It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Love vs. Money” who wrote in last week about her concern about moving in with her boyfriend who makes significantly less than she does and has quite a bit more debt. She worries that with him, she will not be able to continue living the lifestyle she’s worked hard for and grown accustomed to. After the jump, she explains more about her situation.
Ok, first, thank you ALL for your comments… I really appreciate them. I really needed to hear from unbiased people who didn’t know me. I’ve read them all and have a couple of answers/points of clarification.
First, of course my boyfriend and I have talked about finances. We talk about it all the time; it’s to the point that we are tired of talking about it. He takes the approach that “things will get better — they have too, hard work always pays off.” And I am like “show me the plan.” Someone in the comments hit it on the nail. The difference in us is planning. I don’t think he isn’t going to get better financially. I just can’t take someone’s word; I know he is trying but I need to see the plan. Different planning styles is the key difference between us and I believe the reason for our different financial situation.
The boyfriend is just starting to face his debt reality and starting to get a handle on things. He got a financial adviser on his own and is beginning to look at the full picture. But the reality is, that it’s a little late and the issues have escalated. I think a poster mentioned “money maturity” and that hit it on the nail. His ex-wife handled all the money and he just gave her the check so he didn’t know how to do stuff like that. He is the sole provider so in terms of the hierarchy of bills, providing food, electricity for his family was a lot higher than student loans. (So that’s how the student loan garnishment came into play).
In terms of moving to Atlanta. We both would be transferring jobs through our same company. I would be doing a lateral transfer with the same pay and position. He WOULD be moving with a job, with the same contractor company. There actually may be opportunity for him to be in a Sous Chef training position. He thinks it will be better move for his career and will open him up to a new market.
Someone mentioned a lifestyle conflict and that is completely is right! It not just income I am placing value on — it’s more about lifestyle. We have the typical blue collar vs. white collar lifestyle conflicts. Balancing expectations are what I need to do; I’m just not there yet. I still expect the fancy dinners and vacations. I don’t think my mind has caught up with the fact that he just can’t afford it. But I respect or try to be compassionate about his situation because I have dated the “high dollar assholes” and I surely don’t want that.
He does give me intangible things that I couldn’t buy and that no other man has ever given me: companionship, unconditional love, support, laughter, and I can absolutely undoubtedly be myself around him. So you see why this is sooo hard for me.
Well, good luck with your decision! Keep us posted.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at email@example.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.