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Monday, February 11, 2008

Generosity on a budget

So, you aren't supposed to keep score in relationships. Still, I can't help it sometimes.

My boyfriend is a poor poor grad student who makes less than half of what I do (stipend). My savings is going up, his is staying flat at best. Naturally, I don't expect him to spend much on us. He is content with not going out to eat much and living quite cheaply, which is great for us in the long run because I'm fairly frugal too. We should never have problems living within our means. Still, sometimes I want treats, so I provide them for us.

This weekend (starting on Thursday) I paid for:
Pizza: $13, a good deal though, for 3 medium pizza's that fed us almost all weekend. I will say nothing about the healthfulness of it...
Sam Adam's White Ale: $14
Lunch at Ikea: $11 (though my fault, since we wouldn't have otherwise been at Ikea and he was helping me pick out and build stuff)
Random Food that we ate: Coffee, cereal, milk, juice, burritos from Trader Joe's.... Plus he made a smoothie that neither of us really needed/wanted (which was much to thick) with my frozen strawberries right before dinner for no logical reason!

Also, he doesn't have a car, so I'm always driving and using my gas. And he definitely ate/drank more of all that stuff than I did.

It isn't that I'm not generous with this kind of thing. I am actually quite generous: "Thanks for coming to Ikea... do you want to stop at the cafe? How about this Mango Sorbet too, that looks delicious!" Then I do my budget, see that I want to save more, then regret my generosity. Ooops.

Then again, how petty is it for me to quibble about $37 spent on "us" when i spent about $200 on me and my apartment at Ikea? It is hard to justify that.

I guess it's the principle rather than the dollar amount. When we stopped at the store to buy juice (potentially for future smoothies or to mix in drinks), he could have paid for it. It was only about $3, so it makes no difference in the scheme of things, but it makes me feel a little less like I'm being taken advantage of. I know that really isn't the case... I offer to do all these things and he would be fine if I stopped. Sometimes I can't help but be bothered by it though.

I guess I need to be careful with my generosity, and really think about it before I offer to pay for things for "us". I need to make sure I won't regret it. Spending money doesn't show love (though, I can't help but think it does, at least a little). I think (hope) that my attitude would be different if we were engaged/married and money spent on us was truly ours and not mine/his. I also think his attitude would be a little different as well. But it just isn't like that right now. It is my money, and if I'm going to share it, I need to make sure I'm sharing it within my budget.

4 comments:

SavingDiva said...

I have a similar situation. However, my bf does do the little things that matter...he'll buy donuts ($1 for two) or little things...

However, my friends has a grad student boyfriend also. He lives in her apartment (but pays rent in another apartment) contributes nothing, uses her car and eats her food. She gets extremely annoyed. I think she should say something, but she always goes back to that he's broke....I understand, but if you're feeling taken advantage of, you should speak up.

SJean said...

I did mention it this morning in a short email and he said we can talk about it later. So, we'll see....

It is hard because like I said, I'll spend $200 on myself and he spends like $0 on himself... So can i really complain about a few bucks?

MEG said...

Of course you can complain! As you said, it's the principle, not the dollars that are making you feel "taken advantage of." You shouldn't be ashamed to feel that way now and then either.

I have SO been there, dating a broke college student whose parents wouldn't help out - while I had a generous allowance from mine. Sure, I offered to pay for everything, and I knew I had to finance any major joint dinners or expenses. But I DID feel taken advantage of, and the truth is (in hindsight) that I WAS. He never asked me to spend a dime, but I spent and spent --out of love. And he let me.

You mention that you can't help but think spending signifies love, and that's the problem. You're giving and giving - love, money, etc - and you don't feel he's reciprocating. But men will get away with whatever you allow. If you spend and spend and never mention it or ask him to pitch in, of course he's just going to assume you're OK with it and let you continue to do so.

If he can't contribute financially, you need to make sure he's doing so in other ways. If you buy ingredients, he makes dinner and cleans up after. If you treat him to a movie, he rubs your feet for 20 minutes (or whatever). Seriously. Your resent will grow and he'll get defensive, and your relationship will suffer if you don't nip this tension in the bud and find an equilibrium.

(PS please for the love of God don't lend him money. I know he loves you, but trust me on this one.)

Johanna said...

The thing you mention that I find most problematic is actually the before-dinner smoothie. You can be in control of whether you buy things for yourself and him or not. But if he's taking food that you bought for yourself and wasting it, that's awfully inconsiderate.

I've been a poor poor grad student. We're not that poor. I could easily afford to pay for the odd dinner out, and save money at the same time. I bet he can do the same.

I've also been in income-disparate relationships, although I've always been the one making less (even now when I make a good salary). What I've found is a good system is "You pay for what's your idea." If I want to pick the restaurant, I pick one that I can afford, and I pay. If my boyfriend wants to take a cab home instead of the bus, he pays, and I don't feel guilty. Granted, that probably works better in dating-type relationships than in daily-living-type relationships.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Generosity on a budget

So, you aren't supposed to keep score in relationships. Still, I can't help it sometimes.

My boyfriend is a poor poor grad student who makes less than half of what I do (stipend). My savings is going up, his is staying flat at best. Naturally, I don't expect him to spend much on us. He is content with not going out to eat much and living quite cheaply, which is great for us in the long run because I'm fairly frugal too. We should never have problems living within our means. Still, sometimes I want treats, so I provide them for us.

This weekend (starting on Thursday) I paid for:
Pizza: $13, a good deal though, for 3 medium pizza's that fed us almost all weekend. I will say nothing about the healthfulness of it...
Sam Adam's White Ale: $14
Lunch at Ikea: $11 (though my fault, since we wouldn't have otherwise been at Ikea and he was helping me pick out and build stuff)
Random Food that we ate: Coffee, cereal, milk, juice, burritos from Trader Joe's.... Plus he made a smoothie that neither of us really needed/wanted (which was much to thick) with my frozen strawberries right before dinner for no logical reason!

Also, he doesn't have a car, so I'm always driving and using my gas. And he definitely ate/drank more of all that stuff than I did.

It isn't that I'm not generous with this kind of thing. I am actually quite generous: "Thanks for coming to Ikea... do you want to stop at the cafe? How about this Mango Sorbet too, that looks delicious!" Then I do my budget, see that I want to save more, then regret my generosity. Ooops.

Then again, how petty is it for me to quibble about $37 spent on "us" when i spent about $200 on me and my apartment at Ikea? It is hard to justify that.

I guess it's the principle rather than the dollar amount. When we stopped at the store to buy juice (potentially for future smoothies or to mix in drinks), he could have paid for it. It was only about $3, so it makes no difference in the scheme of things, but it makes me feel a little less like I'm being taken advantage of. I know that really isn't the case... I offer to do all these things and he would be fine if I stopped. Sometimes I can't help but be bothered by it though.

I guess I need to be careful with my generosity, and really think about it before I offer to pay for things for "us". I need to make sure I won't regret it. Spending money doesn't show love (though, I can't help but think it does, at least a little). I think (hope) that my attitude would be different if we were engaged/married and money spent on us was truly ours and not mine/his. I also think his attitude would be a little different as well. But it just isn't like that right now. It is my money, and if I'm going to share it, I need to make sure I'm sharing it within my budget.

4 comments:

SavingDiva said...

I have a similar situation. However, my bf does do the little things that matter...he'll buy donuts ($1 for two) or little things...

However, my friends has a grad student boyfriend also. He lives in her apartment (but pays rent in another apartment) contributes nothing, uses her car and eats her food. She gets extremely annoyed. I think she should say something, but she always goes back to that he's broke....I understand, but if you're feeling taken advantage of, you should speak up.

SJean said...

I did mention it this morning in a short email and he said we can talk about it later. So, we'll see....

It is hard because like I said, I'll spend $200 on myself and he spends like $0 on himself... So can i really complain about a few bucks?

MEG said...

Of course you can complain! As you said, it's the principle, not the dollars that are making you feel "taken advantage of." You shouldn't be ashamed to feel that way now and then either.

I have SO been there, dating a broke college student whose parents wouldn't help out - while I had a generous allowance from mine. Sure, I offered to pay for everything, and I knew I had to finance any major joint dinners or expenses. But I DID feel taken advantage of, and the truth is (in hindsight) that I WAS. He never asked me to spend a dime, but I spent and spent --out of love. And he let me.

You mention that you can't help but think spending signifies love, and that's the problem. You're giving and giving - love, money, etc - and you don't feel he's reciprocating. But men will get away with whatever you allow. If you spend and spend and never mention it or ask him to pitch in, of course he's just going to assume you're OK with it and let you continue to do so.

If he can't contribute financially, you need to make sure he's doing so in other ways. If you buy ingredients, he makes dinner and cleans up after. If you treat him to a movie, he rubs your feet for 20 minutes (or whatever). Seriously. Your resent will grow and he'll get defensive, and your relationship will suffer if you don't nip this tension in the bud and find an equilibrium.

(PS please for the love of God don't lend him money. I know he loves you, but trust me on this one.)

Johanna said...

The thing you mention that I find most problematic is actually the before-dinner smoothie. You can be in control of whether you buy things for yourself and him or not. But if he's taking food that you bought for yourself and wasting it, that's awfully inconsiderate.

I've been a poor poor grad student. We're not that poor. I could easily afford to pay for the odd dinner out, and save money at the same time. I bet he can do the same.

I've also been in income-disparate relationships, although I've always been the one making less (even now when I make a good salary). What I've found is a good system is "You pay for what's your idea." If I want to pick the restaurant, I pick one that I can afford, and I pay. If my boyfriend wants to take a cab home instead of the bus, he pays, and I don't feel guilty. Granted, that probably works better in dating-type relationships than in daily-living-type relationships.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Generosity on a budget

So, you aren't supposed to keep score in relationships. Still, I can't help it sometimes.

My boyfriend is a poor poor grad student who makes less than half of what I do (stipend). My savings is going up, his is staying flat at best. Naturally, I don't expect him to spend much on us. He is content with not going out to eat much and living quite cheaply, which is great for us in the long run because I'm fairly frugal too. We should never have problems living within our means. Still, sometimes I want treats, so I provide them for us.

This weekend (starting on Thursday) I paid for:
Pizza: $13, a good deal though, for 3 medium pizza's that fed us almost all weekend. I will say nothing about the healthfulness of it...
Sam Adam's White Ale: $14
Lunch at Ikea: $11 (though my fault, since we wouldn't have otherwise been at Ikea and he was helping me pick out and build stuff)
Random Food that we ate: Coffee, cereal, milk, juice, burritos from Trader Joe's.... Plus he made a smoothie that neither of us really needed/wanted (which was much to thick) with my frozen strawberries right before dinner for no logical reason!

Also, he doesn't have a car, so I'm always driving and using my gas. And he definitely ate/drank more of all that stuff than I did.

It isn't that I'm not generous with this kind of thing. I am actually quite generous: "Thanks for coming to Ikea... do you want to stop at the cafe? How about this Mango Sorbet too, that looks delicious!" Then I do my budget, see that I want to save more, then regret my generosity. Ooops.

Then again, how petty is it for me to quibble about $37 spent on "us" when i spent about $200 on me and my apartment at Ikea? It is hard to justify that.

I guess it's the principle rather than the dollar amount. When we stopped at the store to buy juice (potentially for future smoothies or to mix in drinks), he could have paid for it. It was only about $3, so it makes no difference in the scheme of things, but it makes me feel a little less like I'm being taken advantage of. I know that really isn't the case... I offer to do all these things and he would be fine if I stopped. Sometimes I can't help but be bothered by it though.

I guess I need to be careful with my generosity, and really think about it before I offer to pay for things for "us". I need to make sure I won't regret it. Spending money doesn't show love (though, I can't help but think it does, at least a little). I think (hope) that my attitude would be different if we were engaged/married and money spent on us was truly ours and not mine/his. I also think his attitude would be a little different as well. But it just isn't like that right now. It is my money, and if I'm going to share it, I need to make sure I'm sharing it within my budget.

4 comments:

SavingDiva said...

I have a similar situation. However, my bf does do the little things that matter...he'll buy donuts ($1 for two) or little things...

However, my friends has a grad student boyfriend also. He lives in her apartment (but pays rent in another apartment) contributes nothing, uses her car and eats her food. She gets extremely annoyed. I think she should say something, but she always goes back to that he's broke....I understand, but if you're feeling taken advantage of, you should speak up.

SJean said...

I did mention it this morning in a short email and he said we can talk about it later. So, we'll see....

It is hard because like I said, I'll spend $200 on myself and he spends like $0 on himself... So can i really complain about a few bucks?

MEG said...

Of course you can complain! As you said, it's the principle, not the dollars that are making you feel "taken advantage of." You shouldn't be ashamed to feel that way now and then either.

I have SO been there, dating a broke college student whose parents wouldn't help out - while I had a generous allowance from mine. Sure, I offered to pay for everything, and I knew I had to finance any major joint dinners or expenses. But I DID feel taken advantage of, and the truth is (in hindsight) that I WAS. He never asked me to spend a dime, but I spent and spent --out of love. And he let me.

You mention that you can't help but think spending signifies love, and that's the problem. You're giving and giving - love, money, etc - and you don't feel he's reciprocating. But men will get away with whatever you allow. If you spend and spend and never mention it or ask him to pitch in, of course he's just going to assume you're OK with it and let you continue to do so.

If he can't contribute financially, you need to make sure he's doing so in other ways. If you buy ingredients, he makes dinner and cleans up after. If you treat him to a movie, he rubs your feet for 20 minutes (or whatever). Seriously. Your resent will grow and he'll get defensive, and your relationship will suffer if you don't nip this tension in the bud and find an equilibrium.

(PS please for the love of God don't lend him money. I know he loves you, but trust me on this one.)

Johanna said...

The thing you mention that I find most problematic is actually the before-dinner smoothie. You can be in control of whether you buy things for yourself and him or not. But if he's taking food that you bought for yourself and wasting it, that's awfully inconsiderate.

I've been a poor poor grad student. We're not that poor. I could easily afford to pay for the odd dinner out, and save money at the same time. I bet he can do the same.

I've also been in income-disparate relationships, although I've always been the one making less (even now when I make a good salary). What I've found is a good system is "You pay for what's your idea." If I want to pick the restaurant, I pick one that I can afford, and I pay. If my boyfriend wants to take a cab home instead of the bus, he pays, and I don't feel guilty. Granted, that probably works better in dating-type relationships than in daily-living-type relationships.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Generosity on a budget

So, you aren't supposed to keep score in relationships. Still, I can't help it sometimes.

My boyfriend is a poor poor grad student who makes less than half of what I do (stipend). My savings is going up, his is staying flat at best. Naturally, I don't expect him to spend much on us. He is content with not going out to eat much and living quite cheaply, which is great for us in the long run because I'm fairly frugal too. We should never have problems living within our means. Still, sometimes I want treats, so I provide them for us.

This weekend (starting on Thursday) I paid for:
Pizza: $13, a good deal though, for 3 medium pizza's that fed us almost all weekend. I will say nothing about the healthfulness of it...
Sam Adam's White Ale: $14
Lunch at Ikea: $11 (though my fault, since we wouldn't have otherwise been at Ikea and he was helping me pick out and build stuff)
Random Food that we ate: Coffee, cereal, milk, juice, burritos from Trader Joe's.... Plus he made a smoothie that neither of us really needed/wanted (which was much to thick) with my frozen strawberries right before dinner for no logical reason!

Also, he doesn't have a car, so I'm always driving and using my gas. And he definitely ate/drank more of all that stuff than I did.

It isn't that I'm not generous with this kind of thing. I am actually quite generous: "Thanks for coming to Ikea... do you want to stop at the cafe? How about this Mango Sorbet too, that looks delicious!" Then I do my budget, see that I want to save more, then regret my generosity. Ooops.

Then again, how petty is it for me to quibble about $37 spent on "us" when i spent about $200 on me and my apartment at Ikea? It is hard to justify that.

I guess it's the principle rather than the dollar amount. When we stopped at the store to buy juice (potentially for future smoothies or to mix in drinks), he could have paid for it. It was only about $3, so it makes no difference in the scheme of things, but it makes me feel a little less like I'm being taken advantage of. I know that really isn't the case... I offer to do all these things and he would be fine if I stopped. Sometimes I can't help but be bothered by it though.

I guess I need to be careful with my generosity, and really think about it before I offer to pay for things for "us". I need to make sure I won't regret it. Spending money doesn't show love (though, I can't help but think it does, at least a little). I think (hope) that my attitude would be different if we were engaged/married and money spent on us was truly ours and not mine/his. I also think his attitude would be a little different as well. But it just isn't like that right now. It is my money, and if I'm going to share it, I need to make sure I'm sharing it within my budget.

4 comments:

SavingDiva said...

I have a similar situation. However, my bf does do the little things that matter...he'll buy donuts ($1 for two) or little things...

However, my friends has a grad student boyfriend also. He lives in her apartment (but pays rent in another apartment) contributes nothing, uses her car and eats her food. She gets extremely annoyed. I think she should say something, but she always goes back to that he's broke....I understand, but if you're feeling taken advantage of, you should speak up.


SJean said...

I did mention it this morning in a short email and he said we can talk about it later. So, we'll see....

It is hard because like I said, I'll spend $200 on myself and he spends like $0 on himself... So can i really complain about a few bucks?


MEG said...

Of course you can complain! As you said, it's the principle, not the dollars that are making you feel "taken advantage of." You shouldn't be ashamed to feel that way now and then either.

I have SO been there, dating a broke college student whose parents wouldn't help out - while I had a generous allowance from mine. Sure, I offered to pay for everything, and I knew I had to finance any major joint dinners or expenses. But I DID feel taken advantage of, and the truth is (in hindsight) that I WAS. He never asked me to spend a dime, but I spent and spent --out of love. And he let me.

You mention that you can't help but think spending signifies love, and that's the problem. You're giving and giving - love, money, etc - and you don't feel he's reciprocating. But men will get away with whatever you allow. If you spend and spend and never mention it or ask him to pitch in, of course he's just going to assume you're OK with it and let you continue to do so.

If he can't contribute financially, you need to make sure he's doing so in other ways. If you buy ingredients, he makes dinner and cleans up after. If you treat him to a movie, he rubs your feet for 20 minutes (or whatever). Seriously. Your resent will grow and he'll get defensive, and your relationship will suffer if you don't nip this tension in the bud and find an equilibrium.

(PS please for the love of God don't lend him money. I know he loves you, but trust me on this one.)


Johanna said...

The thing you mention that I find most problematic is actually the before-dinner smoothie. You can be in control of whether you buy things for yourself and him or not. But if he's taking food that you bought for yourself and wasting it, that's awfully inconsiderate.

I've been a poor poor grad student. We're not that poor. I could easily afford to pay for the odd dinner out, and save money at the same time. I bet he can do the same.

I've also been in income-disparate relationships, although I've always been the one making less (even now when I make a good salary). What I've found is a good system is "You pay for what's your idea." If I want to pick the restaurant, I pick one that I can afford, and I pay. If my boyfriend wants to take a cab home instead of the bus, he pays, and I don't feel guilty. Granted, that probably works better in dating-type relationships than in daily-living-type relationships.