My girlfriend hates my simple living lifestyle.
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  1. #1
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    Default My girlfriend hates my simple living lifestyle.

    Hey,
    I know some of you may think I am a terrible person for writing this, but I am in a very confused state of mind.
    My family is fairly rich, but ever since I got a job, I never depended on them or even borrowed money from them. I like to save money and avoid unnecessary expenses like living in a luxury hotel or a highly expensive vacation. I drive a normal car, and live in a 2 bedroom apartment, both of which I bought by getting mortgage for myself and both the debts are paid off. As of now I have zero debt in my name and my savings are growing reasonably well.
    I have a girlfriend who has been with me since college. She is a really lovable person we love each other a lot. Her problem is or to be more honest my problem is that she loves spending money a lot in shopping and going for vacations. She is from a family which had a lot less money than my family. I don’t know if that has affected her habit of spending money.
    He wants me to change my car and buy a luxury home, but I denied her request. She wanted an expensive European vacation, which also I tried to explain to her that we’ll do it in a few years after making some savings.
    She was visibly frustrated, but didn't say anything. A few weeks, possibly as a retaliation, she went for a big European trip with one of her friends and I was informed only on the day before.
    That trip ended with her spending a lot of money and having a big credit card debt. This is in addition to the auto loan she took for her car and her still paying education loan. She is requesting me to lend her some money, but if I did that, my savings will be emptied.
    If I say so, she’ll believe I love money more than her.
    I don’t know how to deal with this situation. Should I try and help her with debt consolidation and make her pay her debts by herself or should I use my savings?
    You guys may think I am such a bad person preferring money over my girlfriend, but I don’t want her to get ruined by her spending habits and want her to know the value of money. All the money I am saving is for us and the children we may have in the future. But, if I don’t act wisely I may lose her. What should I do?
    Last edited by Cricket; 04-28-2017 at 06:46 PM. Reason: link removed

  2. #2
    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    Personally, I would not pay her debts, if you give in once, you have to give in all the time. Maybe if you DO lend and I say LEND, her the money, you can make some sort of arrangement, since you said your girlfriend and NOT fiancee or wife. She has to learn to take responsibility for her actions and if you do NOT lend her money, and she leaves you then obviously money is more important as well as those lavish vacations, shopping sprees, etc. than you are to her.

    Maybe it's time to have a sit down to talk about your relationship or even ponder that question on your own.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    It's very hard to have a happy relationship when couples aren't on the same page about major issues.

    If you really feel strongly about staying out of debt and not needing to live off your parents' money, then you need to ask yourself how happy you are going to be long term with someone who not only expects you to bail her out of her poor spending decisions, but also will take an expensive vacation as revenge against you or as an in-your-face demonstration proving the two of you are completely incompatible when it comes to money management.

    I'd also be very cautious about getting any more involved with someone who seems to feel the things you have, which seem to be serving your purpose just fine, are not good enough for her.

    Of course I have to state the usual disclaimer about only having your side of the story and not hers.

    Good luck in your quest to figure out your relationship. I do think the two of you need to have a good talk about priorities. Maybe there's room for compromise, or maybe you'll begin to see the two of you might not ever be compatible. I'd be very concerned about getting in any deeper with someone who seems to hold far different values than you do and who doesn't seem to care about paying off her debt.

    We didn't pay off debt for or loan money to our own adult kids. We knew if we ever started that, it would bankrupt us. Besides, we figured if they could afford to blow their paychecks on shopping for expensive clothes they didn't need and entertaining themselves at the casino, they should be able to figure out how to pay their own bills. It's one thing to help someone out who is really trying to make their own way, but something else completely to throw money away loaning it (which of course will never be paid back) to someone who is doing nothing to help themselves out of the mess THEY made.

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    My girlfriend hates my simple living lifestyle. - mortgage for myself and both the debts are paid off. As of now I have zero debt in my name
    Lol, that was us 50 years ago. Learn about compromise - then decide which hill you want to die on (and don't argue about the others).
    In general, about 50% (or more) of your net earnings goes to two things, cars & shelter, so keep those in focus. And forget about the others, ie the 'latte' factor. List your annual costs - eg, car $15k/yr (includes depreciation), shelter $10k/yr etc. Her lattes are probably less than $2000/yr, a very small part of a $50,000 budget, forget that. Instead point out that millionaires usually drive older cars (we hate depreciation).

    And learn to manage debt - screaming 'I'm debt free" is a cool TV Show, and it works for those with revolving consumer debt - but it is not a way to build wealth. Whenever we saved $5000 or so, we made a DP on another house. Whenever a rental house built up $10k or $20k of equity, we refi'd and put that equity into 11% investments.
    Consider the math - if you invest $500/m ($6000/yr) at 11%/yr for 30 yrs you will have $1,350,000. Or, for $1000/m, you get $2.7M - and so on.
    do the math together
    The two of you (the saver & the spender) should sit down, understand the math together, and calculate your 30-year goal - then agree to prioritize the agreed-upon input ($500/m or $1000/m). The reward is that you can freely spend all the rest of your money - lattes, clothes, furniture, shoes, yada - safe in the knowledge that you are on track to become millionaires. That single compromise/understanding eliminated most 'money arguments' for us.

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    Don't loan her the money. Either give it to her or don't. Loans with family or friends rarely works out happily.

    Personally, I wouldn't give her any money. I'd help her set up a budget and payment plan, and see how she sticks with it. This is what I did with my girlfriend-who became my wife. When we met, she lived paycheck to paycheck, had a fair amount of debt, and didn't have any real plan to get rid of it. That's not how I wanted to live my life, so I continued doing things my way while helping her. This was going to be a hill I died on, so to speak. If we weren't compatible financially, it wasn't going to work. She demonstrated the willingness to reign things in, and once we got married I paid off anything remaining.

    One thing I will say, though, is she got me to think more near-future, than the far-future that I already was. I planned to take vacations "sometime in the future". Well, I had the money, so she got me thinking about using it instead of waiting for some far-off date. We took trips that we could afford that wouldn't cut into funds allocated for other things. It became a good balance for us.

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    Registered User MsMarieH's Avatar
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    Not only would I NOT lend her the money, i would actually move on from that relationship because you have different values and different attitudes towards money and spending. This causes enormous friction in relationships. She's behaving childishly and spending in a very immature fashion. It's her own responsibility to grow emotionally, not yours.

    Personally I think you will have dodged a bullet by ending the relationship.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsMarieH View Post
    Not only would I NOT lend her the money, i would actually move on from that relationship because you have different values and different attitudes towards money and spending. This causes enormous friction in relationships. She's behaving childishly and spending in a very immature fashion. It's her own responsibility to grow emotionally, not yours.

    Personally I think you will have dodged a bullet by ending the relationship.
    Or, grow together into a cohesive unit with similar goals. As I mentioned, my girlfriend and I were much like OP's relationship with completely different views towards money. We worked together to form a plan and life goals, and we've been together for 12 years and counting.

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    Registered User MsMarieH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mndtrp View Post
    Or, grow together into a cohesive unit with similar goals. As I mentioned, my girlfriend and I were much like OP's relationship with completely different views towards money. We worked together to form a plan and life goals, and we've been together for 12 years and counting.
    But I think the key difference in your story versus the OP is that your girlfriend was receptive to your philosophy. Clearly that is not the case with OP.

    I personally think that a big reason for many of the divorces in our society today is that people go into marriage thinking they can change their partners instead of recognizing that people can only change themselves.

    (Though I'm reminded of that old joke: Women get married hoping their spouse will change; Men get married hoping their spouse will not - not that it applies in this specific case LOL).
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    I would add to MsMarie's advice - do you see ANY signs that she is willing to change? If not, do you want to keep having this fight over and over throughout your relationship?
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    That's rough. I'd be looking for a new girlfriend, honestly.

    If you bail her out and loan her the money, you just bought her that European vacation you said you weren't going to do just yet. Have you talked to her about these things? Told her you intentionally live a simple lifestyle and the reasons for it? She seems to be a "if you have the money, why can't we buy it" type of person but doesn't seem to understand if you continued on that you wouldn't have the money.

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    First of all, I am sorry to hear about your situation. I understand how difficult it is to be put in a spot where you dearly love someone yet a supposedly unimportant thing like spending habits become a major issue.

    Second, what I can tell you is that you first have to determine for yourself whether she likes you more than your money or if she likes your money more than you. It may sound harsh, but the reality is that there are people out there who see marriage as an easy way out of a difficult life. An easy way to do this is to refuse to pay her loan and see her reaction.

    I have dated several girls who come from very modest families and I have broken up with them in the past because of money issues. One girl I dated had unemployed parents and was working a minimum wage job. I liked her but I knew that I would inevitably support her and her parents. I decided to call it off because there was no way I can support her and her parents unless my own finances are depleted.

    I hate being put in your position but the universe can be quite harsh.

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