How do I stop judging my significant other's spending habits?
September 1, 2006 7:44 AM Subscribe
How do I stop judging my significant other's spending habits? (more inside)
posted by onepapertiger to human relations (49 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yesterday, my boyfriend bought this god awful shirt. It's this drab olive, shiny button down shirt that looks like what those South American guys wear when they go clubbing. We got into an argument over it. It was my fault because I feel like he wastes money and it offends me to see him spend money on something so hideous. He defended the purchase saying that he was tired of the clothes he had and that it was only $30. He has more clothes than I do and I can't explain this entirely, but I felt offended that he said he was tired of his clothes. I love those clothes. I think he's gorgeous and that all the clothes he has make him look wonderful. I have specific memories of things he wore and I am fairly attached to the things he wears. Then he went and bought this horrible shirt.
He and I live together. I was scared about moving in together, but I love him and we've been together for a long time.
I know. It's just a shirt, but I cried about it. I hate that shirt! It looks horrible. It makes him look skeazy. I don't share the idea that $30 is a small sum of money. I think $30 could go for charitable purposes or into his savings account. I think $30 is a lot. That morning, he said he was going to take this class that cost $400. The same class is offered at the nearby state university for $300. He wasn't overly concerned about the difference in cost, until it turned out that the private university's tuition didn't cover the cost of materials and the state university covered materials.
I can't spend $10 on a shirt without really, really thinking it over and to me, there's no such thing as just $5.00. There is, however, just $2.00, but even then, it sort of depends on what I'm buying. Here's something else that irks me: He has a broken down car that we never use that he bought a parking space for, at $150 a month. He's a paralegal temp and averages about $40K-$50K a year. He ended up on a sixth month project that might be extended. His job steadily brings in money and there hasn't been one time in a year and a half that he hasn't been working. He works a lot. All the time. I regularly don't see him until 8-9 pm in the evening.
I know when couples move into the partnership phase where they share spaces and their lives, they do argue about money. All of the money I earn is my own. I have a savings account and an IRA. He's older than me, has no IRA and just got a savings account started. He's not saving aggressively enough, in my opinion. I try to keep my opinions to myself. It's his money, his life, his choices. I don't want to later be blamed for trying to influence him in ways that he resents later.
I hate myself for this, for judging him, because I adore him. He's a wonderful man, he holds up his share of the rent and it really isn't any of my business how he spends his money so long as he holds up his share of the rent. But I'm really worried about him and how he spends unnecessarily. He doesn't use or need the car at all (We haven't used it for more than eight months now), it's in need of repair and to me, $150 is a lot of money.
Here's my question: How do I let him just do whatever he does and not get annoyed or offended by how he spends money. We're not engaged or married, so I just don't feel like it's my business or my burden to bear. And I want to stay in this relationship, whether or not we ever get married or not. I just don't know how to not take his spending personally.