Dave Says: On Having A Partner Who Is Irresponsible With Money

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Posted: Oct 16, 2020 9:31 AM
Dave Says: On Having A Partner Who Is Irresponsible With Money

Source: AP Photo/David Goldman

Dear Dave,

My boyfriend lives in a different state, and I’m planning to move there when we get married. I know I love him, but sometimes he is not what I consider to be responsible with money. There have been times in the past when he has taken out small loans or paid bills late in order to buy something he wanted. How can I talk to him about this? 

Heather

Dear Heather,

If it were me, I think I’d make sure things move a little more slowly in the relationship until he gets his spending under control. Sometimes when things like this happen it’s just a situation where a person needs to learn the benefits of budgeting and handling money in a mature, responsible way. You can’t do something if you haven’t been taught how to do it, and hopefully this is the case with your boyfriend.  

You mentioned marriage, so that tells me you’re both taking this relationship seriously—that you’re in the process of making sure you want to spend the rest of your lives with each other. Bring it up gently, and tell him why you’re concerned. Share your hopes and dreams for the future with him. You might even offer to help him make out a monthly budget. That way, once he understands the process and value of spending money on paper before the month begins, it will be easier for him to stick to it.

Good luck, Heather!

—Dave