{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My gf and I are early twenties. She lives in the city with a friend. I live at home. Most of her income goes towards rent and eating out/doing stuff in the city, and I save/invest aggressively, so we have quite a gap in net worth. I try to tell her to cut back on spending but she says it’s what makes her happy. Any one had a similar experience/ have advice?", "post_id": "60554998425bcd002a0f8e06", "reply_count": 202, "vote_count": 38, "bowl_id": "59064a3cb12379001006592c", "bowl_name": "Personal Investment Chatter", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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My gf and I are early twenties. She lives in the city with a friend. I live at home. Most of her income goes towards rent and eating out/doing stuff in the city, and I save/invest aggressively, so we have quite a gap in net worth. I try to tell her to cut back on spending but she says it’s what makes her happy. Any one had a similar experience/ have advice?

likefunnyuplifting
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I used to spend almost my whole paycheck every month when I first started working, but when I got to my late 20’s I started watching YouTube videos & listening to podcasts about financial planning, and that totally changed my lifestyle. When I came to the realization myself that I needed to spend less and save more, it wasn’t difficult to adjust and I actually enjoyed the process and felt accomplished. Also, as I got older, I don’t enjoy spending money on clothes/bags/concerts/dining out as much as I used to, but much prefer to take a nice walk in the park with my SO and try new recipes at home.

My recommendation is to start sharing some resources and see if she’s interested — Graham Stephan, Financial Diet, The Money Guy Show etc. Also any channels regarding minimalist living could be helpful too — it was eye-opening and totally changed how I look at material things.

In fact, a lot of the financial bloggers / youtubers started out as terrible spenders and later came to the realization themselves to become more financially responsible. So I’d suggest giving your GF some time to discover this for herself. A lot of young people were not good with money and just wanted to spend it all but I’m sure a lot of them came to the realization at some point. It’s also much easier with a SO that knows how to save & invest.

likehelpfulfunny

With that said, i think what she’s doing is totally ok given her age and she’s only starting out in her career. Not everyone should expect to live at home and save a large % of their income at such a young age. Gotta live a little bit.

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I had a friend who was like that after university. He lived with his parents back home and saved like 50% of his income. Meanwhile I was a chump and rented my own apt in the city. After two or so years we were hanging out and talking about investments and it was revealed he had $40k saved up!! Which was huge!

Well fast forward many years to today. I have saved up more than I ever dreamed of, and I can say whatever money I spent renting an apt back then is peanuts that would have made negligible difference today.

The thing that matters isnt how long you can pinch pennies and keep living as a child, but how you control your expenses as your income grows as an adult. The first data point from free living off parents to self sustaining adult feels steep because adulting is a lot more expensive than being a child. There are certain fixed costs like rent bills and tax.

If she upgrades her apt every time she gets a raise, or spends all her bonus the day she gets it, then maybe you two aren’t suited long term. But if shes taking her first real income and spending it on real adult things while you are staying on the teat for as long as possible, I mean if you got it use it, but be aware it is on you to eventually make some changes, not her.

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It sounds like you’re trying to control her. She needs to come to the realization herself. You can share resources with her or help educate but telling her to spend less won’t get you anywhere. It’s great that you’re able to save aggressively but you’re also willing to make serious sacrifices to do so. It’s not really fair to expect her to do the same just because that’s your view. Finances are the leading cause of divorce so proceed with caution.

likehelpful

I don’t understand. The guy living at home is trying to educate someone who is living on their own? Is living at home the real world?

likefunnyupliftingsmarthelpful

I’ve made plenty of financial decisions I regret, but choosing to never live with my parents again after college is definitely not one of them.

likesmart

Facts

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I've been the gf in this situation. It didn't feel good dating a guy who lived with his parents and didn't want to spend money (he had no problem spending time at my apartment)

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Had a clown living with me and thought he didnt need to contribute. Needless to say his ass was homeless when I purchased my house.

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“I try to tell her to cut back on spending but she says it’s what makes her happy” literally that sentence is such a red flag to me lol if she’s happy spending money the way that she is then who are you to change her!? Either accept it or break up and find someone who is more aligned to you financially. But stop trying to make her to be more like you because that usually does not end well (either she’ll resent you for it or you’ll resent her)

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OP, it was what her happy she says. Happiness is different from responsibility. Definitely you need a better match. Find someone. There are so many great ones out there. Let her do what she claims to want. Do what you find responsible which is finding the right match.

By saying that is what makes her happy says she is not happy being with you IMO.

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You need to move out of your parents house lol that’s problem number 1

likefunnyhelpful

Totally agree with this. As someone who has done both and came from a culture where it was normal to live with parents until you were 30 or married. Lived at home while in consulting out of college first few years and then left to a big city. It was first time on my own only to return back now temporarily to parents while I relocate due to pandemic. Nothing wrong with living at home for a bit but I do strongly believe you'll grow and develop a lot quicker as an adult living on your own. I never thought I'd move out as soon as I did as it wasn't the norm and none of my cousins or siblings that were older than me did so it was definitely terrifying and tough for me at first. Looking back, it was probably the best decision I've done post-academia.

likefunny

She’s supporting herself financially and you are still living with your parents... I feel like the advice is going the wrong direction.

likefunnyhelpful

Nah!

You’re gonna have to make a decision at some point. Do you love her enough to overlook her extravagant lifestyle, and have enough earning power to support her in the future, or do you think she’s not worth it?

likesmart

Sad state of affairs when an adult who is making a salary & living on their own is considered extravagant.

likefunny

What’s your large gap in NW... like 20k? 🤔

funnylikesmart

Or nice options.

Lol better have that prenup ready if y’all ever get married

likefunnysmart

And then add a challenge where you both spend a certain amount on something other than bills and saving. It’s important to also budget for “fun” if you eventually want to go on vacation, buy new clothes, go out for a celebratory dinner, etc. and OP needs to know how to get through life as a human.
Also, right now rent in any city could easily be 50% of your income on an entry-level salary. As you get further in your career it’s reasonable to expect that rent as a % of your salary will decrease. As long as you’re getting company match on your 401k and don’t have extreme lifestyle creep with every salary increase, the situation described is not objectively irresponsible.

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Dude. You’re 21. Live a little and enjoy your paychecks. You’ll have plenty of time to up that net worth.

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OP, do you think subconsciously this could be your way of rationalizing living with your parents so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on life...and actually has nothing to do with how she’s choosing to live her life and use her income?

As long as she’s not asking you for financial support, I don’t see anything wrong with her behavior. But I do see an incompatibility in both of your financial habits.

likehelpful

Sure it's easy for the person who's still living at home, to tell someone who lives on their own to cut back spending.. The person living on their own would probably have more obstacles to cut back. If I lived at home, it'll def be easy to cut back w/ home cooked meals & cheaper rent.

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Im 21 and she’s 22, recent college grads both working from home. She moved out 15 min from home to “relive” college by spending 50% of her income on rent when she could easily live at home and save. I’ve given her help with setting up an Ira and how to invest, but she just enjoys spending too much. Im not controlling whatsoever and I let her do as she pleases but was just wondering how others have dealt with this

likefunny

I think it’s great you’re very focused on finances so early on in life. That’s something that will translate well in your future. But if she’s 22 I think you have to ease off on her and let her enjoy herself. I miss my early 20’s. It’s a time of finding yourself, which is hard to do when you’re living at home with mom and dad. If in 3-4 years she doesn’t have a few Pennie’s to rub together then maybe have a sit down. But I’d imagine in that time she will start to ease off the gas too.

likesmart

Everything folks said above but also try to get to the bottom of your sanctimonious behavior towards her. Understanding it may do you some good.

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Just remember understanding it does not mean you should stick with it. Plenty of fish.

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You’re living at home, likely rent free, and you’re worried about your girlfriends expenses you also likely aren’t paying for? Sounds like you need to grow up and also get out of her business if you aren’t doing the two things I just mentioned above for her....take this to the singles bowl, chief. Childish.

likesmart

Hope she lets this 🥭

likefunny

i m over 30 not married and still live with my parent..

likefunnyuplifting

I’m Asian as well and went to undergrad 1,200 miles away from home and lived completely independently from my parents immediately after graduation. They didn’t help me with any bills except for my dad allowing me to stay on his health care plan which I’m grateful for. I think I’m much more mature and equipped to deal with the real world than the vast majority of my peers and would feel suffocated, miserable, and like I was stagnating in life if I was living with my parents. Personally the life experience and independence is more valuable than the money I could have stayed by staying at home.

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Op, don’t lose focus on the goal: financial independence as early as you can. Who knows how long you’ll be with her. I was on your shoes before, the energy on this is t worth it. Much of the advice here isn’t helpful. Focus your energy on investing for your future - max Roth 401k, back door Roth, brokerage account, and stack cash for your home purchase. Pickup a hobby that could earn additional income. Don’t think about changing your gf - stay the course and focus.

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Good advice M3!

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