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I'm a saver, she's a spender
Old 09-03-2017, 06:34 PM   #1
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I'm a saver, she's a spender

Hi. Just looking for some practical advice. I'm divorced, two kids, and I've had a girlfriend for nearly a year. My GF is super smart, beautiful, has a professional career and is fun. But she's a spender at heart. She has her retirement savings on auto pilot, budgets to pay off her home repairs, and pays an extra $100/month on her mortgage principal, so that part's great. But she impulse buys online frequently and likes to go to casinos with the rest. I have no issue with any of that. My issue is how she treats my more frugal habits. My AGI is probably 5x hers, so we agreed on starting a joint account where I'd put in the lion's share, and she'd put in a little bit, and we'd use that for joint expenses like eating out, travel, etc. So far it's worked out pretty well as far as sticking to the budget we've agreed upon. My issue is that I feel she's constantly making snippy comments about me being "cheap", dressing like cr*p, not caring enough about brand names, not being impulsive ("spontaneous") enough, etc. The comments are really getting to me, given that my cost of living is way higher than hers, that I pay for almost everything we do as a couple, and that I value the security of a big nest egg way more than the fleeting joy of more stuff, or an extra appetizer. Any advice here? I've tried to address this before, but it seems to keep happening.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:37 PM   #2
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:39 PM   #3
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:40 PM   #4
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:41 PM   #5
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:41 PM   #6
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New girlfriend whose values are more in line with yours.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:47 PM   #7
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Wow, pretty unequivocal advice. Thanks guys. I'll take it into consideration.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:47 PM   #8
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New girlfriend whose values are more in line with yours.


Yep.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:50 PM   #9
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You're not compatible and don't agree about a major issue in life. Apparently what hers is hers and what's your isn't yours to spend or NOT spend as you like.

It won't get any better, any minute now Walt will come along and give you a real life example of that.

She might be all the good things you mentioned but she's not the one for you. I'm sorry for your loss as you obviously care about her. It's over even if you don't want to admit it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:52 PM   #10
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It's only going to get worse. Not better. Maybe taking a little break and letting her know why. If it bothers you now, it's going to eat away at you later. This is a major red flag to me. You earn 5x what she does...you are paying for everything.

It's obvious you're upset over this but I think you know it's not working. I'm sorry...can't be easy.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:56 PM   #11
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RenoJay, What happened when you "tried to address this before"? Did you tell her that what she is saying is bothering you? If someone is making snippy comments about your life style that is not showing you respect.
I would not have a joint account with someone I've known for less than a year.
I know it can be hard to find a kindred spirit but you need to find someone that appreciates you, all of you.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:56 PM   #12
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Just to expand, do you think there's a chance of her changing? It's easy to hope, but you need to be realistic. And assuming she doesn't, do you think you'll be able to accept it? Sounds like you're getting less tolerant (rightfully so), not more.

Makes my thread about different food tastes seem pretty trivial.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:57 PM   #13
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Not only are her spending habits different from yours, but she seriously disrespects you. Over time you will cave, or have to confront what this says about her feelings for you. John Gottman has studied this, and he calls it contempt. He says it is a major divorced predictor.

Ha
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:00 PM   #14
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Wow, pretty unequivocal advice. Thanks guys. I'll take it into consideration.
You said she used the term "cheap" and said you "dress like crap", so you might "consider" that she judges people by what they wear and how much money they spend on "fun" stuff. Are these your values? People's values don't normally change IMO.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:02 PM   #15
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Run +1

I completely agree with all the others. This is a MAJOR lifestyle choice and habit. You're way too generous as it is! I recommend also seeing a counselor (you) to sort out how to choose the right woman going forward. It's great that you are not already married (again) to the wrong person. Good counselors will help you analyze why you are engaging with the wrong type of person. Making fun of you? That's so disrespectful. Why is she with you, for your wallet? as she snipes about you to your face and possibly behind your back.

There's a lot of great women who would enjoy your same lifestyle. If you are on an online dating site, put it out there that you are frugal and enjoy building wealth instead of impulse spending.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:03 PM   #16
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Not only are her spending habits different from yours, but she seriously disrespects you. Over time you will cave, or have to confront what this says about her feelings for you. John Goffman has studied this, and he calls it contempt. He says it is a major divorced predictor.

Ha
Not to nit pick but just in case anybody wants to look this up, his name is Gottman. There is a famous Dr Goffman but he's in a different line of work
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I'm a saver, she's a spender
Old 09-03-2017, 07:05 PM   #17
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I'm a saver, she's a spender

There's science on this one. Differences in spending habits are one of the key signs of incompatibility. Others are timeliness and cleanliness.

So spenders can get along fine with each other (until the money runs out), but not with savers; and vice versa.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:12 PM   #18
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Hi. Just looking for some practical advice. She has her retirement savings on auto pilot, budgets to pay off her home repairs, and pays an extra $100/month on her mortgage principal, so that part's great. But she impulse buys online frequently and likes to go to casinos with the rest.
I'd give her some credit for saving to retirement and budgeting for repairs. But the casinos part is a concern, unless it truly is an occasional pleasure thing (disclaimer: gambling is not something I can identify with as a fun thing to do). As others mentioned, the much-more concerning issue is the comments she has directed at you about your lifestyle.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:14 PM   #19
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She reminds me of my ex-wife without the working/saving part.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:20 PM   #20
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Dump her. If the differences bother you now, they will feel much worse as time goes by. Plus, it sounds like she likes your money more than she likes you. After trying to do so myself when I was young, I am a strong believer that you cannot change people. Accept them as they are, or, if the differences bother you enough (and that must be the case if you are asking for relationship advice here), dump her!
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