About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Our Financial Philosophy: Or, Grocery Store, Part Deux

Well, due to another three-day holiday weekend, the BF ended up going with me to the grocery store again.  This time, however, we spent $298 which is at the upper end but within the budget that I have been using when I go to the grocery store by myself, PLUS he will be contributing towards half of the pet costs so it looks like things have righted themselves. 

We accomplished this with a one-two punch of 1) him being more sensitive to the fact that since every penny (practically) of my income is budgeted towards a bill, if I overspend there is nowhere else for it to come from, and 2) me being more sensitive to the fact that he makes more money than me, doesn’t want to be restricted to a Honey-sized budget if he can afford more, and he is and has always been perfectly happy to contribute more any time I have asked him to.  He also pays most of our entertainment costs outright (dinner, drinks, movies, that sort of things) and often subsidizes our vacations so I can afford to go.

I did give some thought to Me Think’s comment in my OMG I got a D&B Wallet blog post that the BF is also weird about money, given the complete weirdness of his whole family and the fact that he was not particularly sensitive to my needs at the grocery store.  I do think that it is very, very challenging for him to see things from anyone’s perspective but his own (this is very difficult for me sometimes because my degree is in rhetoric and the whole basis of rhetoric is that you can’t change someone else’s mind unless you can learn to not only see where they are coming from, but respect it), but I don’t think that he’s irresponsible with money.  Here are some of the reasons why:

  • He has not made a single credit card charge in over a year and a half and has paid off over $10K in credit card debt in that same time.
  • He has also not missed a single student loan payment and has paid off over $10K in the last year.
  • He has agreed with me that we pay too much rent and don’t need a pool – we are in the process of looking for a new place that is smaller, cheaper, and closer to my work (he doesn’t care about being close to his, and the locations we are looking for are near a light rail line so he might be able to ride to work).

We have each borrowed money from each other and it’s always been paid back promptly, and we keep a running balance of all our expenses (some things are in my name, some in his) and we settle up any time the balance reaches $100.  He has also (I may have mentioned this in a previous post) come around to my way of thinking as far as home ownership, which is to say that it is for suckers.  We do not ever want to have a mortgage and won’t buy a house unless we can buy it outright (probably upon retirement).  He was previously extraordinarily gung-ho about home ownership so this is a HUGE step forward as far as I’m concerned.

We do not have identical financial philosophies – we disagreed about home ownership for a long time, I would have never rung up a fraction of the credit card debt he had no matter what the circumstance, he chose his profession purely for the money while I am happy to live more frugally because I enjoy my job.  However, we are learning, not only to compromise, which is obviously important (and which I have always understood as giving up something important to you to gain something more important), but also to be willing to change our minds completely, which doesn’t entail giving up anything at all.

If this post made you want to re-evaluate your financial priorities, you might also enjoy:

  • http://20-forty.com/ lisaq

    Finances suck. I think that they are one of the most difficult parts of a relationship to navigate, but it sounds like the two of you are doing a great job figuring it out.

    lisaq´s last blog post…25 Random Things About Me-The Dating/Relationship Version

  • http://www.thedateabledork.com The Dateable Dork

    I’m glad to hear that you and the BF are coming to some sort of mutually-acceptable financial arrangement. lisaq is right – finances are such a touchy subject, but it’s so important to work out disagreements and imbalances. Hope things continue to go smoothly for you.

    P.S. – Are you all better health-wise? I hope those worries are behind you as well. : )

    The Dateable Dork´s last blog post…Cock on the brain

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I am learning that relationships are like the tide – sometimes everything we do annoys each other for 2 or 3 weeks, but then we have this totally blissed out 2 or 3 months, which makes it all totally worth it.

    Things seem great on the health front! I had my gyno do a urinalysis when I went in for my yearly exam, and it came back clean. Hooray! He also gave me 3 months worth of pills for free, double hooray! And the pap etc. came back clean which means the BF isn’t cheating on me, triple hooray!

    Honey´s last blog post…Our Financial Philosophy: Or, Grocery Store, Part Deux

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Yeah it’s tough to talk about money, especially because lately I have been so stressed that every time money comes up, I just burst into tears. But my financial standing should improve greatly in the next week or two, so it’ll be lots easier.

    The bottom line was, if he wants to split things 50/50, that’s fine – he just needs to stay within MY budget. If he wants to buy whatever the hell he wants, that’s fine too – just don’t expect me to pay for half!

    Honey´s last blog post…Our Financial Philosophy: Or, Grocery Store, Part Deux

  • http://www.thedateabledork.com The Dateable Dork

    Glad to hear it! Good news from the gyno is like Christmas morning all over again. : )

    The Dateable Dork´s last blog post…Online dating: who makes the first call?

  • Me Thinks

    Wow, thanks for the shout!

    I think you can be weird about money but not be irresponsible. I myself am weird, I got a huge windfall last year and instead of buying myself some great things (my bf would totally have a new Cayman by now if it were his) I stressed over what the smart thing was to do with it.

    It is fab your man is paying down his debt agressively! HUGE indicator that he is responsible. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of his behavior that is causing the conflicts with you is because he’s excited to finally be out of college, making money, getting on his feet and wanting to splurge a little here or there. Perfectly acceptable…for him, but not you given your state. So I think its great you are working on agreements with this stuff, hopefully that means one day its not really a big deal for you guys. Definitely goes a long way to building a strong LTR.

    I love that you say you are learning to “be willing to change our minds completely, which doesn’t entail giving up anything at all.” Very cool.

    What is your beef with home ownership? My perspective is different, I got a fixer for nothing and sold during the boom, made $65k in 4 years and loved having the house. My current place, I’ll break even if I sell in the next few years but that is essentially like living for next to nothing and getting a big tax write-off.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    Me Thinks, good point about the house. I’ve owned a house and I plan on owning others in the not-too-distance future. I’d love to pick up something at an auction for a ridiculously low amount, but that would require a lot of cash. Anyway, a house is normally a good investment, depending on when and how you bought it. I’m all for investment.

    Honey, you guys are doing solidly with how you handle finances. I’m still bitching that Megan nevers offers to treat me, even though we have the same salaries. What’s the deal, don’t buy the BF dinner because he’s a guy?? Lame.

  • Me Thinks

    Lance, you are exactly right. Its only a good investment if you buy cheap, know your budget and buy within it (key – too many people way overspend) and plan on living there for at least a few years. I watched the housing market of specific neighborhoods before I bought my first and it was a gold mine if you didn’t overspend on improvements.

    I paid off all my debt with a HELOC at a ridiculously low rate and got the tax write-off on top of it. Can’t beat that.