Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

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malloc33
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Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by malloc33 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:16 am

Hello Bogleheads,

I just broke up with my girlfriend of 6 months for financial reasons, and wanted to share what happened with this forum, as it seems to be incredibly difficult for me to find a significant other who shares my financial goals, and I'm wondering if I'm being too strict with my standards and ultimately I'll just die alone and unhappy.

Me:

Age: 31
Location: Sacramento (CA)
Living situation: renting a decent 1bd apartment
Job type: Tech
Income: $260k/y (cash compensation) + ~$250k/y (illiquid private equity given by my company, that I can't sell until there's a liquidation event, which might never happen or be significantly downsized)
Living expenses: ~$36k/y, I diligently invest everything else (~$10k/mo) in a 4 fund Vanguard portfolio.

Her (my ex)

Age: 31
Location: Sacramento (CA)
Living situation: living at home with her family, paying a very small rent
Job type: Social worker
Income: ~$35k/y (estimated)

I met this woman 6 months ago and we hit it off really well, very good personality and compatibility. However, I personally think her finances are a big mess. She lives at home with her parents and blows her entire paycheck on the car payment of an expensive luxury car (Audi Q5, ~$50k), jewelry (~$2k watch, ...) and Starbucks (a couple drinks a day).

I am the complete opposite. I immigrated to the US from Europe in my early 20s and while I can't say I ever starved, I definitely lived through some tough times and I know what it means to be poor, thus I'm hungry for financial freedom, it's really one of the biggest goals in my life. That being said, I like to live a good life: I live by myself instead of roommates, I drive a new 2016 Honda Civic, I dine out a couple times a week and go on one or two long and possibly international vacations a year followed by a few weekend trips here in the US.

I absolutely respect her life decisions, but the problem is that those are somehow affecting me, in the sense that every time we go out (and she likes to go out a lot) I have to pay for everything (dining, drinks, ...) because she essentially doesn't have any money left. Only occasionally she might treat me by buying me ice cream or coffee. And the worst thing is, this same pattern happens for vacations: during these 6 months we went to a couple trips to Southern California and I had to pay for everything, including airfare for two, hotel, gas and all meals. That is putting a toll on my living expenses, jeopardizing my savings rate, and it's becoming incredibly frustrating for me to deal with.

The last straw happened a couple of days ago, when we went out eating on a Monday night (!) because I was at her house and she didn't feel like cooking dinner. Once again, I had to pick the bill for ~$40. I snapped and complained to her saying that my financial goals are very important and I would like to at least split such bills, and she got pissed, started crying (I'm sure she was embarrassed by the fact that she doesn't have the means to sustain this life style). Later, we discussed and she said that my financial goals are more important to me than her, and so it's best to call it off. I agreed.

What do you think?

Thanks!

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Will do good
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Will do good » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:24 am

I understand your position, might not agree to it all.

Instead of black and white or breaking it off, could you have explained to her how you feel and give her a change to see your position and maybe, maybe she would change? To be fair you do earn a high income comparing to her, so most likely she sees no problem spending a little of your money.

Chuck
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Chuck » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:26 am

One can get tied up talking about "financial goals" when they mean "life goals." It's certainly easier to be indignant when "your money is more important than me," but less so saying, "your goals for your life and future are more important than me."

I'm not sure I can get behind the "Ask the Bogleheads for approval for my life decisions" bandwagon, either.

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by triceratop » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:26 am

What is your personal finance (not relationship, which are off topic) question here? From the forum policies, "Note that topics must be directly connected to your (or your friend's or family's) financial life."
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mortfree
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by mortfree » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:27 am

in before the lock...

your salaries were too far out of whack.

as well as your lifestyles...

6 months may seem long, but stretch it out and she would have had a Ferrari out of you

:D

Kix
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Kix » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:29 am

I think you make it clear that you weren't compatible as a couple and thus going your separate ways was a wise conclusion to the relationship. If I were her, I wouldn't want to be with someone who acted like you, and if I were you, I wouldn't want to be with someone who acted like her.

:) Good luck in the future! She just wasn't what you're looking for and that's okay.

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Pajamas
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:29 am

Seems like there is some incompatibility. Specifically, it sounds like she is immature in some ways and has unreasonable expectations that other people should provide for her to facilitate a lifestyle she can't afford herself.

Not to put too much emphasis on any single event or interaction, but did you offer to cook dinner instead of her cooking it or going out to eat? Or did she just expect to go out to dinner and have you pay for it? If the latter, that would certainly be frustrating. It's probably best that it worked out the way it did, with her admitting that there is major incompatibility and ending your relationship.

malloc33
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by malloc33 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:30 am

triceratop wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:26 am
What is your personal finance (not relationship, which are off topic) question here? From the forum policies, "Note that topics must be directly connected to your (or your friend's or family's) financial life."
I am sorry for violating the policy, admittedly I wasn't aware. My real question here would be: is it worth to compromise my savings rate, which might ultimately affect my financial goals, for a relationship, as opposed to keep looking for a partner who is more aligned to my financial goals? I figure many people in this forum have significant experience combining relationships and financial decisions, and so I might get some useful pills of wisdom.

Thanks.
Last edited by malloc33 on Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Shackleton
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Shackleton » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:30 am

I think you are about to get inundated with PMs from BH parents with single daughters!
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Crisium
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Crisium » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:33 am

Interesting read.

What do you think about introducing her to Mr. Money Mustache and Dave Ramsey? Now that you're broken up it might look even more condescending, but worth keeping in mind. Her situation is not untypical for a US millennial.

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Christine_NM
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Christine_NM » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:34 am

"she didn't feel like cooking dinner"

Do you cook? If you'd been able to, you could have avoided the whole unfortunate mess. You are not ready for marriage yet imho.
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Afty
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Afty » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:35 am

Did you ever talk to her (not in the heat of the moment) about sharing more of your relationship costs? Or was it out of the blue from her perspective?

lakpr
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by lakpr » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:35 am

The red flag to me in this post is that she bought a $50K Audi car on a $35K salary. That's not an LBYM lifestyle. That she expected you to pay for the $40 for dinner is a cultural norm and I am inclined to ignore that as the 'cause' of the breakup.

Breaking up may be the ultimately the right choice in my opinion, but I think it happened due to the wrong reason

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Tamalak » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:36 am

Christine_NM wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:34 am
"she didn't feel like cooking dinner"

Do you cook? If you'd been able to, you could have avoided the whole unfortunate mess. You are not ready for marriage yet imho.
He already pays for everything they do and he should cook for her, too??

stoptothink
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by stoptothink » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:38 am

Not crazy at all, although I don't really agree with how that specific incidence was handled. The single greatest cause of marital strife is finances. You two didn't just see it different, sounds like you were on totally different ends of the spectrum. Disagreements about lifestyle expectations were pretty much the sole cause of the dissolution of my first marriage and we actually had very similar viewpoints about during our 1.5yr courtship; at least it appeared so. When I started dating again after my divorce, I made 100% sure that money wasn't going to be an issue the next time around. This included breaking it off with a young woman who I really liked, but who I knew was sitting on a large pile of student debt but lived in a very nice apartment, drove a very nice car, and wore expensive clothes. She actually had a good job and could afford these things, but it bothered me that she didn't prioritize debt repayment. We weren't going to see eye-to-eye about finances so it didn't seem worth the risk to get deeper into the relationship.
Last edited by stoptothink on Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

malloc33
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by malloc33 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:39 am

Crisium wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:33 am
Interesting read.

What do you think about introducing her to Mr. Money Mustache and Dave Ramsey? Now that you're broken up it might look even more condescending, but worth keeping in mind. Her situation is not untypical for a US millennial.
I tried to share my ideas many times, and she said she appreciates what I do and that she might be interested in learning more. I told her to start saving the moderate amount of ~$100 a month and I'd teach her how to open a Roth and invest. She never followed up, and I definitely don't want to stress the point, it's her life and her choices.

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nedsaid
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by nedsaid » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:39 am

malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:16 am
Hello Bogleheads,

I just broke up with my girlfriend of 6 months for financial reasons, and wanted to share what happened with this forum, as it seems to be incredibly difficult for me to find a significant other who shares my financial goals, and I'm wondering if I'm being too strict with my standards and ultimately I'll just die alone and unhappy.

Me:

Age: 31
Location: Sacramento (CA)
Living situation: renting a decent 1bd apartment
Job type: Tech
Income: $260k/y (cash compensation) + ~$250k/y (illiquid private equity given by my company, that I can't sell until there's a liquidation event, which might never happen or be significantly downsized)
Living expenses: ~$36k/y, I diligently invest everything else (~$10k/mo) in a 4 fund Vanguard portfolio.

Her (my ex)

Age: 31
Location: Sacramento (CA)
Living situation: living at home with her family, paying a very small rent
Job type: Social worker
Income: ~$35k/y (estimated)

I met this woman 6 months ago and we hit it off really well, very good personality and compatibility. However, I personally think her finances are a big mess. She lives at home with her parents and blows her entire paycheck on the car payment of an expensive luxury car (Audi Q5, ~$50k), jewelry (~$2k watch, ...) and Starbucks (a couple drinks a day).

I am the complete opposite. I immigrated to the US from Europe in my early 20s and while I can't say I ever starved, I definitely lived through some tough times and I know what it means to be poor, thus I'm hungry for financial freedom, it's really one of the biggest goals in my life. That being said, I like to live a good life: I live by myself instead of roommates, I drive a new 2016 Honda Civic, I dine out a couple times a week and go on one or two long and possibly international vacations a year followed by a few weekend trips here in the US.

I absolutely respect her life decisions, but the problem is that those are somehow affecting me, in the sense that every time we go out (and she likes to go out a lot) I have to pay for everything (dining, drinks, ...) because she essentially doesn't have any money left. Only occasionally she might treat me by buying me ice cream or coffee. And the worst thing is, this same pattern happens for vacations: during these 6 months we went to a couple trips to Southern California and I had to pay for everything, including airfare for two, hotel, gas and all meals. That is putting a toll on my living expenses, jeopardizing my savings rate, and it's becoming incredibly frustrating for me to deal with.

The last straw happened a couple of days ago, when we went out eating on a Monday night (!) because I was at her house and she didn't feel like cooking dinner. Once again, I had to pick the bill for ~$40. I snapped and complained to her saying that my financial goals are very important and I would like to at least split such bills, and she got pissed, started crying (I'm sure she was embarrassed by the fact that she doesn't have the means to sustain this life style). Later, we discussed and she said that my financial goals are more important to me than her, and so it's best to call it off. I agreed.

What do you think?

Thanks!
As painful as this was, you made the right choice. Sounds to me like she was immature. Particularly that she was living both a big lifestyle and living at home with her parents. You would have had big problems down the road. She sounded pretty spoiled too. The crying turned me off too, it was emotional manipulation and her method of getting her way. Good that you saw through the tears and called it off. Probably a nice person but someone who needs to grow up.

One other fact of life is that opposites tend to attract, particularly in first marriages. My guess is that you probably won't find somebody who agrees with you 100% on finances but who would be willing to make compromises. Savers tend to attract spenders and the other way around. Part of relationships and marriage is working these things out. The other thing that happens is children. One reason to think hard about your financial goals and your life goals at the same time. Life can just happen and upset our carefully made plans. Maybe you need to further think some things out too.

It sounds to me that you aren't overly frugal, you drive a nice car and take your vacations. I think one has to live it up a little too.

Hard to give advice to anonymous posters but it seems that here you made the right decision. Unfortunately for you, this forum is about personal finance and investing and not so much personal relationships. Best wishes. You made a very difficult but likely correct choice.
A fool and his money are good for business.

ResearchMed
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:41 am

There are a lot of ways to handle this, including what happened in your case.
However, there might be intermediate steps to take, preferably before things start blowing up.

As a female, I hated if a man always insisted on paying.
But early in my career (and I was unexpectedly a single mother of two toddlers, so finances were tight for a while, in grad school and also the first few years out), I also simply couldn't afford "the nicer places", etc., or certainly not often.

There were various ways to handle it: Take turns, and I just wouldn't choose the more expensive places. Do what one early date suggested as a "Marxist split" - proportional to income (although one wouldn't want to be bickering over exact pay levels!). I would pay the tip.

What struck me was when one date commented that he *enjoyed* fine dining, and by insisting on splitting the check (equally), that meant we always had to eat a budget friendly places, and he felt deprived, unnecessarily...

When I first met now-DH, I was the higher earner, and for some time, we had the same situation, but with roles reversed.
That wasn't the only time there was that "role reversal". It can cause problems for both sides, unless addressed. And there are probably times that it *can't* be solved, but again, that becomes a relationship issue.

But with that level of income disparity you had, something would need to be agreed upon, perhaps at stages, or neither person will be happy for very long.

I didn't realize that in this day and age some women expected to be "treated" 100%.
My experiences were back in the 70's and 80's, and "feminism" was relatively new as a major movement. Not everyone (male or female) was comfortable with the change.

This thread might get locked, as it is as much a "relationship issue" as a "financial issue".

But "whatever the issue", try to deal with it earlier, before things blow up totally.

RM
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beardsworth
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by beardsworth » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:41 am

malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:16 am
What do you think?
I agree that your ex seems to be driving a car more expensive than is appropriate for her financial condition.

Otherwise, I find this story rather sad. I *think* it would be a good idea for you to calculate what a $40 dinner, or any other expense involving a companion, represents as a percentage of your annual compensation.

And I think you ought to imagine what life might feel like, and how the balance of financial obligations in a relationship might seem like, to a social worker earning $35,000 a year, i.e., someone who works an entire year to make what you make in a fraction of that time.

I think your decision was wise, because you obviously wish to prioritize a big investment balance over the companionship of another human being unless she is more or less able to pay her own way rather than becoming a cost center for you.

A large investment balance will not, however, keep you warm at night, or smile lovingly at you, or wipe your brow when you're sick, or remember a favorite song you sang together, or surprise you with a poem or gift or . . . whatever.

Nothing I've said here is intended to sound sarcastic or unfriendly. We all have to make choices in life, and I think the choice you've just made is correct for the values of your current mindset, and your consistency is impressive although it may or may not ever allow for successful companionship.

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by retiredjg » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:45 am

malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:30 am
My real question here would be: is it worth to compromise my savings rate, which might ultimately affect my financial goals, for a relationship, as opposed to keep looking for a partner who is more aligned to my financial goals?

Valid question. I'd say probably both.

Someone with your income living on 36k a year is a little extreme - but probably not nuts - if you are enjoying life. Without significant changes on each person's part, you and this woman will not make a good team. See if you can loosen up a little and also look for someone who is more aligned with your habits.

02nz
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by 02nz » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:48 am

Finances can be a huge source of stress and tension in relationships, and your example pales in comparison with what some married couples experience. You're fully within your rights, of course, to have decided what you did. What I didn't see in your posts was any indication of a serious attempt to address that issue in your relationship; instead it seems you became ever more frustrated until the "last straw," as you put it. If I'm misreading the situation, I apologize. But my advice would be, for the future, to try to address the issue in an open and honest way (I know, much easier said than done). Lay out what each person's goals and expectations, and see if there's a way to make it work. If you find something "flawed" in the other person (and I would certainly see your ex's spending habits as a flaw), address it in a non-confrontational way, to see if it's something she's willing to work on changing. It still might not work out - but you'll have tried.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:48 am

First, I should say I am old enough to be your mother. Even married couples have disagreements about money. Even if you are to meet someone you are compatible with, like this woman, it doesn't negate the fact that you make over 7 times what she makes. The vast majority of women that you will meet aren't going to make anywhere close to what you are making----that is simply a fact. And if you are very and continue to be so focused on realizing FI (there's nothing wrong with that by the way), but don't expect others to simply join you on the bandwagon.

I agree with this woman---that your money goals/life goals of attaining FI are more important than her.

Minderbinder
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Minderbinder » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:49 am

IMO, non-negotiable things that you must agree on in relationships are (in no order) 1) financial worldview 2) religion 3) parenting style. Failure of any of those 3 and you are likely headed to a bad place.

Not crazy at all.

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Christine_NM » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:49 am

lakpr wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:35 am
The red flag to me in this post is that she bought a $50K Audi car on a $35K salary. That's not an LBYM lifestyle. That she expected you to pay for the $40 for dinner is a cultural norm and I am inclined to ignore that as the 'cause' of the breakup.

Breaking up may be the ultimately the right choice in my opinion, but I think it happened due to the wrong reason
The catch-22 there is that if she lived below her means, it's possible OP would never have met her in the first place. She'd have been home with her parents every night.

Now what? Does the OP look for a financial equal? Too much or too little money would make one depend on the other. Just a hypothetical before the lock.
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MittensMoney
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by MittensMoney » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:51 am

You made the right decision. Her habits are ingrained and likely won't change, and if they do it'll be a battle every step of the way.. Not worth it.

There are plenty more fish in the sea! You'll find someone who is more closely aligned with your goals, habits, and overall lifestyle and I think you'll be much happier for it.

mortfree
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by mortfree » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:55 am

malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:16 am
Later, we discussed and she said that my financial goals are more important to me than her, and so it's best to call it off. I agreed.

she broke up with him... sorry dude. good life lesson though.

aristotelian
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by aristotelian » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:57 am

Sounds like a larger incompatibility in values, lifestyle, and priorities, not just money. I think it is best to let this one go.

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TxAg
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by TxAg » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:57 am

You saved yourself a lot of grief.

When the right one comes along you'll know.

Katietsu
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Katietsu » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:58 am

I think there is a bigger question here and it is about financial life.

The OP is choosing to spend 36k on a 260k salary. He is questioning the purchase of lattes as extravagant. And, I think, he may care more about his money than his relationship. His choice. And this particular relationship might not have been the right one. But, I think the OP may find it difficult to have any relationship compatible with his financial spending and savings goals.(Does MMM have a dating forum?) The primary relationship at issue quite well may be the one the OP has with his financial life not the woman.
Last edited by Katietsu on Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vbn
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by vbn » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:01 pm

IMHO, money is one of the top reasons to cause conflict in a relationship. You can't really change a person's core belief or habits. I think it's important to have a partner to see eye-to-eye when it comes to finance/money. (I have a daughter, btw).

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by fantasytensai » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:02 pm

I'm in the minority here I'm sure, but I believe in the spirit of courtship. I will ask the girl that I am seeing if she wouldn't mind me paying for the accommodations, because I value her time and company tremendously. If she is not okay with it in any shape or form, I do not insist. If or when the courtship develops into something more serious, as in move in or engagement, then I will have a long, honest talk with her about reaching an agreement on finances.

In your situation, I don't think you are wrong, but you did not have an opportunity to have that long honest talk with her. A spontaneous decision reached in the heat of an argument may be cause for regret later on.

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Tamarind
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Tamarind » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:03 pm

It doesn't sound like you were compatible.

One one hand, there's no way she could afford to split things with you equally even if you both wanted to be frugal. Fairly splitting based on income would still have you paying 90%. Since you agreed to go out to eat, would you have felt better if you'd only paid $36 instead of $40? What if you'd offered to cook at home instead since she didn't feel like it?

On the other hand, sounds like her tastes are more expensive than her budget even when she's on her own. Her parents will either continue to support her or she'll have to figure out a very different way of living. That's not your problem, it's hers.

It was six months. Don't beat yourself up and try to resist the urge to make this say something about your life or future. Go try again. But for long term piece of mind and happiness remember that your financial goals are just a means to an end.

Unless your desired end is FIRE by yourself, you may want to think about being more flexible. It's not that you are wrong, but that being right is not sufficient to wind up happily partnered.
Last edited by Tamarind on Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bottlecap
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:04 pm

Opinions here will run the gamut, but most will empathize with you on this forum.

Breaking up over a $40 dinner is extreme.

Breaking up over the fact that your partner spends far more than he/she earns and doesn't seem to care is reasonable.

It took me a long time to find a partner that shared similar family and financial values and that was in Tennessee. I married at 35.

You are in California.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by BuckyBadger » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:09 pm

I'll come out and say that both of these people seem to have some issues.

A career in social work is very rewarding and not very high paying. Were she married to someone making a ton of money they should treat it as family income and figure out how to spend and how to save. Her desire to have a 50k car on a 35k salary isn't appropriate. However, this is only one side of the story and I'm not convinced the OP is telling the entire story.

Because someone who spends 36k yearly on a salary of more than 250k is also not living a balanced life. And to claim that a $40 meal is going to prevent him from reaching his savings goals is ludicrous. If he wants to be a super saver and save 90% of his salary that's totally fine. But that's not normal, and he's going to have to be very particular about who he finds to share his life with. I consider myself a very good saver and am on track to retire in my 40s and there's no way I'd date someone with the habits of the OP, either.

So since this is clearly a relationship question veiled in an attempt by the OP to get us to tell him that he's "right," I think it's probably time for this thread to die.

Tamalak
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Tamalak » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:11 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:09 pm
Because someone who spends 36k yearly on a salary of more than 250k is also not living a balanced life.
Absolutely untrue if the person in question would prefer to retire early.

I would say a modestly funded life free from obligations is very balanced indeed. Far moreso than owning gigantic luxuries and being too exhausted to enjoy them as most people in his income bracket are doing.

malloc33
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by malloc33 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:14 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:09 pm
Because someone who spends 36k yearly on a salary of more than 250k is also not living a balanced life.
(I'm the OP) Why would my life be unbalanced? As I described, I live a pretty lavish lifestyle, hell I bought a brand new car less than 2 years ago, I just went on an international vacation to Italy, my house is full of delicious luxury food from Costco, I have a iPhone 6s with unlimited phone plan, I live by myself on a 500sq apartment with lots of space for myself, ...

Also, I'm in California, so please make the math on much those 260k after tax turn out to be, the effective federal + state tax rate + medicare/ss will be close to 40%...
Last edited by malloc33 on Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cantos
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by cantos » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:15 pm

malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:16 am
I absolutely respect her life decisions, but the problem is that those are somehow affecting me, in the sense that every time we go out (and she likes to go out a lot) I have to pay for everything (dining, drinks, ...)
There's a song for this. Oh right:GOLD DIGGER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vwNcNOTVzY
malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:16 am
The last straw happened a couple of days ago, when we went out eating on a Monday night (!) because I was at her house and she didn't feel like cooking dinner. Once again, I had to pick the bill for ~$40. I snapped and complained to her saying that my financial goals are very important and I would like to at least split such bills, and she got pissed, started crying (I'm sure she was embarrassed by the fact that she doesn't have the means to sustain this life style). Later, we discussed and she said that my financial goals are more important to me than her, and so it's best to call it off. I agreed.
I wouldn't have waited for her to say let's call it off. I'd have done it wayyy before you did. I tended to know pretty quickly whether a girl was going to be long term for me. The maximum I had for any relationship was probably around 6 months. Had fun, see you later. Some tests: whether she would offer to pick up the bill/how often; whether she would unlock my driver's side door from inside, after I opened the door for her side first (1980s car, no auto-lock). The Audi would be a huge red flag for me.

Married a frugal high-earning chick in my mid-30s. Given your values I'm sure you will end up someone who mirrors your own.

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by MikeG62 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:16 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:45 am

Someone with your income living on 36k a year is a little extreme - but probably not nuts - if you are enjoying life. Without significant changes on each person's part, you and this woman will not make a good team. See if you can loosen up a little and also look for someone who is more aligned with your habits.
+1 on this advice.

You make a lot of money and any significant other you come across who knows that and does not share your frugality is likely not going to be a good match for you (unless you are willing to change your ways). Look, better to find this out now, than have it result in a messy divorce.

If in your shoes, I'd try and not get too attached to someone whose approach to living within their means is so different from my own. I just don't see how that would last.

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:17 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:09 pm
So since this is clearly a relationship question veiled in an attempt by the OP to get us to tell him that he's "right," I think it's probably time for this thread to die.
I don't understand this. You give a detailed opinion, including some psychoanalysis, and then say the thread should be locked because such discussions are inappropriate?

I agree that giving detailed relationship advice or psychoanalysis is off base. I might even agree that some of these posts seem to look for validation. Many financial posts do as well.

But if you are living a Boglehead lifestyle, I think it's reasonable to ask, and receive an answer, as to whether you are going overboard.

JT

stuper1
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by stuper1 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:20 pm

Don't tell any potential girlfriend how much money you make. Just going to cause problems.

Set a budget for how much you are willing to spend on dating. Don't go over it. When the money is gone for the month, or whatever, then you and the girl just have to do things together that don't cost any money, unless she has money to pay. Just tell her you can't "afford" whatever it is that is being considered. As in "can't afford based on your budget", although you don't have to say anything more than that you can't afford it. If she can't live with that, then she's not the right one for you. But also if she is living way beyond her own means, she probably isn't the right one for you.

If things get serious, and many months go by, then you can start discussing financial issues in more detail, such as your high savings rate, etc.
Last edited by stuper1 on Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mariezzz
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by mariezzz » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:23 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:17 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:09 pm
So since this is clearly a relationship question veiled in an attempt by the OP to get us to tell him that he's "right," I think it's probably time for this thread to die.
I don't understand this. You give a detailed opinion, including some psychoanalysis, and then say the thread should be locked because such discussions are inappropriate?
BuckyBadger didn't say the thread should be locked.

cheapindexer
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by cheapindexer » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:25 pm

congratulations and DON"T LOOK BACK
next time, only pay for your share of dinner. She's looking for a human wallet

alfaspider
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by alfaspider » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:28 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:04 pm
Opinions here will run the gamut, but most will empathize with you on this forum.

Breaking up over a $40 dinner is extreme.

Breaking up over the fact that your partner spends far more than he/she earns and doesn't seem to care is reasonable.

It took me a long time to find a partner that shared similar family and financial values and that was in Tennessee. I married at 35.

You are in California.

Good luck,

JT
Agreed. Conflicts about money often aren't really about money per-se, but life philosophies and goals. Frugal people tend to value freedom over material goods. If such a person is in a relationship to someone who prefers a high spending lifestyle, it will result significant anxiety about being trapped. Communication can help if the spendthrift habits are simply due to ignorance, but it's been my experience is that financial ignorance is often a conscious choice that allows spendthrift folks to enjoy their lifestyle.

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by runner540 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:28 pm

malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:16 am
Hello Bogleheads,

I just broke up with my girlfriend of 6 months for financial reasons, and wanted to share what happened with this forum, as it seems to be incredibly difficult for me to find a significant other who shares my financial goals, and I'm wondering if I'm being too strict with my standards and ultimately I'll just die alone and unhappy.

Me:

Age: 31
Location: Sacramento (CA)
Living situation: renting a decent 1bd apartment
Job type: Tech
Income: $260k/y (cash compensation) + ~$250k/y (illiquid private equity given by my company, that I can't sell until there's a liquidation event, which might never happen or be significantly downsized)
Living expenses: ~$36k/y, I diligently invest everything else (~$10k/mo) in a 4 fund Vanguard portfolio.

Her (my ex)

Age: 31
Location: Sacramento (CA)
Living situation: living at home with her family, paying a very small rent
Job type: Social worker
Income: ~$35k/y (estimated)

I met this woman 6 months ago and we hit it off really well, very good personality and compatibility. However, I personally think her finances are a big mess. She lives at home with her parents and blows her entire paycheck on the car payment of an expensive luxury car (Audi Q5, ~$50k), jewelry (~$2k watch, ...) and Starbucks (a couple drinks a day).

I am the complete opposite. I immigrated to the US from Europe in my early 20s and while I can't say I ever starved, I definitely lived through some tough times and I know what it means to be poor, thus I'm hungry for financial freedom, it's really one of the biggest goals in my life. That being said, I like to live a good life: I live by myself instead of roommates, I drive a new 2016 Honda Civic, I dine out a couple times a week and go on one or two long and possibly international vacations a year followed by a few weekend trips here in the US.

I absolutely respect her life decisions, but the problem is that those are somehow affecting me, in the sense that every time we go out (and she likes to go out a lot) I have to pay for everything (dining, drinks, ...) because she essentially doesn't have any money left. Only occasionally she might treat me by buying me ice cream or coffee. And the worst thing is, this same pattern happens for vacations: during these 6 months we went to a couple trips to Southern California and I had to pay for everything, including airfare for two, hotel, gas and all meals. That is putting a toll on my living expenses, jeopardizing my savings rate, and it's becoming incredibly frustrating for me to deal with.

The last straw happened a couple of days ago, when we went out eating on a Monday night (!) because I was at her house and she didn't feel like cooking dinner. Once again, I had to pick the bill for ~$40. I snapped and complained to her saying that my financial goals are very important and I would like to at least split such bills, and she got pissed, started crying (I'm sure she was embarrassed by the fact that she doesn't have the means to sustain this life style). Later, we discussed and she said that my financial goals are more important to me than her, and so it's best to call it off. I agreed.

What do you think?

Thanks!
Agree with the other posters that you and she were on completely opposite spectrums of both income and savings/spending. But you're a numbers person, so be conscious of the "odds" of finding a woman with similar "stats" to you.
(You're already in the top 1% for all households, and the number of top 1% households, that are headed by single young woman, is vanishingly small).

Don't let money become an idol: it's a tool for other things. What will you do when you reah your goal of FI? Try meeting people at those activities (hiking, church, volunteering, etc.).

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:29 pm

I'm surprised that it took six months for the breakup.

cutehumor
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by cutehumor » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:29 pm

Op,

You got out in Time! She wanted a sugar daddy. Someone who will be a provider. If you married, she would quit her job and live off your 260k salary

rgs92
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by rgs92 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:30 pm

She doesn't sound extravagant at all. She sounds perfectly normal financially and like a fine woman. If you love here, love is all you need.

BuckyBadger
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by BuckyBadger » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:30 pm

malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:14 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:09 pm
Because someone who spends 36k yearly on a salary of more than 250k is also not living a balanced life.
(I'm the OP) Why would my life be unbalanced? As I described, I live a pretty lavish lifestyle, hell I bought a brand new car less than 2 years ago, I just went on an international vacation to Italy, my house is full of delicious luxury food from Costco, I have a iPhone 6s with unlimited phone plan, I live by myself on a 500sq apartment with lots of space for myself, ...

Also, I'm in California, so please make the math on much much those 260k after tax turn out to be, the effective federal + state tax rate + medicare/ss will be close to 40%...
Honestly, this just brings your whole thread into question even more for me. To be able to have a "lavish" lifestyle in California on $36k a year doesn't compute for me. But that's not the point so lets not dwell on it.

The point is that this isn't a finance question - this is a relationship question, which is not appropriate on this forum. At best it's a humblebrag.

And to the previous poster, I didn't say anything was wrong with saving that much if you want to retire early. But if you'll read my whole response it's that he's going to need to be very specific about the person with whom he chooses to have a relationship. This is a hard core saver and he needs to be with someone who is the same. This is not your "normal" person. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with this woman that a few life experiences aren't going to change. And since these and all forums are by nature biased since we only see half the story, I'm not going to jump on this poor woman.

Looks like no one else has a problem thinking the absolute worst of this woman, though, so maybe I'm on my own here.

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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by HornedToad » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:33 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:45 am
malloc33 wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:30 am
My real question here would be: is it worth to compromise my savings rate, which might ultimately affect my financial goals, for a relationship, as opposed to keep looking for a partner who is more aligned to my financial goals?

Valid question. I'd say probably both.

Someone with your income living on 36k a year is a little extreme - but probably not nuts - if you are enjoying life. Without significant changes on each person's part, you and this woman will not make a good team. See if you can loosen up a little and also look for someone who is more aligned with your habits.
This. I think OP should decide what he is earning money for? What's his bigger purpose in life. This might not be the right relationship but there are VERY few people who earn $250k+ and live on $35k. Really the only reason to do that *long term* is to plan on being FI within 10 years and retire or switch to a different lower paying job or they just don't know what to do with their money.

Decide what are your life goals and not just financial goals and then see what is appropriate.

Johnny Thinwallet
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Re: Broke up with my girlfriend for financial reasons: crazy?

Post by Johnny Thinwallet » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:33 pm

OP, I can only offer you a story regarding one girl I dated prior to meeting my now wife.

Said ex gf was a financial disaster. Lived in my city with roommates but owned an underwater house out of state. She did have renters but the rent wasn't covering the mortgage so she was losing money every month. She was defaulting on an IRS payment plan for back taxes, had mid five figure CC debt, a $20,000 401k loan, and zero savings. Her income was nearly identical to mine. She also had 50 winter coats, probably 150 pairs of shoes and two closets of clothes with the tags still on them.

One day after we had a non financial related disagreement, she went out shopping to make herself feel better and dropped another $600 on said shopping spree.

We broke up after about four months. Thankfully I never got myself involved in her financial mess and simply only had first row seats to witness her mess.

Locked