September 24, 2023
Pricey Penny,

My boyfriend is a little bit of an underachiever. He’s 52 and makes $15 an hour working about 25 to 30 hours per week. He has his paychecks garnished for again youngster assist. He says he was injured and couldn’t work a lot when his youngsters had been rising up, so he solely nets a pair hundred every week. He lives along with his dad and mom and doesn’t pay for meals or hire. 

In the meantime, I’m a single mother incomes over $100,000 working two jobs. I’m not tremendous wealthy as a result of I’ve college-age youngsters to assist and a reasonably sizable mortgage. I paid off my boyfriend’s previous money owed, his mobile phone invoice, his auto insurance coverage and all our courting bills, equivalent to leisure and consuming out. It’s getting costly, and I’m going into debt. 

I miss having the ability to go on a few first rate holidays annually. (He says he’ll go along with me, however he has zero funds to contribute.) He actually is a candy man who treats me very well, however I’m beginning to resent this association. Is he utilizing me?


Pricey S.,

Possibly your boyfriend is utilizing you, or perhaps he’s simply actually lazy. You’ll by no means know with 100% certainty what’s occurring in his head. Regardless, although, it sounds such as you really feel used on this relationship. Don’t dismiss that feeling.

One other evident pink flag you shouldn’t ignore is your boyfriend’s delinquent youngster assist. Do you consider he did one of the best he may to supply for his youngsters? If the reply is not any, RUN. Somebody who shirks their duties as a guardian is unlikely to be a great accomplice.

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Let’s assume you continue to need this relationship to work, although. The best approach to determine in case your boyfriend is utilizing you is to shut your pockets. Give up paying for dates. And for heaven’s sake, don’t pay this grown man’s payments once more. Inform him the reality — which is that you must reduce on bills as a result of this relationship is placing you in debt. In case your boyfriend is utilizing you, he’ll bolt fairly shortly.

But when he’s merely lazy, he might stick round, even when he doesn’t put a lot worth in your relationship. Certain, he’ll be disillusioned that his girlfriend is now not functioning as his ATM. However typically lazy folks linger in relationships as a result of they’re getting leisure and affection. In the event you dumped him, your boyfriend would wish to search out these items elsewhere. That requires at the least a modicum of effort.

What you must do is check whether or not he’s keen to match your effort as soon as you are taking cash off the desk. If he does worth the connection, it is a good alternative for him to show it. Ask him to take turns cooking dinner for one another at dwelling or planning cheap date concepts. See if he can provide you with one thing higher than Netflix and chill.

Outearning your vital different doesn’t essentially spell doom for a relationship. What typically is a deal breaker, although, is when your work ethics are fully out of sync. You clearly have targets for those who’re pushed to work two jobs and earn six figures on high of being a single guardian. However some individuals are content material with maintaining themselves fed and clothed, even when it means residing with their dad and mom without end and by no means climbing out of debt.

Although you say your boyfriend is a candy man who treats you properly, don’t give him an excessive amount of credit score. It’s simple to be nice when somebody caters to you, particularly whenever you additionally place zero expectations on them.

Must you resolve to proceed this relationship, it’s important that you just hold your funds separate. Meaning no co-signing for him, no paying his payments and no transferring in collectively.

And when you’ve paid off the debt that you just’ve accrued from this relationship, please take a type of holidays you’ve been lacking. Even for those who’re nonetheless along with your boyfriend, there’s no rule that you must journey collectively. You possibly can take a solo journey or journey with a pal or go on a gaggle tour. Don’t put your life on maintain in hopes that your boyfriend will morph right into a financially accountable grownup.

Finally, you must ask your self whether or not you’re keen to proceed issues kind of as is, with you footing the invoice for each splurge. Possibly you get pleasure from his companionship a lot that you just’re high quality with that. Nevertheless it’s additionally OK to resolve that you just wish to construct a life solely with a accomplice who shares your ambition.

Robin Hartill is a licensed monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your difficult cash inquiries to [email protected].