"My boyfriend and I started dating in high school. We met my senior year, and dated into my freshman year of college. He’s a year below me in school, so we were doing long distance, and we broke up during my freshman year. You know, we were young, and it wasn’t quite working out. So we were apart for almost 5 years, but then one day I was moving and I found an old photo of us. We started texting and meeting up for drinks, and we’ve been back together for about 6 years.
"At the time, I was making $43,000, and he was interning at the company he works at now, and he was grossly underpaid at his internship. It was like, $10 to $12 an hour."
"He’s a graphic designer at a small family-owned interior design firm. He’s a total right-brained creative. He just wants to enjoy life and enjoy what he does, and he’ll just make what he makes. He doesn’t take finances that seriously, and doesn't think about finances the way that I do. He was raised in a family that never talks about money; his parents were always in debt and never trained him to be responsible with money, so that carried through with him. So he and I see things very differently."
"Financial independence is very important to me. I grew up in a very middle class family, and I’m an only child — my parents were very generous in providing for me even though it was probably beyond their means. You know, the spending wasn’t elaborate, but it was very generous — my parents purchased my first car when I turned 16. When I graduated college, they bought me half of my second car and took out a loan in my name so I could build my credit. They taught me to be very responsible with my money, to never carry any debt, to diversify my money through different savings accounts. And my parents fully-funded my college education; it was right about that time when I realized what a significant investment that was.
"My plan is to make $100,000 by the end of my 30th year. I set that goal sometime in high school. "
"I have pretty significant goals for myself. I really want to be a self-supported woman. I would like to be well-off enough that I would eventually be able to retire a bit early and not have to worry about expenses in retirement, and I’d like to be comfortable enough so I can travel each year and purchase a nice home. And I’ve always enjoyed the freedom that money brings — it’s not about buying a Rolex or a BMW. It’s just about being able to enjoy my life, and knowing that I’m self-funding my dreams and my future goals.
"Hopefully, whether it’s my boyfriend or whatever our plan is to get married, but hopefully my partner’s income would complement mine, and I wouldn’t have to depend on him."
"He’s been actively saying that he is going to get a new job for years, he is aggressively working to get a raise. He is in the process right now of negotiating with his bosses for that potential raise, which would be fabulous, but that conversation has been on and off for a year, so I’m not holding my breath."
"My boyfriend and I are in totally separate places. He is fully supportive of my financial goals and being very aggressive with savings. He just chooses not to adopt the same model for his own personal finances. And for that reason, when we do get married, I don’t think we’ll merge our finances unless he has a dramatic change of heart. Our retirement finances, though, would definitely be combined. I have a really strict budget in place, and we also worked together to get him set up as well. I recently took out a pretty significant life insurance policy, so the cash value of that might help fund our retirement.
"I knew getting back with my boyfriend that I wouldn’t be dating a millionaire. But I also knew I would be with someone who enjoys the little things in life."
"It’s certainly has caused its share of issues — and we’ve broken up and gotten back together several times, and I knew and accepted his stance when we got back together. I’ve dated very wealthy men, and I’ve had relationships where we were equal, and I knew getting back with my boyfriend that I wouldn’t be dating a millionaire. But I also knew I would be with someone who enjoys the little things in life, someone who can make me laugh. I do find, on occasion, that I get very frustrated with his lack of ambition. But it’s okay."
"Right now we split the rent 65/35. We’ve been living together for a few years now, and we recently moved into a brand new apartment complex. When we moved here, we had a conversation about the rent. I brought to the table what I wanted to pay and what I thought was fair, based on my current income, and he came back and said he’d like to contribute a little bit more. I said, if you think you can make that work, let’s talk through your budget and make sure you have a little bit more saved. So that’s what we ended up on. Everything else is 50/50.
"After we moved in together the first time, they discovered black mold. And I’ve discovered a whole host of health issues — things that are affecting me neurologically. It’s been a huge financial expense and emotional drain. It’s been going on for 2.5 years. It started totally out of the blue. One October day, the entire left side of my body went numb. I was rushed to the emergency room and I thought I was having a stroke, but they did a CT scan and an EKG and both came back fine. Ever since then it’s been a total mystery — no one seems to know if it will get better or how.
"I’m working with a lot of naturopathic and functional medicine practitioners which is all out-of-pocket, so my health expenses range anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 a month, between supplements and practitioners. That’s been a huge strain because it’s coming directly out of my savings. I easily could have saved twice as much in the past three years without these expenses. I had absolutely no idea this would cost so much."
"It would be nice to be able to relax a little bit and trust someone else to pick up saving for retirement, or even just saving for our rent."
"I’ve always managed on my own. And I would never take his money for my own illness. You know, if the circumstances were swapped and he had more money, maybe I would let him help me. But given the fact that he really needs to focus on building his career and building his financial strength, I wouldn’t.
"I had always imagined that my relationship would be pretty equal, but it wasn’t until I got into my health situation that I realized that it might not be. You know, it probably will never be equal — and I’m okay with that now. It took some adjusting, but as long as I know that he’s giving his best effort and that we stay on the same page with our goals, it will work. I want to be able to freely travel the world and not have to drain our savings account to do it, and if he is in line with that and working really hard to make that happen too, I’m okay with it.