I want to marry my boyfriend, but he has $25,000 in credit-card debt and leads a financially reckless lifestyle

  • Written by MarketWatch
  • Published in Economics
Dear Moneyist, I really love my boyfriend and I think that I’d like to marry him, but at this point in our relationship, we aren’t exactly “financially compatible.” I am teacher with a credit score of 790, no debt, and a small, but decent amount of savings. I’m planning on buying my first home next year. I don’t make a ton of money, so I am pretty frugal and I really try to just spend it on the things I really need and want, and do without the rest. My boyfriend is an engineer making more than twice what I make, but he has no savings and lives paycheck to paycheck. He has $25,000 in credit-card debt, a truck payment, and child-support payments. As far as I know, he isn’t able to pay down his debt at all. His divorce was finalized this year, so some of this financial reality is new for him, and I think it has been difficult for him to come to grips with it. Also see: I’m 81 and signed over my life savings to my son to manage my finances, but now he’s keeping all my money[1] I’ve asked him to get some free financial counseling, but he says he knows where his money goes so he doesn’t need it. I told him point-blank he should get rid of his truck, and get a car cheap to own and maintain like I have, plus save on payments, gas, and insurance, but he says he loves the truck too much and he owes more than the truck is worth. I’ve encouraged him to go back to court and try to get some of his divorce renegotiated, because he claims his ex-wife’s income was grossly understated in her divorce papers, but he says he can’t prove it so there is no point. On the one hand, there are all his excuses. On the other hand, I honestly haven’t had the financial issues that he has to deal with, so I don’t even really know where he should start. I want him to get his financial house in order so that we can get more serious, but I don’t know exactly what that would look like. I want to stop offering passive financial advice, and want him to stop offering passive excuses. I want us both to do stuff that works and actually become financially compatible. Any ideas? Stuck in rut with a boyfriend in debt Dear Stuck, He can start by making a plan to pay down his debt[2]. You are one of the few people who have written at the right time. Maybe 90% of the letters to the Moneyist arrive after the damage has been done: The inheritance has been stolen[3], the divorce papers are signed[4], the deeds of the house have been changed[5]...

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