It's not all about money, but...
And what's the deal with that? WHY is he so cheap?
He’s a great guy in so many other ways, but when it comes to money, you’re the only one giving it up.
You haven’t done anything but hang at his place for weeks, so when he finally takes the hint, you’re thrilled to make plans to go out. You borrow a cute dress from a friend, hit Sephora for a new lip color, and make the reservations. Dinner is great until the check arrives.
Strained silence quickly turns into raised voices as you protest, "There is no rule that says since I made the reservations, I pay!" Here we go again!
Last time you went out and he wanted dinner or a movie, but not both. And speaking of movies, what couple your age goes to matinees?
It's frustrating to deal with a man who is so cheap. But, before you leave him to snuggle up with his precious wallet, or worse, you ask Siri "Where can I bury a dead body?" ... consider these 5 things:
1. Consider his good qualities.
It’s not all about money. He is a great boyfriend or you wouldn’t still be with him. He has a ton of wonderful qualities, some you’ve probably never ever found in another guy before.
Remember when you first met. What attracted you to him? Granted "smells great" only goes so far, but there were other things. Big things. Remind yourself of the big pluses in his "swipe right" column.
2. Try to understand where he’s coming from.
He is (probably) not trying to make you crazy. He’s just wired this way when it comes to money.
He has probably been that way since he was a little kid. I’ll bet he hoarded his Halloween candy until the Reese’s cups were hard as rocks (now that's a crime). And he probably saved every nickel he got from his parents in a special box in his closet, like buried treasure.
He doesn’t mean to upset you. He has never thought of his spending habits as a problem. To him, he's just being smart with his money.
3. Consider the perks of dating a saver.
Hmm. What benefits are there from dating a dude who watches what he spends? Well, let's think long-term. Will your cheapskate make you less crazy, if you two:
- Can afford a home sooner than most?
- Can take a vacation without piling up credit card debt?
- Have the option of one of you not having to work when the kids are little?
- Don’t fight about lack of money in front of your kids?
- Can let your kids attend any college they want? Out of state? Private? Overseas?
- Can handle unforeseen emergencies because he always has a financial nest egg in reserves?
- Enjoy a life of travel, adventure, and purposeful living after you retire?
If your boyfriend loves to save, you're both on better footing if you remain together. So, admit it: There are some pretty valuable benefits to living life with a guy who likes to save money.
4. Explore how you feel about money.
We all deal with money differently. So, how do you personally feel about money?
Just like your sweetheart with his rock-hard Reese’s, you have an opinion and an approach to money that's been "your way" since you were little.
Some folks can hardly stand spending a dime, while others see money as a means to the next big, high-risk adventure, and there are lots of viewpoints in between. That's why it's so important for you each to know your "Money Personality" and understand how to get along when yours differ. (Click here to take a free Money Personality Assessment. And, hey, it’s free — your man will LOVE that.)
5. Accept the fact that he won’t change.
He. Won’t. Change. He’s hardwired to save money.
Now he certainly can learn ways to communicate better about his desire to save, and learn steps in order to become more sensitive to your "Money Personality", and the two of you can engage in off-the-charts positive growth as a couple surrounding money, for sure!
BUT, do not think you can change him. His attitude about money is deep in his DNA and it always will be.
So avoid the temptation to strangle your sweetie when he wants to save money. Or, if that behavior truly drives nuts, find another boyfriend who is a better fit. No one wants to fight every day for the rest of their life, right? Either way, just know that your boyfriend isn't wrong for approaching money differently than you do. You just have to decide, together, what you both value most in your relationship and focus on that.
Scott & Bethany Palmer, The Money Couple, are financial planners, authors, and speakers who help couples tackle money issues in their relationship. Grab a copy of "The 5 Money Personalities: Speaking the Same Love and Money Language," and be sure and take the FREE online Money Personality Assessment.