I was sitting down with a friend the other day who is in a very committed relationship. He was crying in his beer – literally. His girlfriend, who he loves, is bleeding him dry. She is not a gold digger, in any way, she just loves to spend and he is trying to keep up with all of the trips to the store. So how to break the news?
Here are 3 ways to let your significant other know that the money is running out and YOU can’t afford them:
1. Be real!
If you are married or heading that direction you have to start communicating about money and, dare we say, right away. You have to show them what is real and what you can or can not afford.
Don’t step on their Money Personality. But it is ok to let them know where you are and how you are feeling about the spending.
Then you can start the conversation like this: “I love you and I want us to have an awesome relationship. We have a challenge that I know we can work through but our spending habits are very different. So do you see the difference?”
2. Set Expectations!
One reason my buddy was feeling so much pressure was due to the fact they went out to eat all of the time, going to movies and many other expensive dates. Now she is a Spender and was use to the lavish outings, so he was scared that she would view him as “cheap.”
So we told him that if he would just set some expectations about going out now, then if they get married, there will be a pattern that is already established. You can start a conversation like this.
“I took the Money Personality Assessment online and I learned I am a Saver/Security Seeker. Um, I think you might be the opposite of that. How do you think that plays itself out in our relationship?”
3. Talk about shared expenses.
Being the man in the relationship I always felt pressure to pick up the check. It was part of the way I showed Bethany I cared for her. And that I would take care of her in the future.
Here was the one problem, I was just starting my career and she was 5 years into hers and making a nice living. One night we talked about it and we started sharing the expenses. It took a ton of pressure off of me and let me enjoy being with her all the more.
By the way, this is true if you are single, dating or married. You can start the conversation like this: “I love you and want to take care of you and I feel all of this pressure to spend all of this money on you. So I am to the point where I am not enjoying our time together. Could we go back and forth – going for a low budget date one week and an upper budget date the next?”
Occasionally, we all need to hear “I can’t afford YOU!!” It helps us reset our spending, focus on what is important, and breathe financially. Sometimes as a Primary Spender Money Personality, I look at myself in the mirror and my wife in the face and say, in an ever so fragile way, “I can’t afford YOU!!”
Make It Happen,