Money: it’s a problem no one wants to deal with, but eventually we all have to, especially when it’s affecting how we act in our relationship. Having a boyfriend who’s cheap is a major drag because you can’t tell them how to spend their money, but you also don’t want to feel disappointed and under appreciated when it comes to special occasions because your S/O isn’t putting forth the effort…and the money. As much as we hate to admit it, spending money on people is important sometimes, and it’s important for your boyfriend to get that too. Here are a few rules to set if your boyfriend is cheap.
1. Set a Standard of What You Expect
We all have standards of what we expect from our SO in a relationship–standards of how we like to be treated and how we like to live. So it makes sense that those guidelines would extend to cover how you spend money and how you feel money should be spent on you. And as long as you’re upfront and fair about it, you’re totally entitled to your own standards. That’s part of what determines who we decide to date. Discuss with your boyfriend the places where being cheap is not an option in your relationship, and try to find a compromise for spending money. Split meal costs rather than making him pay. Eat in more often so you can have a nicer night out once every few weeks. Together you can make a plan that satisfies both your needs–his to save money, and yours to have a good time. This is really important when your boyfriend is cheap.
2. Make it Clear What Gifts Mean to You
People spend money on things they think are worth it. While your bae may not think that whatever you like to receive as a gift is worth the cash he’ll have to spend, the fact of the matter is that what he’s really determining the worth of is you. It’s not like your affection needs to be bought, but material gifts are one of the few love languages. Having something special bought for you on an occasion makes you feel special, which should always be the goal, no matter what may seem not worth the money to him. It’s not necessarily about the gift, it’s about the intent of the gift–that they spend time and money finding something perfect for you, showing what you mean to them. So something cheap from Walmart isn’t going to cut it.
3. Discuss Budgeting
If your boyfriend has a job, but never feels like he has any money he can spend, then where is all that money going? It can feel uncomfortable to start a conversation about finances, but you’re both grownups entering into a serious relationship, so it’s going to have to happen eventually, and you can both definitely handle it. Don’t be condescending about how your boyfriend spends his money. That will only leave him feeling insecure and wanting to close off. Just discuss options. Maybe he can cut down on something he superfluously spends a lot on, like alcohol or video games. Maybe if he’s afraid to spend money in case he needs it in an emergency, you can discuss putting away an emergency fund he knows is always there. Maybe you both can even start building up a stash for special occasions, trips, and presents, so that money is there to treat each other right when the time rolls around. If your boyfriend is cheap, budgeting is a good way to compromise.
4. Suggest Gifts
Part of being cheap might come from your guy just not getting what makes nice things nice. Some people have a hard time discerning the right level of quality for a gift. An easy way to fix this problem is to let him know in advance what you might want or expect for an occasion. Don’t leave it all up to a difficult guessing game. Give him guidelines and clues, so you won’t end up feeling disappointed and he won’t end up feeling lousy. For an even better solution, you can suggest gifts at a range of price levels. That way he has some ability to choose and he can pick what works best for him, while you can keep yourself from getting something totally cheap for a special occasion.
5. Find Ways to Spend Money that are Fun or You Both
Spending money can result in some really fun experiences that make it totally worth it. Next birthday or Christmas instead of just asking for a gift he may not understand, suggest as your gift trips or activities that you can do together to both have a good time. It’ll be a helpful way to show him how spending money really can result in something special and meaningful for the both of you. He can get an Airbnb and plan a weekend away to do whatever you want. He can buy you both tickets to a fun amusement park. He could even buy you each a pair of roller skates to finally start skating around like you’ve always wanted to. Whatever is fun for you both can be a great present to make you feel special, while including him in the fun too. This a great idea if your boyfriend is cheap!
The most important thing to remember, and what your S/O probably needs help understanding, is that you are worth the money. He clearly already knows you’re special, but let him know that you feeling special sometimes has to come through in monetary ways, like a nice gift or dinner. It’s all about getting across the message that you love each other enough to spend the money to show it, and that goes both ways. We want to give those we love everything in the world, but since we’re not millionaires, we give our S/Os everything we can to make them feel loved and appreciated. That’s not something you want to skimp on.