Boyfriend will not save money

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Lillyanne11
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Hi everyone,
So me and my boyfriend have been together for 2 years now, we are both 20 and we currently live together but it’s a family’s house so luckily we don’t have to pay rent we just pay bills. I’m at university studying to be a physiotherapist and he’s an apprentice engineer. I moved away to uni when I started however due to Covid I moved back home for the time being and we was offered his house to live in from one of my family members so we did it and it’s been great living together.
Overall we have a really good relationship however we have been arguing a lot recently about money.
This is the problem... So when we met we was 18 both had cars already however his parents bought him his first car which was a decent car and worth around £4000, I bought my own car and got what I could afford at 18 which was an old £600 little clio. Just recently my car was dying on me and I have to travel to work and uni so I had to get a new car. I wanted an Audi A1 but I couldn’t afford it as like I said I’m at uni, working part time alongside this and trying to enjoy life and save at the same time so I settled for something around £5000 on a finance I pay for completely on my own. Prior to getting my new car my boyfriend said he wanted a new car (however there was nothing wrong with his car but all his friends have fast newer flashy cars) we talked about it and due to things we want to do in the near future like a travel, save for a house ect he decided he wouldn’t be able to afford it just yet since he’s still on an apprentice wage and he wanted a more expensive car.2 days after I got my car he’d organised to go look at a car. I went with him and his dad came too and it was an A1 ( what I wanted) however it was faster and all sporty. It was £10,000 and the finance was way too expensive for him so whilst we was there his dad offered to give him this money and said he can pay him back monthly! This annoyed me a little bit as I’ve always got everything off my own back and I think personally if you can’t afford something independently you can’t afford it and it was quite a kick in the teeth that I’m working my arse off and can’t afford that car but he can just go and get it so easily thanks to his dad. Also because of the type of car it’s quite pricey on insurance which is more money gone for unnecessary reason as his old car was way cheaper . However he got the car and after a couple of days I just swallowed my pride and was happy for him.
But then... he started to buy loads of little extra modifications, it’s a very nice car and doesn’t need anything doing to it, it’s expensive enough how it is and he should feel lucky to even have it but he doesn’t and that’s not enough he has to make it even better so he can show it off to all his friends. Each week when he gets payed he’s splashes loads of money on it new exhaust, spoiler, wheels, chips, grills ect. It’s like everything else has just gone out the window and the only thing he wants to spend money on is his car, he has no money saved up at all and seems like he has no intention of saving anything.
I love him and want to be with him but I also want to start saving for my future and doing things I only can whilst I’m young like travelling and I feel like I’m going to save up loads of money to do these things and he’ll have nothing just his car to show off ?
Im not a girl who’s all about people spending money on them at all but because of this car he has basically no money left each month so we never do anything really, can’t afford nights away or holidays and it’s just been Valentine’s day and he didn’t get me 1 thing, not even a card. Which I wouldn’t be bothered about if he made an effort elsewhere like cooked a nice meal or something but no too busy out in his car. Also, he just complains all the time that he doesn’t have enough money and wonders why..
Please give me some advice, I don’t know what to do about this and if seems as we aren’t married or anything that I should be worrying about this ?
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Bio 7
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It looks like a poor attitude from him if he has made the car his new priority. I'd talk to him about getting his sh*t together and if he won't then leave him.
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oglez92
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(Original post by Lillyanne11)
Hi everyone,
So me and my boyfriend have been together for 2 years now, we are both 20 and we currently live together but it’s a family’s house so luckily we don’t have to pay rent we just pay bills. I’m at university studying to be a physiotherapist and he’s an apprentice engineer. I moved away to uni when I started however due to Covid I moved back home for the time being and we was offered his house to live in from one of my family members so we did it and it’s been great living together.
Overall we have a really good relationship however we have been arguing a lot recently about money.
This is the problem... So when we met we was 18 both had cars already however his parents bought him his first car which was a decent car and worth around £4000, I bought my own car and got what I could afford at 18 which was an old £600 little clio. Just recently my car was dying on me and I have to travel to work and uni so I had to get a new car. I wanted an Audi A1 but I couldn’t afford it as like I said I’m at uni, working part time alongside this and trying to enjoy life and save at the same time so I settled for something around £5000 on a finance I pay for completely on my own. Prior to getting my new car my boyfriend said he wanted a new car (however there was nothing wrong with his car but all his friends have fast newer flashy cars) we talked about it and due to things we want to do in the near future like a travel, save for a house ect he decided he wouldn’t be able to afford it just yet since he’s still on an apprentice wage and he wanted a more expensive car.2 days after I got my car he’d organised to go look at a car. I went with him and his dad came too and it was an A1 ( what I wanted) however it was faster and all sporty. It was £10,000 and the finance was way too expensive for him so whilst we was there his dad offered to give him this money and said he can pay him back monthly! This annoyed me a little bit as I’ve always got everything off my own back and I think personally if you can’t afford something independently you can’t afford it and it was quite a kick in the teeth that I’m working my arse off and can’t afford that car but he can just go and get it so easily thanks to his dad. Also because of the type of car it’s quite pricey on insurance which is more money gone for unnecessary reason as his old car was way cheaper . However he got the car and after a couple of days I just swallowed my pride and was happy for him.
But then... he started to buy loads of little extra modifications, it’s a very nice car and doesn’t need anything doing to it, it’s expensive enough how it is and he should feel lucky to even have it but he doesn’t and that’s not enough he has to make it even better so he can show it off to all his friends. Each week when he gets payed he’s splashes loads of money on it new exhaust, spoiler, wheels, chips, grills ect. It’s like everything else has just gone out the window and the only thing he wants to spend money on is his car, he has no money saved up at all and seems like he has no intention of saving anything.
I love him and want to be with him but I also want to start saving for my future and doing things I only can whilst I’m young like travelling and I feel like I’m going to save up loads of money to do these things and he’ll have nothing just his car to show off ?
Im not a girl who’s all about people spending money on them at all but because of this car he has basically no money left each month so we never do anything really, can’t afford nights away or holidays and it’s just been Valentine’s day and he didn’t get me 1 thing, not even a card. Which I wouldn’t be bothered about if he made an effort elsewhere like cooked a nice meal or something but no too busy out in his car. Also, he just complains all the time that he doesn’t have enough money and wonders why..
Please give me some advice, I don’t know what to do about this and if seems as we aren’t married or anything that I should be worrying about this ?
One of the main predictors of success in a long term relationship and even marriage is to be on the same page about finances. Doesn't seem like you're on the same wave length at all.
Why are you still with him? You've done nothing but criticise and berate him in this post.
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by oglez92)
One of the main predictors of success in a long term relationship and even marriage is to be on the same page about finances. Doesn't seem like you're on the same wave length at all.
Why are you still with him? You've done nothing but criticise and berate him in this post.
I suspect the OP will say that she loves her boyfriend and everything else regarding their relationship is fine. I expect the notion of breaking up with him feels very drastic to her.

However, oglez92 does make a very good point. Long term you have to at least be on a similar wavelength to your other half as regards finances, because it impacts on so many things. When you get older and look at larger purchases like buying a house, any tension as regards finances will likely be amplified. As and when you have children, there will again be issues if you feel that, for example, you can't do the things you want to do as a family and/or provide for your children in the way that you want to because of his approach to money. Those are two examples; there are a lot more. It does have more limited relevance now because of your ages and the stages that you're at in your respective careers and lives, but eventually it will become far more important than it is now, so the fact that it's causing issues already is a red flag.

That said, this is far from a hopeless situation. It is not at all unusual for 20 year olds to spend money on things that they want and give little regard to things like savings and longer term financial plans. Part of the problem is that he doesn't seem to have any actual need to save, because his parents will clearly bail him out if he gets into difficulty. That is a sharp contrast to your situation, where you have to graft for things that you want and don't have the same safety net. Given your respective situations it's not entirely surprising that he has the attitude that he does. Simply put, there's no specific reason why he would have a different attitude given the way that his parents support him, whereas you have every reason to have the approach that you do.

As with just about any problem in a relationship, you have to talk to him about it, but you have to highlight the issues in the right way. You have to remember that there is actually nothing wrong with his parents supporting him in the way that they do. That is entirely their prerogative, and as much as it may frustrate you that he has things that you don't as a result (especially the exact car that you wanted), coming across as being jealous of that is not going to help this situation at all. There is also nothing wrong with him having a hobby of upgrading and maintaining his car. The problem is not that he spends money on that. The problem is that he spends all of his money on that. That is again something that you need to be clear on. The focus should be on what you've mentioned; saving for the future and being able to do things like travelling. Even having more disposable income month to month to do things like going out for a meal. Essentially, focus not on what he has that you don't, or his particular situation, but what both of you don't have but could have if he started using his money in a different way.

One additional thing I will highlight is that you've mentioned that he didn't even get you a card for Valentine's Day, and didn't make any effort such as cooking a meal. That suggests a wider issue with you not being enough of a priority for him, and that's a different problem to the financial one. I am very slow to advise anyone to break up with their partner, and I know you'll be very reluctant to do so given that you've been with him a couple of years and you live together, but you do need to reflect on whether you're getting everything that you need from this relationship. Because there are question marks there at the very least. It's not a decision to be made lightly, and you should certainly try to address those issues first, but it is important to critically assess whether this relationship is right for you and not assume that it is because you've been together a couple of years. You are still very young and as significant as a two year relationship feels at the age of 20, you have a lot of living to do and a lot of ambition as to what to do with it in terms of travelling and other plans for the future. Just make sure you're in a relationship that supports you in that regard and not one that holds you back.
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Lillyanne11
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(Original post by oglez92)
One of the main predictors of success in a long term relationship and even marriage is to be on the same page about finances. Doesn't seem like you're on the same wave length at all.
Why are you still with him? You've done nothing but criticise and berate him in this post.
Thanks for your comment. I love him, I don’t want to break up with him and wouldn’t say I’m ‘berating’ him I’m just sharing the problem to get some advice and see what others would think/do in that situation. As I said in the post overall we have a good relationship and he’s my boyfriend and best friend in one but this financial issue worries me about the future.
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nexttime
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This sounds like quite a deep fundamental difference between you!

So what does he envision? Does he want to live with his parents for years and years?

Sounds like a discussion framed around 'so when are we moving out' might be warranted?

Edit: Oh and he's really that bad, make sure you have an agreement with him that neither of you will take on any debt without discussing with the other. Personally I would discuss any new purchase of over about £30 with my partner, though that's because we're completely communal financially.
Last edited by nexttime; 1 week ago
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Lillyanne11
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
I suspect the OP will say that she loves her boyfriend and everything else regarding their relationship is fine. I expect the notion of breaking up with him feels very drastic to her.

However, oglez92 does make a very good point. Long term you have to at least be on a similar wavelength to your other half as regards finances, because it impacts on so many things. When you get older and look at larger purchases like buying a house, any tension as regards finances will likely be amplified. As and when you have children, there will again be issues if you feel that, for example, you can't do the things you want to do as a family and/or provide for your children in the way that you want to because of his approach to money. Those are two examples; there are a lot more. It does have more limited relevance now because of your ages and the stages that you're at in your respective careers and lives, but eventually it will become far more important than it is now, so the fact that it's causing issues already is a red flag.

That said, this is far from a hopeless situation. It is not at all unusual for 20 year olds to spend money on things that they want and give little regard to things like savings and longer term financial plans. Part of the problem is that he doesn't seem to have any actual need to save, because his parents will clearly bail him out if he gets into difficulty. That is a sharp contrast to your situation, where you have to graft for things that you want and don't have the same safety net. Given your respective situations it's not entirely surprising that he has the attitude that he does. Simply put, there's no specific reason why he would have a different attitude given the way that his parents support him, whereas you have every reason to have the approach that you do.

As with just about any problem in a relationship, you have to talk to him about it, but you have to highlight the issues in the right way. You have to remember that there is actually nothing wrong with his parents supporting him in the way that they do. That is entirely their prerogative, and as much as it may frustrate you that he has things that you don't as a result (especially the exact car that you wanted), coming across as being jealous of that is not going to help this situation at all. There is also nothing wrong with him having a hobby of upgrading and maintaining his car. The problem is not that he spends money on that. The problem is that he spends all of his money on that. That is again something that you need to be clear on. The focus should be on what you've mentioned; saving for the future and being able to do things like travelling. Even having more disposable income month to month to do things like going out for a meal. Essentially, focus not on what he has that you don't, or his particular situation, but what both of you don't have but could have if he started using his money in a different way.

One additional thing I will highlight is that you've mentioned that he didn't even get you a card for Valentine's Day, and didn't make any effort such as cooking a meal. That suggests a wider issue with you not being enough of a priority for him, and that's a different problem to the financial one. I am very slow to advise anyone to break up with their partner, and I know you'll be very reluctant to do so given that you've been with him a couple of years and you live together, but you do need to reflect on whether you're getting everything that you need from this relationship. Because there are question marks there at the very least. It's not a decision to be made lightly, and you should certainly try to address those issues first, but it is important to critically assess whether this relationship is right for you and not assume that it is because you've been together a couple of years. You are still very young and as significant as a two year relationship feels at the age of 20, you have a lot of living to do and a lot of ambition as to what to do with it in terms of travelling and other plans for the future. Just make sure you're in a relationship that supports you in that regard and not one that holds you back.
Thankyou so much for that and the time you put in to it! Really helpful and made me think a lot about our relationship and also myself.
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Final Fantasy
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Honestly, I don't know why you're still with this guy? He sounds like an unmotivated loser with zero ambition in life. Here's you making an effort and trying to make something of your life and this guy is just dragging you down. You seriously need a reality check here and evaluate your priorities in life. Do you want a real man or this mummy's boy (note: in this relationship, it appears you are his mother)?
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He should be allowed to modify his car and he is paying his dad back for the car. I don't see the issue
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StriderHort
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Meh, I can see both sides. He's being inattentive and somewhat financially immature which is worrying you. and for your part you come across as resentful and jealous which colours everything else, if he's getting really enthusiastic about something you don't like, well, doesn't bode well.

IMO you learn about debt and value as a teen the hard way, not by your peers nagging you.

Mind you I'd prob chuck someone that spent 10k an an A1 just for taste.
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Lillyanne11
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(Original post by StriderHort)
Meh, I can see both sides. He's being inattentive and somewhat financially immature which is worrying you. and for your part you come across as resentful and jealous which colours everything else, if he's getting really enthusiastic about something you don't like, well, doesn't bode well.

IMO you learn about debt and value as a teen the hard way, not by your peers nagging you.

Mind you I'd prob chuck someone that spent 10k an an A1 just for taste.
Thanks for your response! Well that’s not how I’d want to come across at all and I think on here without knowing a person it’s hard to know what that persons like and in reality I’m a very chilled out girlfriend however this is something that gets to me.. yes initially I was a little jealous of the car (as I think most would be) but as I wrote on this after a couple of days I was just happy for him that he’d got the car he wants. I have no issue with his interest in cars, I like that he’s enthusiastic about something but to spend ALL your money on that 1 thing when you don’t earn much money as it is, is a bit irresponsible in my opinion especially when we’ve spoken about saving for a house and going travelling and he said he definitely wants to do that but spends every penny on the car that’s the problem.
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Lillyanne11
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(Original post by Final Fantasy)
Honestly, I don't know why you're still with this guy? He sounds like an unmotivated loser with zero ambition in life. Here's you making an effort and trying to make something of your life and this guy is just dragging you down. You seriously need a reality check here and evaluate your priorities in life. Do you want a real man or this mummy's boy (note: in this relationship, it appears you are his mother)?
Thanks for your response, I hear you and I do sometimes think this way however my boyfriend does have many amazing qualities and I love him so I think it’s hard to look past that and see reality. I’m also quite a big believer of working things out rather than just 1 thing going wrong and throwing it all away. But yes I will think more about this, thankyou.
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StriderHort
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(Original post by Lillyanne11)
Thanks for your response! Well that’s not how I’d want to come across at all and I think on here without knowing a person it’s hard to know what that persons like and in reality I’m a very chilled out girlfriend however this is something that gets to me.. yes initially I was a little jealous of the car (as I think most would be) but as I wrote on this after a couple of days I was just happy for him that he’d got the car he wants. I have no issue with his interest in cars, I like that he’s enthusiastic about something but to spend ALL your money on that 1 thing when you don’t earn much money as it is, is a bit irresponsible in my opinion especially when we’ve spoken about saving for a house and going travelling and he said he definitely wants to do that but spends every penny on the car that’s the problem.
As said, I can see both, I'm obv reading making observations based on a few paragraphs. When someone invests near 100% of themselves into something that isn't going to go anywhere, that obviously leaves less space for everything else including relationships.

We all like to pretend we're above envy and jealously, but when you're struggling and see someone else just handed something it can sting and ache. Esp when you think they're doing something daft with it (They've likely knocked half of it's value off with their inept ricing)

But in my experience, people just need to make these mistakes sometimes.
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oglez92
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(Original post by Lillyanne11)
Thanks for your comment. I love him, I don’t want to break up with him and wouldn’t say I’m ‘berating’ him I’m just sharing the problem to get some advice and see what others would think/do in that situation. As I said in the post overall we have a good relationship and he’s my boyfriend and best friend in one but this financial issue worries me about the future.
Thats fair enough. Maybe berate was a bit too strong a word to use.

I get the feeling that his family are fueling and enabling his bad habits. Sadly you can't control that.

What would you like to happen? What outcome? Do you think that's something you can change?
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Anonymous #2
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You're jealous his dad bought him the car, its his money he can do what he wants with it, he's young lad that's what they do and he's got plenty of time to save for a house or whatever. Do him a favour and dump him
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Oxford Mum
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When I was your age, I wanted to use my hard earned money to travel, when I had few responsibilities. My first serious boyfriend had never been abroad, and when I took him to Paris ( I was a French undergraduate who had been living in France when I first met him).

He hated it and I could see he was uncomfortable out of his normal zone. Yet France and French were my world.

His priorities were firmly in the car zone too.

He had an old banger which he spent nearly all his time fixing when I came around for the weekends. We never did anything normal like go for a walk and looking back I barely even knew him. He had a friend who came round in his new Astra and they spent all their time talking about cars. Dates used to mean going to car obstacle courses and car rallies. For someone who hadn’t even passed their driving test and couldn’t stand driving this was anathema.

What we are talking about here is not about money or even about cars, it’s the fact that you are young and want sone fun whilst saving for a future, but for him fun is the car. It’s having different priorities.

Of course whilst I was feeling lonely and bored, someone else came along and paid me lots of attention. Plus he was half German ( I had studied German too) and so understood my love of foreign culture.

Of course I finished with the inattentive boyfriend and ran off with the half German guy.

What happened with the half German guy? Well he ended up being a spendthrift, who spent a lot of his money on..... cars.

Maybe it’s just a guy thing.

I would prefer to get some travel in at your age. Whilst he is busy blowing his mind way on cars, save yours and maybe go on a girly holiday with your female friends.

Once your boyfriend has passed his apprenticeship he may have more money to spend and save, but if he carries on being financially irresponsible, and this annoys you, then I would go your separate ways and find someone more sensible and who can actually be bothered to buy you a valentines card.
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It's not just 'only money' and OP it is reasonable to be concerned. If this continues as Oxford Mum suggests, time to end the relationship.
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Lillyanne11
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(Original post by Anonymous)
You're jealous his dad bought him the car, its his money he can do what he wants with it, he's young lad that's what they do and he's got plenty of time to save for a house or whatever. Do him a favour and dump him
As I’ve said I don’t want to ‘dump him’. You’re right it is his money and he can do what he wants with it which is exactly what I’ve said to him, he’s the one to insist he wants to save up and do these things and if he didn’t surely he’d be the one break up with me if it’s not what he wanted ?
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Lillyanne11
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
When I was your age, I wanted to use my hard earned money to travel, when I had few responsibilities. My first serious boyfriend had never been abroad, and when I took him to Paris ( I was a French undergraduate who had been living in France when I first met him).

He hated it and I could see he was uncomfortable out of his normal zone. Yet France and French were my world.

His priorities were firmly in the car zone too.

He had an old banger which he spent nearly all his time fixing when I came around for the weekends. We never did anything normal like go for a walk and looking back I barely even knew him. He had a friend who came round in his new Astra and they spent all their time talking about cars. Dates used to mean going to car obstacle courses and car rallies. For someone who hadn’t even passed their driving test and couldn’t stand driving this was anathema.

What we are talking about here is not about money or even about cars, it’s the fact that you are young and want sone fun whilst saving for a future, but for him fun is the car. It’s having different priorities.

Of course whilst I was feeling lonely and bored, someone else came along and paid me lots of attention. Plus he was half German ( I had studied German too) and so understood my love of foreign culture.

Of course I finished with the inattentive boyfriend and ran off with the half German guy.

What happened with the half German guy? Well he ended up being a spendthrift, who spent a lot of his money on..... cars.

Maybe it’s just a guy thing.

I would prefer to get some travel in at your age. Whilst he is busy blowing his mind way on cars, save yours and maybe go on a girly holiday with your female friends.

Once your boyfriend has passed his apprenticeship he may have more money to spend and save, but if he carries on being financially irresponsible, and this annoys you, then I would go your separate ways and find someone more sensible and who can actually be bothered to buy you a valentines card.
Thank you very much for your response. Yes after giving it some thought just going to try and focus on doing the things I want to do and if he does save and do those things as he’s said he wants to aswell then that’s great and if not I’ll simply do it solo or with others. At the end of the day whatever happens happens and everything will fall in to place
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Lillyanne11)
As I’ve said I don’t want to ‘dump him’. You’re right it is his money and he can do what he wants with it which is exactly what I’ve said to him, he’s the one to insist he wants to save up and do these things and if he didn’t surely he’d be the one break up with me if it’s not what he wanted ?
Just suggest to him to save but you shouldn't be annoyed about him buying a car like his dads got it him and he's paying him back so that's good. Even if his dad just bought it that's fine, some parents do that. As I have said he's a young guy and its common for them to mod their cars.
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