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Old 08-18-2011, 09:17 AM   #21
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I'd really like to go to the beach this summer (there's still time!) but the boyfriend isn't really cooperating with my efforts for low-cost vacations. He doesn't want to go pitch a tent at a campground for a long weekend. The only way to do the beach is renting something air-conditioned for a full week - otherwise there's no point. I haven't even gotten to the part where I bring most of our food along instead of eating in restaurants. And this is why he's in debt and I'm saving 30%.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:44 PM   #22
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Haha he's high maintenance huh?! Most guys love camping and roughing it!!
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:14 PM   #23
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............ And this is why he's in debt and I'm saving 30%.
Bingo. A number of us here have former spouses with similar appetites for spending money.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:12 AM   #24
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Iím frustrated because I want to go on fun vacations, but my boyfriend is locked into an underwater mortgage and 25k in consumer debt and canít afford it.
Though someone already suggested it, I wouldn't necessary be of the mentality that spending money on your boyfriend's vacation expenses are completely off limits. "Fairness" is not the only thing that matters. If you'd like his company on a vacation and can afford to pay for it, I doubt many here would look down on that. Someone else already mentioned that there are low-expense kind of vacations where you could cover his expenses with minimal additional strain on you.

The satisfaction payoff for sharing/giving of money is reportedly quite high.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:15 AM   #25
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I'm new here, but have a comment about the boyfriend. It actually can work just fine even if you're financially incompatible. My bf and I have been together over 20 years, we own our home together, and have completely different approaches to finances (if you can call his an approach... :-)

We have never mixed our money, and never plan to - even if we marry someday. He cares about our relationship enough to know that it would be unacceptable if he ever fell short on our shared expenses, which we split evenly. He also, at my request and nagging, over several years, saved up 4 months living expenses, and put them into our account we pay shared expenses out of, so should he ever get laid off, he could still cover his share until he found a new job.

Regarding the vacations, our solution when my bf can't afford a pricey vacation is to go on inexpensive vacations. Places we can drive to instead of flying, camping instead of a hotel, ice chest of food instead of restaurants. We did a 4 day "staycation" a couple years ago and had a blast - no hotel cost, ate breakfasts and dinners at home and packed fruit and sandwiches for lunches, but planned full days out seeing local and semi-local sights each day, so we weren't tempted/able to "do stuff around the house". We actually got to see quite a few places that I had on my "I should go there some day" list.

Just wanted to tell you from 20+ years of experience, that it can work just fine :-)
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:53 PM   #26
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It does not matter how much you make. You can retire early and reach your goals regardless.

I would not compare yourself to anyone because they are not you. Each individual has unique issues.

On top of this, its not how much you make, its how much you keep and that is a financial freedom and security.

You can still have fun and go to vacations. Set a goal for that too. Frugal vacations, etc.

Your b/f's financial issues is NOT yours. Although, you are concerned and can help him out.

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Iíve got my 6-month emergency fund, my complete next-car fund, no debt, and 15% going into the 401k. The map for that part of the journey was pretty clear. Iím feeling a little adrift now. Keep saving, yes, but how do you maintain focus when the goal is 20 years away? What are the milestones along the way?


Practically, I need to learn more about investing, but it feels way more intimidating to invest outside a retirement account. Iíll need a house at some point, but I have no interest in being tied down to one any time soon. I donít want to lock all of my resources in retirement accounts because Iíll need some of it before then, but what proportion?


Emotionally, Iím starting to feel guilty because many of my friends are struggling financially and Iím not Ė but they make more money than I do! I am fiercely proud of what Iíve accomplished, but uncomfortable talking about it. Iím frustrated because I want to go on fun vacations, but my boyfriend is locked into an underwater mortgage and 25k in consumer debt and canít afford it.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:09 AM   #27
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It actually can work just fine even if you're financially incompatible. My bf and I have been together over 20 years, we own our home together, and have completely different approaches to finances (if you can call his an approach... :-)
It's great that your relationship has a good understanding and respect for one another.

HOWEVER - realize that there's a difference between "not having the same approach to money" and "beginnings of a fiscal trainwreck"

CTOAUN's BF, while having a different approach to money, is at least considerate enough and caring to respect the other's approach to finances, and is willing to meet at a common ground that is not a fiscal disaster, yet allows the BF to live his life with his view of finances.

On the other hand, Fireandearth's BF already has worked up 25k in consumer debt and is underwater on his mortgage. Anyone can always 'see the light' and get their fiscal house in order...but from the anecdotal stories she has provided, it sounds like there is a pretty big gap in their outlook and views with day-to-day things. As an example, rather than meet halfway on the vacation issue (camping and maybe going out to a restaurant 2 or 3 nights, or splurging on a rental with eating at home most nights), he insists on his high lifestyle despite his significant debt. Seems to indicate he doesn't care one iota about it, and I doubt he has any sort of plan to pay it off in the near future.

Realize that as time goes on, unless there was a singular event that directly lead to the $25k debt (medical bills/laid off for a period of time), there will likely only be more debt, and more frustration at his insistence on needing to spend money (and, thus, growing the debt more) to have a good time.

Have a talk with him and tell him how important it is to you to not only live debt free, but (gasp) to even save money so you can retire early. To people that are oblivious to saving, they can't comprehend how the balance in the investment account brings us more comfort than a week vacation on the beach brings to him. Perhaps it will open his eyes...but if it doesn't, realize that it will take a serious event to make him change his ways (if he would even at that), and that future years will be only more difficult as the debt grows and the lifestyle differences become more sharply divided.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:50 AM   #28
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Boyfriends come and boyfriends go, but fiscal probity abides. Or not. In any case, this type of conflict is the heart of much 19th century literature, so apparently it has staying power and considerable power to generate drama.

Ha
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #29
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I appreciate both CantThinkofAUserName and MooreBonds’ perspective here. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle.



The boyfriend is currently clearly financially incompatible with me as a lifemate, but he acknowledges that he’s made some dumb decisions and is making an effort to get control of his finances and pay off his debts. It would be lovely if he were making faster progress, but it can be rough forming new financial habits. I remember when my debt got big enough to scare me back into frugality back in 2005 (amounting to a whopping $2,500! – I’ve got a very low threshold), and it took a few missteps before I was able to fix the problematic behavior. So I’m trying to be understanding, but I am getting impatient.



My challenge is to keep in mind that I shouldn’t take on his limitations. That’s something I’ve often struggled with in relationships. I clearly need to actually plan a few frugal vacations and trips of my own and let him join in if he’s willing to go on my terms instead of foregoing the trips because he can’t afford to join me on his terms.



I certainly will not be tying my finances to his in any way, but I do still plan to enjoy the time we spend together.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:27 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireandearth View Post
I appreciate both CantThinkofAUserName and MooreBondsí perspective here. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle.



The boyfriend is currently clearly financially incompatible with me as a lifemate, but he acknowledges that heís made some dumb decisions and is making an effort to get control of his finances and pay off his debts. It would be lovely if he were making faster progress, but it can be rough forming new financial habits. I remember when my debt got big enough to scare me back into frugality back in 2005 (amounting to a whopping $2,500! Ė Iíve got a very low threshold), and it took a few missteps before I was able to fix the problematic behavior. So Iím trying to be understanding, but I am getting impatient.



My challenge is to keep in mind that I shouldnít take on his limitations. Thatís something Iíve often struggled with in relationships. I clearly need to actually plan a few frugal vacations and trips of my own and let him join in if heís willing to go on my terms instead of foregoing the trips because he canít afford to join me on his terms.



I certainly will not be tying my finances to his in any way, but I do still plan to enjoy the time we spend together.
There's an easy solution. Your finances are not co-mingled, right? So, you stay on the beach in a tent or whatever and he pays up for a hotel. If he can't afford that, he has to go with your ideas. Also, we are talking about a BOYFRIEND, NOT a HUSBAND, and, although I understand you have a good relationship, you don't really "owe" him anything as far as doing your own thing.........
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:02 AM   #31
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Financial issues usually stem from emotional issues. Just saying that your boyfriend may have something that is making him feel the need to go deep into debt, and if he works this out, he won't feel the need to spend money on frivolous things he can't afford. Tackle the problem, not the result of the problem.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:07 PM   #32
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Take a look at some of the organized vacations (REI, Backroads, Adventure Travels, etc.). A great opportunity for you if your boyfriend can't afford the vacation. Allows you to vacation with people that have similar interests.
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