Why Your Girlfriend is Making You Broke

Why Your Girlfriend is Making You Broke

Being in a relationship may enrich your life, but it’s definitely doing no favors for your wallet.  Find out where you’re spending the most money on your girl and plug those holes ASAP.

By Jesse Bouche

You’ve been dating for 6 months now and things are great – you’re hanging out regularly, your friends like her, her friends like you and, well, things are good. There’s one catch. You haven’t saved a penny in the last four months and you’re watching your credit card balance climb onward and upward like a balloon on parade day.

Your girlfriend is making you broke. But, how? And more importantly, how do you stop it? Let’s start with how you got here (here being the point where you start stuffing credit card statements into your sock drawer in order to hide from the shame):

She Wants to Go Out

It’s Friday. She wants to leave the house. Nothing too crazy, just meet a few friends for a drink or two at a local pub, maybe have a couple of appetizers and then retreat back home to watch a movie. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Wrong.

Let’s break it down:

  • Return Cab Fare* $20
  • 3 Drinks for Two $50
  • Appetizers $30

*The return cab fare is because you’re not the kind of jerk that drinks and then drives.

For a quiet night with friends you just blew $100. Do that once a week and you’re looking at $400 a month or $4800 a year. Don’t even get me started on full-blown dinners, the movies, big nights out or the tiny little extras like stopping on the way home for a fancy hot chocolate.

Even if you two are splitting the tab now and then, all that socializing can cause some serious damage to your wallet. One to two nights out a week can break you faster than you think.

She Wants to Call You

Don’t have unlimited texting and thousands of included daytime minutes? Too bad, she’s calling and texting you anyway.

I love my lady. I do. But, I still pine for the days when my cell phone usage consisted of a few work calls and the occasional call to friends, which would go something like this:

“Hey, you want to get a drink tonight?”

“Yeah. Bugby’s?”

“Sounds good. Six?”

“Yep. Bye”

Click. The End. Now, I’m renegotiating my contract for extra minutes and all-inclusive texting (more on that later).

She Wants Presents

She’s not an unreasonable girl. She’s not standing there demanding you buy her diamonds and designer purses. She just wants a present every once in a while. That’s fair. Too bad so many of us go way over board on the gift-giving front.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average man will spend $103.00 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. That’s down from last year’s $123, you can thank the recession. Let’s extrapolate that and just say most guys are going to spend between $100 and $120 on a gift for their lady. The problem? There are so many gifts:

  • Birthday $100-$120
  • Valentine’s Day $100-$120
  • Christmas $100-$120
  • Anniversary $100-$120

That’s $400-$480 and we haven’t even started on those little surprises throughout the year or times that call for bigger presents (you’ve been there). Let’s throw in an extra $15 a month for congratulatory flowers or you-had-a-bad-day cupcakes and you’re looking at an extra $180 (and still looking cheap).

She Wants to Get Away

It’s just a quick getaway. You know, a “mini break.” Well, guess what? That weekend skiing trip or drive through wine country could easily cost you well over $1000.

If you’re driving, you’ve got gas and food. If you’re flying, you’ve got plane tickets and all the costs associated with getting to and from the airport (not to mention the obligatory $20 that seems to fly out of everyone’s pockets any time they spend more than 30 minutes in an airport).

Staying in a hotel? That’s a minimum of $100 a night. Make it $200 if you don’t want to hear about how disgusting your Motel 6 bathroom was for the next 3 months. Throw in 3 meals a day for two days ($200 a day for the both of you) and you’ve got yourself one expensive weekend.

I haven’t even started on lift tickets, winery tours, or that helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon she’s always dreamed about.

How to Stop Her Wants from Destroying Your Finances

It’s simple: be honest. If your budget can’t handle going out two or three nights a week, tell her. If you can’t afford a weekend getaway, tell her. Nine times out of ten, she’s going to respect your willpower and how responsible you are with money. If she balks, she’s not the girl for you.

You also have to be honest with yourself. Do you know what you can afford? Do you have a budget and a strong understanding of how much money you have coming in every month? If not, subtract 10-20% of your take-home pay for savings. Now, factor in your bills and regular expenses (rent, cable, car insurance, etc) along with any debt repayment you’re currently tackling. Whatever is left over is how much you can actually afford to spend every month on night’s out and frivolous purchases.

But, and this is a big one, that doesn’t mean you can get away with never going out, getting presents, planning trips or talking on the phone.

It just means you have to go about a little bit differently:

Limit the Night’s Out

Try to limit your nights out to one night a week or even less. If you like the socializing, then something has to give. Either you go out and don’t drink or you start inviting your friends over for drinks and dinner.

During our leaner undergraduate years, an old girlfriend and I used to trade off with three other couples hosting a weekly night in. We’d spring for booze and serve dinner once a month. It would cost us about $100, but it was a fraction of the cost had we spent those nights at the pub.

And there’s always nights in. I cook most of my meals from scratch, I have a Netflix subscription (and an Xbox for Netflix streaming) and a comfortable couch. It’s definitely not the most cosmopolitan of experiences, but it does the trick. Check out The Top 5 Dates Under $15 for some more cheap but memorable ideas, and also A Couch, a Film and a Bottle of Wine for some good wine / movies on the couch pairings.

Renegotiate Your Cell Phone Plan

She’s never going to stop calling and texting. Renegotiate your cell phone plan before you spend a small fortune on over-usage fees. Sorry. $5 for the extra texting plan or $15 in overage charges?  You may not want to spend the extra money on the plan, but you’re spending it anyway when she texts you all the time, you might as well be smart about it.

Save For Your Getaways

You want to get away? Have a little vacation? Fine. Here’s the catch though, you have to save the money first. In fact, you have to save 130% of what you think it’s actually going to cost.

It’s the only way you won’t drive yourself into debt on mini-breaks and quick little trips, plus it’ll make the experience so much more enjoyable knowing you’re only paying for it once (as opposed to the two or three times you could end up paying for something on your credit card).

You’re also less likely to over indulge or spend frivolously with your own, hard-earned and saved money.

Save on Presents

You could negotiate some kind of present limit with her. Or, you could swallow the $480 a year and be a much happier man. Again, sorry.

Jesse Bouche is a grad student and freelance writer working his way towards a debt-free life. Check out his progress over at http://sixmonthstodebtfree.com.

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  • Derik

    Good ideas here. I think a lot of guys either spend way too much or not enough.

  • James

    cool post, thanks

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  • http://carinsurance.cheap-quotes.info Steve

    I generally don’t take the trouble of commenting on blogs but your posts have been always useful. Keep up the good work.

  • reedcarbonell

    Nice post, I always say that to my friends not to spend so much in flowers, gifts, outings, getaways etc. in their girlfriends, if they love you they would actually understand you. What if one day you can’t give those flowers, gift, etc to her, of course you spoiled her it would rather look another guy that will give those material thing. So don’t spoiled your girlfriend.

  • joe

    Here’s what I’ve learned. Instead of saving your money, (she’ll find a way to spend it), just spend it faster than she can. Be a little selfish and buy yourself something nice.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

      That’s certainly one way around it! :)

  • http://getbackwithyourgirlfriend.blogspot.com ex girlfriend back

    the last girlfriend I had pretty much drained me. This is funny I find your post now. I think it would be nice for every once in a while for her to buy or at least split the bill with you. My ex girlfriend would eat half her dinner and then box it up every time I took her out. Talk about using me for a good dinner so she can save money on two meals… I always took care of everything. Well that got old and we are no longer together. You call them out on it and they freak out. I tried the best I could to be nice about it but didnt work. Whatever wrong girl I guess. You Just gave me some ideas for my blog. I will tweet this post here. Good stuff.
    .-= ex girlfriend back´s last blog ..Common Mistakes Men Make With Women =-.

  • http://twitter.com/farid_zenon Farid Zenon

    note this:- this my second articlei read on this site, well think gonna change now i gonna addict to it every single day just like my morning coffee.

    guys you are the MAN!!!!!
    .-= Farid Zenon´s last blog ..farid_zenon: @mohdismail kuasa internet!buat aku terbeliak mata walaupun air liur aku masih dibibir.Link yang aku rasa betul berguna utk bulan ni. =-.

  • http://www.alot4alittleonline.com Don

    Yes sir my girl freind and kids stayed in my pocket so much i started a website so i could make alittle bit back off of my own money LOL. cheap prada bags

  • V

    A recent ex of mine was exactly like this. Wanted to go out for dinner 3 nights a week, always wanted to go to the movies, and I was ALWAYS the one paying for it… (I was making $10/hr and she made $40k a year as teacher) Being a college student living in an apartment by myself, that was not ideal. Not even close. I TRIED explaining to her that I can’t really afford to drop $40 or $50 on dinner all the time and I’d completely be willing to cook up a nice meal at home… She wasn’t hearing it. Long story short, after a while I got rid of her and it was an amazing relief.

    • toriavict

      All women are not like this. I can definitely say that I have bought my boyfriend dinner more times then he has bought me dinner.

    • 1 AlaskanAssassin

      It’s so fucking brutal the way it’s set up. They can just be like “Oh baby I love you..” and then the minute you can’t finance them eating out every night, that true “love” goes right out the damn window and she goes “Oh my, this guy over here has some stuff, can he buy me some stuff?” and they just move on to the next guy, and your’e alone.

      “There is an epidemic, of gold digging whores in this country.” -Bill Burr

  • Concujak

    Just stay single, like any girl is going to put up with a guy who wont spend on her

    Women always have backup beta male pussy beggars waiting in line 

  • Day_is_Over

    Girls think guys are cash machines. Spend spend spend spend spend.

    • rungirl

      Not all girls..be careful.

  • sabretruthtiger

    Women still spend almost nothing and expect men to foot the bill. It’s funny how they’re feminist when it suits them but when it comes to money, suddenly they’re old fashioned.

    • toriavict

      this is false. When I want to go out for dinner I tell my boyfriend that it is on me since its my idea in the first place. The only time I absolutely expect him to pay for it is on my birthday.

      • Albert Kim

        I don’t see how it is false because of your story, since anecdotal evidence is irrelevant. It’s very possible that sabretruthtiger’s point holds for the majority of women. You would be the exception, not the rule.

        • Horsepower69

          What does sabre truth tiger mean

          • realtalk

            for one it’s a play on words for, sabre tooth tiger. There could be other meanings as well stating that he’s the type of person to state the truth, the whole truth and and nothing but the truth

      • AmeRican*51*Luis Arroyo

        Er….Victoria or Toriavic, just because you’re a blessed exception DOESN’T change the norm.
        This is typical lib indoctrination to grandfather everyone into the “positive”column. It also falsely accuses you of singling out ENTRE groups IGNORING the fact you said “MOST” rather than “ALL”.
        It throws a monkey wrench into the discussion.
        1. Most African Americans are academic failures and dropouts.
        Lib answer; ” That’s not true, many graduate and go to college.”
        2. Most Asian American students excel in academia.
        “That’s not true, many struggle.” (This is BS. I’m Puerto Rican American in Newark, and have seen all black high schools and the valedictory awards went to the 3 Asian students! )
        3. Most men are assholes.

        THERE’S NO HOPE.
        Men can’t win!

  • sabretruthtiger

    Prostitutes are cheaper with less hassle.

    • Bruce Wayne

      $120 at the asian whore house.
      If i go once a week, its still cost less than a girlfriend. LOL

    • AmeRican*51*Luis Arroyo

      True,lol. But not if she turns out to be a cop!

      Scumbag pigs preying on desperate lonely men.
      Older lonely men are vilified and portrayed as creepy.
      Older lonely women are “corageous independent women. Better yet, cougars in waiting! Haha😊

  • sabretruthtiger

    Earn your own money women, if not then get in the fucking kitchen and spread your legs when I say.

  • Just A Bloke

    If you’re a couple, then you’re a team. Part of that is sharing.
    Start as you mean to go on innit. So if you don’t wanna end up paying for everything, don’t start by paying for everything. If she’s gotta problem with that, let her go, she can go bankrupt some other poor fella who dunno any better, or maybe she’ll even learn to stop being a sponger.
    Now lads this works both ways, cos some women will insist on always paying for you both. When this happens, don’t take the pee, share.
    Some blokes might think paying for everything is the way to go. But if she’s attached to your wallet, not you, expect her to disappear when it’s empty.
    Ladies, you have a part to play in this. Don’t mug blokes off. You’re special, but if he’s paying for your time, you know what that’s called. If his company ain’t enough to keep you around, then show him & yourself some respect, & jog on.

  • Just A Bloke

    Also, what’s with these expensive nights out?
    Use a bus or tube, with Oystercard it’s easily half the price of a cab. & if it ain’t that far, walk, which is free & good for your health.
    Go to a cheap pub, & don’t drink much. Don’t buy rounds, which means it’s best not to request a drink if someone else is buying a round.
    Get some chips or donuts from a chippy or donut shack. They’re hot, one’s savery, the other sweet, & either one shouldn’t cost you more than £2.
    There are cheap cinemas where you can get change from a fiver.
    Ofcorse, staying in can be cheaper, but going out don’t avta blow the bank.
    Only take a certain amount of money with you, cos you can’t spend what you ain’t got. Ofcorse, that means no borrowing or taking cashcards with you.

  • damnlame

    save money, ditch the bitch.


    Thats why i dont want GF… girls are awesome and cute. but WAYYY to expensive, i preffer buy a car and tune it up, if you will waste money, at least waste it for fun

    • LoneWolf

      At least your cars won’t up and leave you !

    • LoneWolf

      The minute a woman gets bored or feels like you aren’t paying her enough attention – which generally involves spending cash, she’s on to the next guy. Not all women are like this just most.

  • toriavict

    Well this article is completely ridiculous. I buy my boyfriend bday/valentines/christmas presents. He likes going out just as much as I do and I havnt heard him complain once about the cruise we booked for the winter. My boyfriend will say that he spends more money now that he is in a relationship but guess what so do I. Like a lot more. Those xbox games and lingerie aren’t cheap!!

  • toriavict

    Wow, after reading these comments I have a solution for you whiners. Stop dating girls with money issues. There are plenty of financially responsible, independent WOMEN out their who aren’t trying to spend all your money.

    • rungirl

      Thank You! I make 100K+ on my own every year.

  • LoneWolf

    I have a home, 2 cars and all the bills to go along with that. Yes I am single and have extra cash at the end of the month, nice to get out once in awhile. However I have no intention of spending 400 a month to go out because that’s just absurd, better to save that money and take a nice vacation.

  • Andrew Lin

    Or just become solosexual and happy. I became solosexual and before I knew it I had 6 digits in my account and I can’t be happier.

  • tickedgal

    A good deal of these comments are really…really…mean, even stereotypical. (“get back in the kitchen and spread your legs when I say”? Really? I bet there are tons of women more useful than even YOU, arsehole.)

    I’m a female myself. I’ve paid for my boyfriend a few times. The only reason I don’t more often is because I don’t make a lot of money (have a barely-there job, cleaning for a local company maybe 3 hours every other week, $10/hr) & my father makes me put all of it into my checking account. I also have to pay my own phone bill. He, however, has a job. (There’s also an age difference- he’s 19, I’m 17.)

    I get mad at him when I feel like he’s spending way too much money on me, & apologize if I ask for it. I’ve put his saving on track because he’s…well, financially, not always too responsible. Sometimes I go grocery shopping with him & point out the cheaper version of what he wants, or when he’s been eating fast food for the last two weeks, I point out how he’d probably have more money if he’d stop doing that & bite the bullet & go to the store.

    While, yeah, he pays for me sometimes, I usually don’t ask for it. If I do, it’s usually something like food because I’m not allowed to eat if I’m not home at “dinnertime”, & he usually is hungry too.

    Does he buy me gifts? Yeah- but I tell him not to, or just make me something, cause that’s all I can do for him. He usually doesn’t listen though.

    Don’t blame all women for your money problems, kay? Blame the WRONG women- or even yourselves. After all, you’re the ones CHOOSING to spend the cash on the wrong gals. If they’re really worth it, they wouldn’t care less about what you spend on them.

    Just sayin’.

  • Joey

    Not all women do this, BUT this is how women use men. The problem is society accepts this and nobody cares about our problems. At the end of the day, a relationship is about caring for one another, not using each other. If I take my girl out to eat, it’s not unreasonable that she make me dinner occasionally. Men feel insecure about money when we are young, because we are starting our lives and have little of it to spare. Just be honest with your girl; tell her that if she wants to be with you while you’re starting your life, that she can’t expect you to spend so much on entertaining, just like I don’t expect her to be like a “wife” at a young age either. Respect your selves.

  • Rbz

    You could just dump the girl, instant cash problem fix

  • Jason

    Hi, I have question and hope someone can really help. Every time I ask my girlfriend to go on vacations for weekend; she ask me to pay for her grocery for the days she is out from work since she doesn’t get paid for vacations and she does work on weekend.

    This means, I have to pay for all the trip including travel, hotel, food, entertainment and some makeup stuff for the trip. On the top, she asked me to pay for her gas even though I drive my car. I told her that I don’t mind paying for travel but it’s hard for me to pay additional cash to her and she said than I can’t go. I even told her that some people share the cost too but I never ask you to pay anything, so please be fair with me but she doesn’t care.

    I knew her for the last 2 years. Not sure I am doing right or wrong, please advise. Thank you in advance.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Jason, It sounds like she’s being completely unreasonable – is she like that in other parts of the relationship? Perhaps it’s more of a sign that she doesn’t want to go wherever you’re trying to go?

      • Jason

        Thank you, Andrew. That may be the reason sometime that she doesn’t want to go but she does tells me sometime that she can take next weekend off so that we can spend some time together. May be she does this knowing that she will ask me money for her grocery.

        I know it’s unreasonable but then sometime I do think that she may need some money. And on the other side I do think that if she can’t spend her time without asking me for grocery, she may not worth of a good girlfriend. I am little confused, please advise.

        • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

          Hey Jason,

          Sorry to hear you’re going through this. Unfortunately, it’s a little hard to offer advice without really knowing the situation. I would say you need to ask yourself:

          – Is this a serious relationship? Do you see yourself spending a long time with her?
          – Does your gut tell you that it seems like she’s using you for money? – Do you think it’s reasonable to pay for the things she’s asking you to pay for based on how long you’ve been together and the nature of your relationship?

          If you feel uncomfortable with any of your answers to these questions I would invite you to truly step back and assess the relationship. Would you want to be with a person who does X, Y, Z? Do you think her attitude towards money could make things difficult or worse in the bumps of life that will surely happen down the road?

          I feel for you, it doesn’t seem like an easy situation.

  • Ne0

    Women respond saying that it’s not true, but they’re the exception, the article can’t address every individual. In GENERAL, it’s true, the men are expected to pay because that’s how we’ve been brainwashed by society and so have the women. Women think it’s being cheap but it should actually be seen as a positive. Long term, you’ll want a man that is financially responsible! It bugs me that women can’t see this.

    Unfortunately for guys, you can either 1)deal with it, and don’t complain, because after all, you can just leave if you don’t like it. 2)Don’t date and focus on yourself, it’s cheaper! :) 3) Continue to date and hope to find the UNICORN one day (the one woman who doesn’t expect you to pay and will split things all the time). This is the option I’m taking and I haven’t found her yet.

    • Freddy D.

      In the german culture it is common in a relationship that they split the bill. Of course the guy has to pay at the beginning when they just started dating. This is normal but once u r in a relationship u normally both pay the bills. Unlike asian girls from abroad who expect the guy to be wealthy and pay for everything while they dont have to do shit.

  • Freddy D.

    Im laughing my ass off. 3 drinks for two makes 50$!!!!??? Where the hell r ppl hanging out these days? If u r not rich u dont go to expensive places on every damn weekend! In germany i would spend max. 25€ for everything.

  • Meteor Youkolalee

    Dump her ass and get a new girlfriend.

  • Sofeeya

    I’m a female and I clicked on this article somehow after googling makeup…go figure. I admit that I am guilty of complaining in the past about a lack of presents and dates but only BC I can count on 1 hand the amount of gifts my bf has gotten me. I think the max amount he spent on 1 of all FIVE gifts was maybe $200 I think… if that. He took me out on my bday once and i ended up paying for the whole tab. This past bday….all he sent me was a happy bday text…and we lived together. We have been together 6 years. I on the other hand have gifted him nice things on every appropriate occasion (YSL, Versace, Michael kors….I even offered to help him pay off some student debt but he declined) I don’t expect expensive things BC I know that’s out of his budget but some flowers and a card and maybe some affection 😉 on a birthday once in a while would be nice. I feel guilty for griping but I cant help but get jealous when I hear about what my sisters’/friend’s husbands and boyfriends have done for them. Don’t be too hard on us ladies…we understand that sometimes u can’t afford to do things…. if you’re not putting up some ridiculous a facade and we still love you the same.. It just hurts a little when you get nothing at all on a special day.

  • Question for you

    It is men like you that make men like me look good. I could take your girl out and buy her a box of Tic Tacs and she would be impressed after your cheap ways.

    When I pull up in my 20 year old Aston Martin, she doesn’t know I paid $5,000 for it. All she knows is I have a nice whip and the top drops.

    I roll up in a Brooks Brothers 365 suit — your girl doesn’t know it is from the outlet, because your cheap ass always wore jeans.

    I check my Rolex she doesn’t know it is a rebuilt frankenwatch I bought broken from a pawn shop and only paid $2300 for the watch and repairs.

    I take her to Ruth Chris, the hostess and waiter knows me and I only drop $85 – $140 and she thinks she is dealing with a real man, because you only let her super size it.

    I have made plans to take her out to the club, but first I need to change shoes and “why don’t we just drop my ride off at my parking garage I need to change shoes anyway and I will get the doorman to call a cab — I should have drove my other car this one the valets want to hot rod around in.”

    I’m getting dome from your girl at my place. I have spent less than $150 on her and she is swallowing my load. 1/2 the time I tell her I am tired and call her a cab… If your girl can suck dick good, I take her to the club.

    I walk out of the elevator in my downtown loft that I bought specifically because it was close to the hot nightlife and I could pull girls like yours back to my place. I tell the doorman to fetch me a limo, it costs less than $30 to go anywhere downtown and your girl is impressed and her panties are moist because I haven’t given her any yet. I might finger her in the limo.

    I head straight to the front of the line at the club because I always order bottle service. It only cost $120 including tip and we can drink as much Ciroc as we want. I will get your girl really drunk and send her home in a cab if I see another girl at the club I want to bang.

    If not I will start letting her think that I am looking for something serious. We will dance and drink, she will try to kiss me, and I will establish early that after I cum in her mouth, I won’t do that.

    I grab a cab and take your girl back to my place. I oil her up and tell her that she needs to give me anal, girls like yours always do, they think they have scored it big with a guy like me.

    I pound your girls ass and pull out at the last second and shove my dick in her mouth. Your girl is now sucking on my dick that was just in her ass. I cum in her mouth again.

    I ring the door man to fetch your girl a cab. I am good at getting rid of girls quickly and they always want to stay, but are never mad. The girls always want to kiss me as I am opening the door for them to leave — I remind them I don’t kiss after cumming in their mouth.

    Your girl gets in the cab, rides home, and tells you what a great time she had with her “girls” and how she can’t wait to do it again — is it ok if she goes out again with them next weekend. You of course say sure and reach over and kiss her before turning out the lights.

    I only have one question for you bro… How’s my dick taste?