My long-term boyfriend is cheap, should I stay?

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  • #785553 Reply



    I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 3.5 years now. We had our ups and downs as we are opposite personalities, but we made it work until here. But there is a thing that is always on my mind – he is stingy.

    He has a very good job. He never accepted to tell me how much he earns (this always turned into big arguments), but I know he is earning much more than me. We are splitting the rent (although I pay 25 $ less than him, it was negotiated very long), every other time I am paying for our meals when we go out, I always pay for my share when we go on vacations. When I was unemployed, I was still paying for my meals. Now for Valentine’s day, I paid for our meals because “it was my turn”…

    Recently, he insisted on splitting an insurance bill for our apartment. I was so turned off by this. He always wants to split everything and I think like I am his financial partner. I was soooo repulsed by this offer, especially that he referred to the amount as “peanuts” and still wanted to split the bill.

    I have plans to have a family with him, but at this point, I do not know if this man can support me (when needed) and my kids without asking me to contribute 50%. To me this is such an immense turn off. I come from a country where we are poor, but we are not stingy. He does not make things better because he mentioned that if we are a family one day, he does not see why he would pay by himself for the vacation of the entire family.

    I am trying to adapt to this but I feel I am at the finish line…I am not a materialistic person, but I don’t know if it is worth the risk to venture into a family life with a cheap person..

    #785555 Reply

    Anon 2

    You live together?? So why do you think you shouldn’t share bills????

    #785558 Reply


    I had to dump two cheap guys in the past three months.

    Financial issues often end marriages… if he can’t disclose his salary after over 3 years of dating… he’s got more cheapskate moves coming for you after he locks you down in a marriage.

    If I were you I’d move out. You’re his roommate. He’s looking for someone to split bills with so he can save his cash.

    Dump this sucker.

    #785561 Reply


    Most people who are financially stingy are also emotionally stingy. Is he?

    #785563 Reply


    I don’t see why he should pay for you? Thats a really old fashioned view and lifestyle to be holding in 2020. If you want that kind of relationship you need to find the right partner for it and not just expect any man to be like that. Have a talk with him and see if you guys can somehow compromise. Otherwise i would look for someone else who is more alined with you in that regard.

    #785568 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I agree with the point that if you are living together, you should be sharing the responsibility of bills. You’re complaining that he thinks you’re his “financial partner” but if you share a household, you ARE financial partners, in my opinion. However there are men out there who pay more to support their wives/girlfriends, especially if they’re earning more money. So it sounds to me like you two are not a good match in this regard.

    I agree with you that the fact that he won’t tell you what he earns is troubling. He talks about you having a family but won’t tell you his salary? That would bother me too. And, from the way you describe it, he seems a bit too rigid about splitting things. I don’t live with my boyfriend, but we try to share the cost of going out, or traveling, etc. However we’re not super rigid about it. I agree it would be annoying if he were totally splitting every penny and counting everything, which it sounds like your boyfriend does.

    And, the fact that he wanted you too continue to pay for things when you were unemployed — that seems crappy too. He should have been more flexible and generous.

    Overall I think this is just a matter of personal preference. I agree men and women should be financial partners in a household but I also think there needs to be flexibility and generosity. It sounds like your boyfriend is lacking those qualities. He is the way he is, so you have to decide if you can live with him, or not.

    #785571 Reply


    I would never be able to be with a man like this, as I had the opposite where he would blow/spend it and it was an EXHAUSTING 20+ year marriage!!!

    A partnership isn’t 50/50 where contributions come in different forms that are not solely based on $$$. When one is overly focused on it, especially to the detriment of their partner, then you are going to have a very skewed, unbalanced and miserable marriage if you go there. He seems to lack ’empathy’ where one out of the ‘goodness of their heart’ should want to help the other during a tough patch without a thought. If he earn’s more than you there should be no reason why he can’t contribute more that way if you are contributing in others that would cost money if someone else did it, such as cleaning, laundry, etc. Equity is not based solely on $$$ but how you work together on the overall ‘goal’ such as building a life and retirement TOGETHER [key word] not “keeping score” because when you get to that point the rest is all down hill from there! Been there, done that, won’t do it again!

    I think the two of you need to sit down and figure out what’s truly important and see if you can come to a ‘meeting of the minds, because if the two of you are not on the same page over key issues such as finances, and others too such as parenting, etc., the book is going to have a very bad ending.

    #785572 Reply


    The biggest red flag I see here is after 3.5 years and living together you STILL fight over the fact he won’t disclose his salary!! He wants to marry you and raise a family, yet wants to keep secrets? At the same time, I’m not one to expect a man to pay everything for me and do think you should be “financial partners” just as you are partners in everything else together. That would mean paying your half of household bills (such as the insurance bill on your apartment) and paying your half of food, meals out and vacations. I’m not sure why you are so repulsed by his asking you to split a mutual bill. It’s not like he’s asking you to pay half his car insurance, it’s half for an apartment YOU BOTH LIVE IN!!

    My suggestion is you sit down and talk to him and ask how he feels if the two of you have children and you were to stay home with no salary, would he have a problem paying all the bills? Also, if you are plan to work after having children, why would you have him pay for the entire family vacation? Why would your salary not go to support the household?

    You say you are from a poor country. May I ask if you are sending money back home to your family? If you are there is obviously nothing wrong with that, but you can’t expect to use all your money for things you want to do and then expect him to pay all the bills, and the vacations. I’m not sure why you think that’s fair. If you were living alone you would be paying all your own bills, so why is splitting them so repulsing to you?

    #785576 Reply



    Thank you all for your advises. It is very useful to read them.

    Maybe I should have been more explicit in my post: the bill to be shared is 18 EUR, so, yes, i find it cheap to ask me to split such bills. He once asked me to split a 4 EUR bill for a food that we shared.

    I am earning around 1.700 EUR, while he is making more than 4.800 EUR. I don’t think our bills should be 50%/50%. If I would have been in his situation, I would not ask him to share 18 EUR bills. Moreover, when he was unemployed (and getting state benefits higher than my salary), I hosted him free of charge for 8 months. I never asked a dime. We also went on vacation with my parents (who saved for a few months for this trip) and my parents paid all for us, while he never offered to buy a meal or pay one night at the hotel.

    #785579 Reply


    It doesn’t matter how much the bill is. If it’s a household bill and you agreed to split them what’s the issue? It should be even LESS of an issue if the bill is low!

    Why didn’t you mention the fact before when he was unemployed for 8 months you paid all the bills? Did he not do the same for you? You said when you were unemployed you still had to pay for meals but was he covering all the other bills like rent, electric, etc during that time? And why would you host him for free if he’s getting benefits of more than your salary?

    And if your parents offered to include him in their vacation and agreed to pay for all of you then why exactly should he offer to pay? If they didn’t want to take him on their vacation they didn’t have to!!!

    Sorry so many questions but your last post left me with more questions than answers!!!

    #785582 Reply


    I’m not seeing the issue either. If you’re splitting the bills, you’re splitting the bills. I think your issue is with the fact that his salary is higher and therefore his contribution should be larger? I don’t disagree with that, but what is he getting in return? Usually in these instances there has to be a larger household labor contribution, etc. On your part. Are you Willing and able to provide that? And that would probably change the dynamics of the relationship. Ive been in these 50/50 bill splitting relationships and I would often lose interest in going out with the man. Often I felt the person wasn’t so interesting if I had to spend all this money on them:) I would rather go off and do my own thing with the money.

    #785584 Reply


    Yes, Alia, you are right. I have an issue splitting the bills in half when I earn significantly less. And, yes, it bothers me that it comes to splitting bills as low as 18 eur.

    To Kaye: When I was unemployed I did not live with him because he wanted me to pay for the rent, which I could not afford. I stayed in a very cheap apartment with many roommates. This happened before his unemployment. I offered him to stay in my apartment during his unemployment because it is a normal thing to do for me.

    My parents did not offer to pay for everything. They just asked us if we want to go on vacation with them. My parents paid for everything at the end because they are too humble and shy to ask for money (it is a cultural thing). But it was not understood that we are going on vacation on my parents’ expense. I eventually reimbursed my parents for our share, but he never offered.

    #785588 Reply


    This doesn’t add up to the point where I’m wondering if it’s fake. As someone else asks, why did you “host” him (whatever that means exactly) when he was unemployed if his benefits were more than your salary. You say you always pay for meals when you go out but on Valentines it was your turn. Huh?

    If I were living with someone unmarried I would expect to have an agreement of 50/50 household costs. However, I would also expect my boyfriend to “take me out” separate to this, not as part of a deal we’d agreed but because he enjoyed treating me. Whether he feels 50/50 is the correct basic agreement and whether he is stingy are not necessarily the same question.

    #785589 Reply


    You seem to have a lot of resentment pent up from this whole thing. It seems as if you really feel he should be contributing a lot more. And that the parents simply didn’t ask, but expected him to contribute. I think this guy is not the guy for you if you’re going to have all these expectations of him. He may be making two and a half times your salary, but that by no means put him in a position that you seem to assign to him. He is by no means a millionaire. I would tread carefully and maybe try to improve your own financial situation before I blew this relationship up, however I would ask him how the finances would be if you were to have children and unable to work due to it. See what he says.

    #785592 Reply


    Well then the issue seems to be he isn’t afraid of asking you to pay half of a bill or half of a vacation while neither you nor your parents will ask for it!! All you had to do is say, this is how much I reimbursed my parents for our share of the vacation your half is $X. Why are you scared to ask for half of your bills? Don’t expect him to offer, tell him what you want just like he does!!

    And if he stayed with you during his unemployment that means it didn’t cost you any more to have him there other than maybe food. You would have paid the rend, utilities, etc. You could have asked for his half of the food when he stayed with you just as easily as he asked you when you were unemployed living with him!

    In life you have to ask for what you want, no one is going to just hand it to you! This sounds more like your problem now than his!!

    #785615 Reply


    I don’t understand why people are so harsh on OP. I can see perfectly well where she’s coming from, and I am always all for splitting the bills and financial partnership. Maybe it’s because my ex boyfriend was like that. Isabelle, while I think that you should split the 18€ bill, I agree that asking about 4€ receit is a bit silly, to say the least. Not even offering to pay for a meal on vacation where everything was paid for is just embarrassing. I don’t think you’re resentful that he earns more, as someone suggested, I think you’ve had enough of all the small things like this that added up and it’s just blowing up now. I split everything 50/50 with my current partner too (quite literally, when we go for our weekly shopping, he normally pays with a card, say, 100, and then I immediately make a transfer to give him 50 back). But if I have a worse month finacially, he would go shopping himself and not even tell me about it, just to take some pressure off my back, to give an example. This has nothing to do with gender roles in a relationship, it’s more about seeing a couple as us vs. the world, and not me vs. you. Having someone’s back, building a future together, or even basic decency, empathy and manners. I understood Op as saying that while this is what she’s offering in this relationship (for example, when he was unemployed), she’s not getting anything like that in return. I don’t know what to advice, but I can say that my ex is an ex for a reason.

    #785618 Reply


    The vacation with the family sounds so familiar that i think you posted about this issue before. I found both of you a turn off. Him for being an over the top accountant and you for having an 50ies attitude about him supporting you. You are clearly not compatible and this issue will never go away. And if he doesnt want you to know his salary after 3 years he doesnt really view this as a partnership

    #785620 Reply


    I think you should get out of this relationship and find someone more compatible.

    This issue just isn’t going to go away. He feels that everything should be 50/50 and will continue to make sure of that no matter what.

    There are plenty of men who have no problem taking over more of the financial aspects of the relationship.

    Quite frankly, this is a topic that has no right or wrong answer,its more of what works for you and your partner.

    The current situation doesn’t work and hasn’t worked for you for some time. I see no reason to keep fighting about it.

    #785665 Reply


    I think even if you sit down and discuss with him, his basic nature won’t change. he will always expect you to pay for your trip in life. and he will pay his. and at times, sponge off you if you allow him to. but he will never ever pay even a dime extra for you. that’s obvious from his behaviour. what is also cheap here is this formula doesn’t apply to him. he is ok at times accepting freebies from you and your family. but he will not let you have even one dollar from his side. hes very rigid when it comes to sharing his expenses with you. but not so rigid when you spend for him. that’s obvious and doesn’t reflect too well on him. while I am ok with sharing of general expenses with you partner, I would never be happy with this kind of rigid behaviour and obvious refusal to spend even one dollar on you.

    he is not going to change. its his nature. I think you need to figure whether you would be happy with such an arrangement with your partner for life? if kids fall sick, the medical expenses, their clothes, their schooling, etc. its all going to be shared equally. since your as much of a mother as he is the father to the children. is this ok with you?

    #785674 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I agree with Tammy. His basic nature won’t change; and yours won’t either. You are obviously uncomfortable asking him to give you money when you’re in situations where he doesn’t pay (like the vacation with your parents, or when he lived with you when he was unemployed– you say he didn’t offer to pay, but did you ask?). You blame it on “cultural” reasons, I don’t know if that’s all it is, but the bottom line is you are uncomfortable asking him for money.

    But, he is also rigid and stingy and sounds pretty awful with his penny-pinching. And I would find his hypocrisy extremely irritating– he’s perfectly fine taking free stuff from you and your family, but won’t spend anything extra on you. That’s a terrible quality in a partner.

    Shoshannah also has a good point– at this stage in the relationship, when you have been together for years and are living together, you should be a unit and have a “us” mentality. Yes you share expenses as a couple, but you should be generous and accommodating of your partner. He obviously does not have that mentality. What if you get married and lose your job or have some other stressful financial situation? He has demonstrated that he would not have your back.

    I don’t see him changing. So you have to imagine what your future would be like with this guy and decide if you could live with it.

    #919367 Reply

    Margaret Grisczenkow

    It is just cheap behavior (his) and I do not see how persons here write such harsh comments towards his partner who clearly is dealing with a very rigid and stingy person.

    #919489 Reply


    I married someone like that and it didn’t end well. It got worse when we had our son. He gave me very little but kept questioning what I did with the money. $525 was what he gave me a month and tuition for our son’s preschool was higher than that but he thought it was a lot. He also made twice what I made but insisted we split 50/50 on everything. I couldn’t take it anymore as I didn’t feel loved and appreciated. We divorced after 6 years and I’m much happier now. I also make significantly more now after getting my college degree. I’m glad I divorced him. I would never be someone as stingy again.

    #919917 Reply


    I can’t imagine being in your situation where you keep tabs on sharing money. Most people have told you that you aren’t compatible with him. I hope you don’t make the mistake of staying hoping that things will get better.

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