Do relationships work when one is wealthy and the other is in debt??

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  • This is a really interesting thread and I’ve enjoyed reading through it. Although my boyfriend and I don’t really have money issues, I’ll add my tuppence worth. We’ve been together about 9 months and he earns about 1/3 more than me. He is quite old fashioned and likes to pay for things when we go out, but I did find this difficult to get used to at first as I’d been alone so long and was used to paying my way and fending for myself. When I stubbornly tried to put notes in his pocket he would get offended and eventually we ended up having a big discussion where he explained that he goes out to work every day to earn his money and if he wants to spend it on me then I should let him – he’s not doing it out of a sense of duty because I earn less. Now we have a sort of unspoken arrangement where I’ll make some token contribution, so if we’re going out for tea and a film he’ll pay the £25 or so for the food and I’ll get the cinema tickets (more often than not Orange Wednesdays 2 for 1 so only about £7!) This casual arrangement works for us for now while we’re both still living with parents and have high disposable incomes, but I fully expect things will become more official and evenly balanced if (hopefully when) we move in together.

    It seems that from reading through this thread, the higher earner tends to WANT to treat the other, it’s just a case of the lower earner struggling with this and not wanting to be seen as a sponger. My boyfriend and I have discussed this and as long as he knows that I’m willing to pay my way then I’m happy to let him pay – I just always make sure I remember to say thank you!
    Weightloss: 14.5/65lb
  • rjm2k1
    rjm2k1 Posts: 650 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    icka wrote: »
    Hi Guys

    As this is the DFW board, then Im assume the majority on this board are in debt?. I need to ask a serious question about relationships in regard to finances.

    Do relationships work when one partner comes into the relationship with nothing (well not nothing - a load of debt) and the other is a home owner, is quite well off and comes from a wealthy family.

    Myself and two girlfriends of mine are in or have been in similar suitations. Moving in with someone to their house, where everything in the house belongs to them. From the beginning it puts you on uneven pegging. It also is difficult when the OH enjoys four to five or even six trips abroad a year for holidays, golf etc. And you just cant afford to go, even if the OH offers to pay for flights, accommodation etc. You still need spending money.

    I am constantly having to turn things down because i simply can not afford it.

    I just want to know has anyone else been in this suitation, can relationships like this really work out? Or should you be responsible and get debt free before you enter into this type of relationship?


    Just need advice please

    vs the opposite choice of a relationship with someone else who is in debt, better to be on a more level "pegging"? or benefit from the fact you will probably have lower living costs and therefore be able to pay off your debts (and not worry about someone elses too) sooner? Ok you won't have your "own place" but then you wont have paid for one either so nothing lost apart from more debt and maybe a foot on the housing ladder which you probably can't afford at the moment anyway. People these days don't get married at 18 and build lifes together from scratch, very often they are at different points in life when they get together and that point in life has nothing to do with the other partner.

    It really depends on how much of an issue you make out of the difference rather than how much he makes out of it. Of course if he decided that it wont work because you can't keep up then there's nothing you can do but it doesn't sound like he has issues with it from your posting.
  • icka
    icka Posts: 216 Forumite
    Thank you so m for replying everyone - I am really enjoying reading everyones opinion on the subject. I just paid off myover draft yesterday and at the moment I only owe £1400 left on a car loan and £4500 for college in September.

    I really have been trying so so hard to sort out my debt over the last two years and have managed to pay back £8000. I also have not bought clothes or shoes (my massive downfall) since Christmas. I have been to four weddings this year and recycled all the dresses from ones in my wardrobe, same for shoes. Also did my hair,nails and tan myself saving £1000's .

    I am not an expensive girl and since I have begun my DFW journey I will never be again, I cut up my credit cards two years ago and only buy when I actually have the cash or do without.

    So maybe Im not such a bad catch :o . I never expect to be taken out to expensive restraunts or anything like that. Much prefering a walk on the pier or along the beach.

    Im feeling alot more positive about the whole thing.

    Th:o ank you
    Thread softly becuase you thread on my dreams
  • I have been with my OH over 6 years now, living together for just over 2.5 of those.

    We decided to pool our finances from the word go. I have always since we have lived together earned more than him. When I get a pay rise, we get a payrise, when he does, we do.

    We get a small amount paid into our personal accounts from the joint account where our salaries go ever month for personal spending. This started due to the fact he smoked and I didn't, and I resented him buying cigs out of our joint account ;) He has now given up!

    I have never ever considered the money taht goes into our j/a to be anything other than ours, and nor has he.

    Good job too, he's just been made redundant and is in line for quite a nice pay out which i'm looking forward to spending on stuff for our house ;)


    We do however joke about winning the lottery endlessly - he always says I would still have to work and earn my keep if he wins (I never play), I always retort I would just join a health club and spend all day every day there so he thinks I'm working ;)
  • ~Jem~
    ~Jem~ Posts: 130 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I've just read through all the posts on here and as far as im aware (its late and im tired!) no one has made the point that im about to make.

    A lot of us seem to have a problem with the OH 'looking after' us and we dont want to feel like a sponger, there in control etc etc.
    But put yourself in there shoes. Say you were so financially confortable that going to a shop and spending £40 on top up shopping, having 6 holidays a year etc was the average joe's equivalent of struggling for one holiday and spending £40 on a whole weeks shop.

    If you met someone you loved and cared about, and enjoyed there company, wouldn't you be offering to pay to take them here there and everywhere with you?
    If i had money and wanted to go out for dinner, but my fella was skint, id pay because i want to go!
    And if they turned round and said 'i feel like a sponger' i doubt you'd see them as that.

    As long as they know you WOULD pay your way if you could then there is nothing wrong with letting them treat you.
    It's kinda like the woman typically doing the cooking, cleaning etc because most blokes are rubbish at it, similar sort of thing anyway!!
    Started DMP Oct 2011 - £7082
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  • Jem I completely agree! If I earned enough that I was paying for everything I wouldn't worry about it in the slightest, as I said in my post we share all our money :)

    My ultimate goal in life at present is to go part time, I *hate* working full time hahah. I actually fantasise about it the way most women fantasise about being on a deserted island with celeb of choice!

    However, at present it is not an option so I have to continue working full time :D
  • Badger_Lady
    Badger_Lady Posts: 6,264 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I would hardly call myself wealthy :rotfl: but I have worked very hard (and been very frugal!) to get a good salary, a lovely big house and a spanking car. Which possibly makes it worse.

    Boyfriends seem to cost me a bomb! I haven't yet been out with anyone who comes close to my "affluence" and, because I want to share my lifestyle with them, I end up paying out double for everything.

    Recent example - my idea of a fun and cheap holiday is to work as a steward at festivals. I get free entry and about £120 paycheck, but usually pay out about £80 on transport, food etc. When I recently took my (unemployed) partner with me, those costs rose to £160 with him receiving his own paycheck.

    Now, it's got nothing to do with "not understanding a budget lifestyle", believe me I've been there! But it's the fact that I feel drained, like all my hard work to give myself the lifestyle I want is just being soaked away by some leech.

    I met my recent partner about 3 months ago. I kicked out a lodger and we agreed to leave the room empty so that partner could move in (and start paying rent once employed). He also had to travel up and down the country a few times (guess who paid?), and in my show-off dating style I tried to take him out and show him a good time. Combined with paying all his other living expenses while he was with me.

    When I checked my bank balance last week, I was £1,500 in the red, after having been debt-free and comfortable for over a year :mad: (I should point out that the original debt was caused by a man and I wasn't even showing off to that one).

    Forgot to mention - he keeps mentioning me to other people as "she's, like, a millionaire!!"

    I'm sorry but he is so dumped!
    Mortgage | £145,000Unsecured Debt | [strike]£7,000[/strike] £0 Lodgers | |
  • I agree with a lot of above. it does depend on both attitudes to money and saving. My now husband and I went to uni and so both ended up with debts. He always assumed he would have debts the rest of his life so spent and spent, wouldn't open bills etc whereas i would try and put savings away. Ok i had a better paid job but not in the beginning. it is a strain when mortgages etc interfere and there can be resentment. but determined not to let it get in the way of our relationship i got us to sit down and go through finances. we split everything proportional to our incomes rather than half and half and even set up a joint "holiday/emergency" saving account and well as a personal saver for him and each year he gets a raise some of the extra goes into that. now only 18month later he is virtually debt free, has a very healthy savings account and is more confident and independant. funnily enough he now spends less because he likes being so much in the black! less flowers for me! if there is love and respect there is a way round anything without making anyone feel less of a person. :beer:
  • Staciep88
    Staciep88 Posts: 590 Forumite
    In my situation:

    I met my partner 2.5 years ago and he was in approx. £9000 worth of debt and had just been made redundant and he was basically a full time drunk! I was in no debt - had a new car - a good job - had savings and lived at home.

    I foolishly moved in with him at his parents after about 6 months and starting not turning up for work becuz of the distance and generally not wanting to. In the end I quit and stayed at home with his mum watching day time telly! I did however start working again as I hated siting at home, I starting working for my dads company. I sold my lovely new car and bought an old one (big mistake) to save money. I even ended up with £1000 debt on my credit card. (I had had a credit card before I met OH) Which I have nearly paid off now and Ive got a new car again! :o

    And I can now proudly say that we are now living together in our own rented accomodation, and are planning to start a family in January. He has now been working for 1.5 years at my workplace and earns a good wage. He doesnt even drink now and his debts are down to approx. £6000 (see sig) but I can honestly say that (not being big headed) if it wasnt for me he would be in twice as much debt!

    I would say that debt and money arent the problem, its the people with the debt and money and how they handle the situation. In my case its worked, there are still arguements that we have about money every now and again (like when he wastes money on DVDs) but thats nothing major.

    Don't give up before you try is my advice - its only money :o
    xXx
  • Been reading this with interest - am single parent - struggling with debt etc - and have new ish - partner who earns in excess of 4x my salary/income.

    Been together for over 5 years, we lived together for a bit of that (3 years) and I insisted in splitting everything 50/50 - just seemed fair. After a while tho I found myself just getting into more debt - as he can treat himself to everything/anytime (an exaggeration I know) and keeping up is difficult.

    I try hard not to resent things - but having to pay 50/50 kills me!

    We have spoken about it a few times and he seems to understand - part of me just doesnt know how to cope. He's generous as well, don't get me wrong - but I often find myself overcompensating for my lack of funds with silly dramatic gestures.

    His last pay increase was more than my salary - I burst into tears! Poor lamb he couldnt get it at all.

    I wonder sometimes if the shoe was on the other foot would I jsut have a joint account? Dunno - I would like to think that its pooled - but our finances are completley seperate - I have to say it is easier now we are not living together anymore - but often wonder if my frugality just feeds the need for the 'additonal funding for treats/food etc' I need when he is around.

    That makes me look at myself and wonder if I don't secretly resent the lack of even footing we have.

    He thinks I am amazing with money - drr - most folk live on restricted budgets don't they?

    I think I would prefer it if we split things per income - but then again I guess his lifestyle choices/career etc have meant he has a higher disposable income, I guess my lifestyle/choices (some of which I had chosen for me ie single parent) have led me to having a limited income whilst supporting my family.

    I try and be postive but sometimes its very hard - like living out of the freezer all week and cos he's up at the weekend we will prob have curry etc and I will split it half ways - or sort of be expected to - you know I get the curry/you get the beer, wine etc.

    Then again I haven't just done an expensive travel up to see me ..... its a murky pond indeed!! I just feel like a giant killjoy most of the time!!
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925 we were getting there. :beer:
    Total debt as of 28/4/19 £7867.38:eek:
    minus 112.06 = £7755.32:money:
    :money:Sleeves up folks.:money:
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