saving, one is not"?
That could still be a problem, but definitely a different problem, and probably much less serious.

RM
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mouses
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by mouses » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:48 pm

If she's buying "mutual" household products you don't like, you should give her a list of what you want. Then she can buy her stuff and your stuff. It will probably cost less that the current household system since your stuff is likely to be less expensive.

I am trying to grasp the concept of forgetting to buy toilet paper. Doesn't she make lists?
Last edited by mouses on Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

schrute
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by schrute » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:48 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:43 pm
schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:40 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:34 pm
runner540 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 pm
OP, I hear a lot of annoyance about her spending, but no actual facts about how much she spends relative to her income or savings. Are you sure there's a problem?
This should be considered, which sort of matches the post above by trees.

OP didn't include whether "his lady" is in trouble financially, or getting into trouble.
For all we know (unlikely or not), she is also squirreling away a tidy sum each month...

RM
No, she's not financially in trouble. All her debts are paid, except for the car and phone, etc.
That's sounding good, obviously.

Is she also saving?

Is this really only a problem in terms of different choices, and not "one is saving, one is not"?
That could still be a problem, but definitely a different problem, and probably much less serious.

RM
Yes, she wants to and is trying to. But she's very used to having physically businesses where you have to spend money. It's just difference in opinion, I guess. She wants to buy a new TV stand purely because of the coloring for the living room. In my mind, we have one that works fine.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by DaftInvestor » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:52 pm

You might want to try couples counseling versus asking opinions of various folks on the internet.

stan1
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:53 pm

schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:48 pm

Yes, she wants to and is trying to. But she's very used to having physically businesses where you have to spend money. It's just difference in opinion, I guess. She wants to buy a new TV stand purely because of the coloring for the living room. In my mind, we have one that works fine.
OK, let's make this actionable. Why don't you learn how to paint the TV stand so you both win?

Check out this nice job done by a Boglehead recently:
viewtopic.php?t=232352#p3620085

ulrichw
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by ulrichw » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:56 pm

These threads are always tricky because we're only hearing one side of the story.

Sounds to me like you're probably both right - you're right that she buys impulsively and sometimes spends wastefully, and she's right that you're too cheap.

Your main complaints are anecdotal, which leads me to believe that you're nitpicking on individual items based on what you consider the "spirit" of the occasion, rather than take the big picture approach: is she living within her means?

There's nothing wrong with occasionally throwing away some money, as long as overall you're keeping spending under control and saving towards eventual retirement (or at least following a plan that leads to savings).

You're probably both going to have to compromise if you want a long-term future together. She will need to make sure she's spending within an established budget - you will need to allow her to splurge on herself (or the household) occasionally.

Best of luck!

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Smorgasbord
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Smorgasbord » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:00 pm

Following up on Mr. Wu's praise of Dave Ramsey, another great idea that he has is that in a budget each person should get a set amount of "blow money" to be used on whatever they want, and if Dave's wife wanted to light her blow money on fire for that month he would be okay with it because that what made her happy.

OldSport
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by OldSport » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:19 pm

schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:48 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:43 pm
schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:40 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:34 pm
runner540 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:11 pm
OP, I hear a lot of annoyance about her spending, but no actual facts about how much she spends relative to her income or savings. Are you sure there's a problem?
This should be considered, which sort of matches the post above by trees.

OP didn't include whether "his lady" is in trouble financially, or getting into trouble.
For all we know (unlikely or not), she is also squirreling away a tidy sum each month...

RM
No, she's not financially in trouble. All her debts are paid, except for the car and phone, etc.
That's sounding good, obviously.

Is she also saving?

Is this really only a problem in terms of different choices, and not "one is saving, one is not"?
That could still be a problem, but definitely a different problem, and probably much less serious.

RM
Yes, she wants to and is trying to. But she's very used to having physically businesses where you have to spend money. It's just difference in opinion, I guess. She wants to buy a new TV stand purely because of the coloring for the living room. In my mind, we have one that works fine.
Does she live within or below her means? As long as she's saving a reasonable amount, its not that big of a deal, although it can be uncomfortable if you're used to living very frugally.

harvestbook
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by harvestbook » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:32 pm

Compromise hurts because it's natural to think "my way is the right way." I'm certainly that way as a frugal person, to the point where I make it a MORAL issue-- that people who splurge are somehow flawed. Of course, that's silly when viewed dispassionately.

If you want to make it work, you have to meet in the middle, which may involve education. Unless she perfectly understands what she is doing and why, in which case, well, you have to decide if meeting in the middle is going to work for both of you. My wife was wealthy as a child, her family lost it all when she was 14, and she had a weird relationship with money. She had $30,000 in credit card debt when we dated. I showed her the interest rate, encouraged her to get a lower-rate student loan to pay off the cards, and then when we married we paid off the loans. Now she pays all of our household spending and all my income goes to investments. Working together has paid off, although I confess I am still a bit of a bear whenever "normal splurges" come up like home improvements or vacations.

The point is you're either working together or working your way apart. You may have to surrender a little to win. Good luck.
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sambb
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by sambb » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:40 pm

some people like to spend today, others like to spend in the future and save today
they arent always able to see eye to eye

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:41 pm

" I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?"
Very gently, with a long pole, using full hazmat suit with faraday cage grounding. Eye, ear protection, Full helmet. Safety rope with automatic winch reelback; A will. Packed bags. Notification to relatives if you don't report in within 6 hours. Protected bank accounts. Cancel credit cards. A backup mobile # and device.
JMO, you have no claim on her finances and spending habits and reverse. UNTIL you both make the oath and sign where designated. :oops:
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:54 pm

Most non BH need to budget on paper or in excel every month, it's simply the prudent thing to do. I bet some BH even budget on paper. That's the only way you can objectively see "what's going on here" and get the spender to identify with your reasoning. I generally don't think I'd mesh well with someone who has car payments while purchasing $1,000 iPads and other toys. Now of course all the BH's will come out with their leasing/financing 0% arbitrage but let's be honest, the majority of people with car payments are losing the finance game.

Billionaire
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Billionaire » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:20 pm

Well you aren't married and haven't negotiated the financial aspects of living together well. She is entitled to spend as she likes. If she was plowing money into a solo 401k or similar savings vehicle, her spending wouldn't bother me as much.

Alchemist
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Alchemist » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:05 pm

If you guys are not married, then you are only asking for trouble by mingling any of your money anyway. Until you get married, you and her can spend your incomes however you want. If you really want a joint financial future; there is a ceremony for that (usually associated with rings and cake) :wink:

But in all seriousness, I think you guys have mixed up boundaries. You live like a married couple on some things, but not others. This causes confusion and frustration as each of you view different topics as either in a 'dating' relationship or in a 'joint/marital' perspective. Either separate all your finances or get married and join them. Playing house somewhere in between just makes a mess....as evidenced by your post starting this thread.

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Sandtrap
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:13 pm

Keep all her earned dollars in her own account under her name.
All your hard earned dollars under your own account under your name.
You can do this for a long long time.

You may be "cohabitating" (fun) :D but you don't have to be "commingling" (funds) :( .

There's an old saying, "what's yours is mine and what's mine is my own" :( .

Avoid the "coulda', shoulda', woulda's". . and "if only. . :shock: " down the road.

Right now, compartmentalizing income and expenses is prudent.

j :D

TheDDC
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by TheDDC » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:18 pm

Alchemist wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:05 pm
If you guys are not married, then you are only asking for trouble by mingling any of your money anyway. Until you get married, you and her can spend your incomes however you want. If you really want a joint financial future; there is a ceremony for that (usually associated with rings and cake) :wink:

But in all seriousness, I think you guys have mixed up boundaries. You live like a married couple on some things, but not others. This causes confusion and frustration as each of you view different topics as either in a 'dating' relationship or in a 'joint/marital' perspective. Either separate all your finances or get married and join them. Playing house somewhere in between just makes a mess....as evidenced by your post starting this thread.
Yes. But this while thing is a useless venture. I don't think we will ever find out if OP's lady friend is even truly spending above her means.

My guess is there are other "fringe benefits" at play here that allows the OP to make decisions with parts other than the brain in this matter. My take.

OP has a choice on the lady and her spending habits: take it or leave it. You can't have it both ways, and you can't assume things will change or that you will change her if married, either. You can only think with non-brain parts for so long until dropping back down to reality which will cost you more money than you knew existed in the world. I see a "QDRO" in your financial future absent a trip back to earth.

-TheDDC

raisinsaregrapes
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by raisinsaregrapes » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:51 pm

I don't have a good answer on how to handle your situation, but I can tell you this. My wife and I are on the same page financially, and tend to keep each other accountable when one of us gets too spendy or thrifty. I have never made over 100k and we are a 1-income family of five. Our net worth is approaching 450k and I'm 31. Sharing a saving attitude with a partner can have a big effect on your financial picture. She doesn't contribute much monetarily, but I would be far worse off without her. Carefully consider who you will attach all your finances to.

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by haban01 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:54 pm

Mr.Wu wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:25 pm
Let her watch Dave Ramsey’ show. I disagree with many, if not most of his opinions but he surely excels at one thing: bashing people not living under their means.
AMEN!
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:18 pm

You're covering rent in the Bay area and she buys toilet paper - sometimes?
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gunn_show
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by gunn_show » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:46 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:18 pm
You're covering rent in the Bay area and she buys toilet paper - sometimes?
LOL exactly what I thought by the time I read down to that comment about his location

perhaps title of thread should be "don't think my lady is good at MAKING money" .. OR...

"I think my lady is pretty darn smart and has suckered me into paying the SFBA insane rent by myself" while she buys toilet paper and iPads...

as others pointed out, and we have seen many threads like this before, these are 1-sided discussions and we don't know enough about the lady to really answer. straight up - does she make $30k a year or $150k a year? big difference in how the rest of the answers play out. in one scenario she doesn't have a lot of room for stockpiling dough and maxing a 401k while paying rent and stuff... the other scenario clearly she has plenty of dough and you are over-paying your share of the bills and enabling her to blow the rest of her cash...

and you're not married... no co-mingling cash, and stop controlling her....
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by KATNYC » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:52 pm

schrute wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:08 pm
So we've been together for 2.5 years and live together. I basically cover rent, pay insurances, etc. and I don't mind this part.

But sometimes she gets particular about buying things, that she needs them. For some of her work she needs it and perhaps I'm just too thrifty/stingy with money.

She bought a new iPad Pro ($1,000) and fixed up her old laptop ($600), which in my mind and I mentioned, she should pick one. Also, she's talking about getting a new TV stand ($500) and a new desk for her... the kind that go up and down ($400). My concern is that she buys something, uses it a few times, and never uses it again. For example, she bought this face mask thing for acne and never used it again. I bought her a gym membership $(~$200) which she ended up not using.

Or she bought a car, which I thought it was expensive. Not ridiculous, probably market value, but I told her I don't want one. Period. She wanted to buy it and I thought the price was too much. Regardless, she went ahead, and was peeved that she tried to get me to buy it too and I said no, so she's the sole owner. I really don't want a car. I don't use it, but help her maintain it.

Main differences: I'm willing to wait to get the price I want. She is not, she's impulsive and willing to pay for what she wants now. I don't like this.

She's good about clothes, not always buying, buys cheap like Gap and not Athletica... Maybe I'm being cheap

She works for herself and makes money, but I don't think she realizes what she spends. She's difficult to discuss things with, if I try to bring it up, she says how I'm too cheap... I explain why, saving for a house, eating out, etc. If its something we really need, sure... avoiding the "wants" from the "must haves"... What I'm going to suggest is that at the end of the year, let's go over finances... she keeps track on what she spent and I'll share mine... and then make it obvious.

Are you planning to marry her? If so, you need to get on the same page with finances or at least decide how the money will be handled. You are admittedly cheap and she isn't so that is the main problem. Is she saving for retirement? Saving in general? Or blowing every penny on payday and living from check to check?

It does not read like she's impulsive, but that she just isn't into price shopping, checking for discounts or using coupons. We have Ebates, Honey, Wikibuy on our computer and whenever a better price for something is available there is an alert. If those alerts didn't pop up, we would just buy whatever we wanted for the list price.

A height adjustable desk, like Varidesk, is the new thing. Megacorp ordered several hundred of them. They are not a bad investment for people who are at a desk all day. They are supposedly good for ergonomics. A $500 TV stand, that doesn't read like something that is necessary. Maybe you can find out what style she likes and find a cheaper version (Ikea).

Some of the examples are not really any different from most people. Tons of people have gym memberships they don't use. I think it's part of the business plan for gyms. Plus, she didn't buy the gym membership, you did, which could have been viewed as telling her she needs to lose weight so she never used it out of spite.

An iPad Pro is very different from a laptop. A pro tablet is not a laptop replacement due to the multitasking restrictions and software. They are generally secondary devices for people who like drawing or writing rather than using keyboards. You cannot really pick one. We have a desktop, 2 laptops & an iPad.

Buying Gap just means she will need to replace those clothes in a year or two. Sometimes buying classic pieces of clothing that will last years is better than buying cheap things to replace every year. About the acne mask, did her acne go away? Not really a need to use the acne mask once the acne is gone. Sephora, if she shops there, has a good return policy for like 90 days even if she opens/uses the product and doesn't like it.

Having a car, depending on where you live could be a necessity. You didn't want a car but you benefit from it by getting rides to work. You can't have it both ways, not wanting a car but using it and maintaining it. It reads like you're more irritated that you said no to the car and she bought it anyway.

We use an app called YNAB to track our budget and spending. We can both look at the budget on our phones or the computer. We agreed to a budget for various categories (clothes, personal care, hair care, groceries, take out, entertainment etc). If for any reason one of us wants to buy something that is not in the budgeted category, we have to decide where to pull that money from which could mean less take out for the month or cutting back on something else. It makes us both stick to the financial plan so we can max out 401K, ROTHs & HSA and not bother each other about spending too much on any particular item. We go over the budget together at least once per month, usually when it's time to budget for the next month, and to make sure we are still on track.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:59 pm

With respect, you're not married or legally partnered, not planning to be? And you've agreed to cover rent, and so she's spending her discretionary money how she wants.

From my perspective, you don't get to control that! It would be different if you'd agreed to split the rent and she was buying iPads instead of contributing her share. But she's just spending her money in a way that you wouldn't. That's OK. She's an adult.

It may mean in the long run that you two have different lifestyles and that might mean future incompatibility. And that's worth taking seriously - being on the same page with finances is important. But she hasn't wronged you - and right now, you have no claim on her money. If you want her to split housing, then have that talk.

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by multiham » Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:29 pm

If this bothers you now, I suggest ending the relationship. I can't imagine this will ever work as you will scrutinize every purchase she makes and she will say that you are being cheap. Unless you are really willing and ready to change your ways, this will not end well. I'm not saying either of you is right or wrong, but that the difference may be too much to overcome. Do you really want all this drama?

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by Olemiss540 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:19 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:18 pm
You're covering rent in the Bay area and she buys toilet paper - sometimes?
The Charmin 2 ply ultra soft, not the cheap stuff.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by selters » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:58 am

Is your net worth going up at a decent pace month to month, year to year? Or if the stock market and housing market are going down, would your net worth have gone up if the markets weren't going down? If yes, then you can spend whatever is left after savings.

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by mouses » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:52 am

raisinsaregrapes wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:51 pm
I don't have a good answer on how to handle your situation, but I can tell you this. My wife and I are on the same page financially, and tend to keep each other accountable when one of us gets too spendy or thrifty. I have never made over 100k and we are a 1-income family of five. Our net worth is approaching 450k and I'm 31. Sharing a saving attitude with a partner can have a big effect on your financial picture. She doesn't contribute much monetarily, but I would be far worse off without her. Carefully consider who you will attach all your finances to.
I think she contributes a lot monetarily. Imagine what daycare for three kids costs, plus a housecleaner, a cook, someone to do the grocery shopping, drive the kids to things, etc.

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Re: I don't think my lady is very good at saving money, how do I handle?

Post by raisinsaregrapes » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:49 am

mouses wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:52 am
raisinsaregrapes wrote:
Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:51 pm
I don't have a good answer on how to handle your situation, but I can tell you this. My wife and I are on the same page financially, and tend to keep each other accountable when one of us gets too spendy or thrifty. I have never made over 100k and we are a 1-income family of five. Our net worth is approaching 450k and I'm 31. Sharing a saving attitude with a partner can have a big effect on your financial picture. She doesn't contribute much monetarily, but I would be far worse off without her. Carefully consider who you will attach all your finances to.
I think she contributes a lot monetarily. Imagine what daycare for three kids costs, plus a housecleaner, a cook, someone to do the grocery shopping, drive the kids to things, etc.
I agree. Monetarily was probably a bad word choice, replace with "income".

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