Being in a relationship with someone who's mean with money can be frustrating, and at times miserable. Certainly it pays to be smart with money, but some people take that too far. What can you do if your boyfriend never gets his wallet out or resents spending any money? Here are some ways to deal with someone who is mean with money …
1. Explore Why
Firstly you should look into the reasons why he is mean with money. His background may explain why he is scared of spending. Perhaps his family had debt problems or his previous partner exploited him financially. Mean people may be that way because they fear ending up in a financial mess, which leads them to the opposite extreme. Unfortunately that makes both them and their partner miserable.
2. Security Blanket
If your partner is mean because he's worried about being broke, then one way of dealing with it is to set aside a financial security blanket for you both. This can reassure him that you will have a cushion in case of emergencies. Your partner may then feel happier about spending money on 'frivolous' things. Put the money in an account that you can't easily access, and agree what it is to be used for.
3. Firmness & Fairness
Be firm when it comes to money. Don't cover all the bills because he's unwilling to spend, or end up paying for things to avoid problems. This is enabling his meanness, especially if his meanness extends to wanting to keep all his money for himself. Insist that he pays his fair share of bills and nights out. If he won't pay his share of living costs, then do you really want to be with this man?
4. Don't Cover for Him
Some people cover for their partner's meanness because they are mortified at the thought of others finding out. You shouldn't hide your partner's mean behavior - it's not your responsibility. Perhaps being embarrassed in public will make him realise how unreasonable he's being.
5. Enjoy Yourself
If your partner pays his fair share of the bills, but doesn't want to spend money on luxuries like evenings out, don't be put off doing what you want to do. As long as you're also paying your share, then you can do what you like with the rest of your money. Go out with your friends and enjoy yourself. There's no reason why you should sit at home doing nothing!
6. Play His Game
Playing someone at their own game can make someone realise what they're like. So you could try following his example. This might force him to realise just how mean he's being. If he counts every cent that he spends, and insists on splitting bills exactly down the middle, do the same. Then if he makes any critical comments, you can point out that you learned from him!
7. Think Carefully before Committing
Ultimately you may have to make the choice as to whether you want to be with someone who behaves like your partner, or whether you should move on. Life with a financial extremist can be very uncomfortable. People are often unwilling to change, so how he is now may indicate that the pattern is set for the future.
Although it makes sense to look after your money, some people go too far. Life should be enjoyed, and you can't take it with you. Find a balance between being mean and being extravagant. Have you ever had a mean boyfriend, and what was the worst thing he did?