Dear Abby: I have been dating my boyfriend for two years. He is applying to graduate school, while I am applying to medical school. He’s wonderful and we talk often about marriage and our future. Both of us have student loan debt, which we are aggressively working to pay down, pulling long hours at work.
My problem is, he thinks nothing of planning weeks-long, extravagant vacations for us. I make twice what he does, but I prefer saving for the obvious debt in my future and taking shorter, less-expensive vacations. He relies on his “strategic financial planning” to compensate for his “I want it all, and I want it now” personality.
When I express my hesitancy to go on these long trips based on my personal finances, he offers to pay for everything, which makes me feel like a cheapskate, since I could technically pay for us both easily. Am I unreasonable in saying I’m uncomfortable with either of us spending thousands of dollars that would be better spent setting up our future together?
– Vacation Scrooge
Dear Scrooge: I wish you had revealed more information about your boyfriend’s “strategic financial planning” because I’m sure many people would be very interested. However, if he’s investing in the stock market, he should know that it’s like an elevator – investments not only can go up, but they also can come down, and there are no guarantees regarding investment results.
Before this relationship goes further, I URGE you and your boyfriend to seek not only couples counseling but also financial counseling. Few things are more destructive to a marriage than money woes, and you both need someone to explain exactly what the philosophy of “I want it all, and I want it now” will mean for your future.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.