Bad money habits: the boyfriend edition

Sometimes T’s costly financial habits get up my nose.

  • Snacks and drinks. He doesn’t like drinking water and most of his money goes on random food purchases and Coke/juice/flavoured milk. I won’t lie, it frustrates me. Technically he has his own allowance, but still, sometimes spends extra out of the account on stuff. That’s when I get annoyed.
  • Tailgating. This can be an expensive habit. New Zealand drivers tend to be heinous tailgaters (2 second rule, guys! 4 seconds on the motorway!) and he is up there with the worst of them. Amazingly, only one of the car accidents he’s been in was caused by following too closely (all of the rest can be chalked up to even worse drivers out there. On Sunday night he had a narrow brush with death – I’m kind of glad he was on his bike, because if he’d been in the car it would probably have been written off and I just can’t deal with something like that right now. OTOH, he’s a bit banged up and since he has yet to seek medical attention, I may be staying home today to deal with that).
  • None of his sunglasses ever lasts longer than a few months – not because they break, but because he loses them. I have no idea how or where. He also used to lose his wallet on a regular basis (which he’s outgrown, touch wood) and every so often wakes me up in the morning with his muttered curses at having misplaced his keys. Worst of all, most of his phones have been replaced due to loss rather than breakage or upgrading. This distinguished history includes losing at least one phone out a car window on the road.

But look, I’d like to think I’m gracious enough to admit to my faults. Here we are, then:


  • Imagine this: the pantry is bare or we just don’t feel like eating toast (because that’s all that’s left). I’m more likely to buy food rather than go grocery shopping like I should.
  • I cannot keep track of cash. It’s hopeless.
  • I have a tendency to throw good money after bad. Blown the grocery budget on cheese? Eh, what’s another week over budget? Or another breakfast straight from the bakery?

What are your weaknesses? I want to know…!

21 thoughts on “Bad money habits: the boyfriend edition

  • Reply Manda February 12, 2013 at 07:23

    G is the exact same way with his sunglasses! I have no idea HOW he can lose his sunglasses so often. He goes through pairs like crazy. Thank God he only ever buys cheap knockoffs (definitely no designer sunnies for him!) so it’s not as costly a bad habit as it could be.

  • Reply Cassie February 12, 2013 at 07:42

    Magazines and overpriced coffee here, though I will say I’m getting better with the magazines. That being said, I’m heading out in an hour or so to pick some up for my flight, so I suppose I could still use some work.

    I’m also really bad with the feast and famine spending. I’ll go a bit over budget and go “eh, what’s another $20….” such a bad habit.

  • Reply SavvyFinancialLatina February 12, 2013 at 07:42

    His habits: energy drinks, supplements, fast food during lunch
    my habits: clothes, shoes, jewelry.
    Our habits: Eating out instead of cooking.

  • Reply Michelle February 12, 2013 at 07:54

    W is addicted to sunglasses, expensive clothing and energy drinks. It all adds up and drives me nuts!

  • Reply Mo' Money Mo' Houses February 12, 2013 at 09:35

    Ever since me and the BF moved in together, we’ve been bad at eating out way more than we should. We’re trying to be better this year but man is it hard to make food!

  • Reply krantcents February 12, 2013 at 10:12

    I can be moody, impatient and a little too frugal. The good thing is my wife will pull me out of these bad habits most of the time. It helps to be with the right person.

  • Reply Pauline February 12, 2013 at 11:09

    My BF can’t drink water either! Between coffee, milk, soda, vodka… it is quite a chunk in the common grocery budget. I lose everything but repay it with my money!

  • Reply Linda February 12, 2013 at 11:09

    My guy likes to buy expensive periodicals, eat lunch out every day, and also visit Starbucks every afternoon for a coffee. I’m sure he could easily have an extra $100 a month to throw at his debts if he just cut down all these things. But I may be worse because I make poor financial decisions and am just too lazy to correct them. For example, if I had actually read through all the materials on the extended service plan I purchased for my car I would have realized it was something I would rarely use and cancelled it within 90-days for a full refund. Instead, I stupidly believed the sales manager’s word that it covered everything but tires. Of course it doesn’t cover anything that typically wears out: belts, hoses, or batteries. So I paid $1,000 for a service plan last year that I have yet to use (since it only covers very precisely timed maintenance such as oil changes every 5K miles and ONLY every 5K miles), and still had to pay $300 for a new car battery. Stupid, stupid me. At least if I had used the money on coffee I would have gotten *some* satisfaction.

  • Reply Shannon @ The Heavy Purse February 12, 2013 at 11:21

    I’d like to pretend that I don’t have any bad money habits, but …. I’d say convenience is my worst habit. I stock my office with my preferred tea and coffee, but still manage to end up with a cup from Starbucks or some coffee shop on a regular basis. I eat very healthy but run to pick up a salad rather than bring my own. Little things that add up but sometimes I justify them (whether right or wrong) for the convenience since there is only so many hours in the day. 😀

  • Reply Amanda February 12, 2013 at 11:49

    K is generally quite good with his money when it comes to the little things. It’s the big things that are the issue – as an industrial designer, he spends a LOT of money on raw materials on his ‘personal projects’ in a workshop e.g. designing new furniture, etc. Some months, the materials can easily get into the four figure mark.

    We have constant discussions/arguments about how it’s okay to spend that kind of money, as long as he has a plan in place to turn it into a proper business venture. So spend that $1000 on top quality timber for a furniture prototype, just have a plan in place to start manufacturing that piece in bulk, and a marketing plan so you can sell it to independent design stores!

    Together, our big indulgence is eating out at top restaurants. Last year, I think we ate out at about ten top hatted/starred restaurants, and it’s quite easy to drop $300 in one night at those places.

  • Reply Kevin Post February 12, 2013 at 12:06

    Her habits: Buying cheap quality clothing/shoes off of eBay and spending crazy amounts of money getting her hair done and hair care products.

    My habits: Backing Kickstarter campaigns, buying ebooks when I should finish reading the books I already have (they are usually inexpensive but add up quickly) and going to the grocery store way too often when I should get creative and make what is in the house.

    I’m so thankful that we hardly drink alcohol, that’s a very expensive lifestyle.

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies February 12, 2013 at 12:57

    Whoa, I guess Mr. PoP isn’t the only one with a beverage budget. He spends about $125 per month on coffee and beer.

  • Reply Budget & the Beach February 12, 2013 at 15:45

    Glad he is ok. BTW once I got an expensive pair of sunglasses I never lost them again. I think like you, once you let yourself splurge it’s a slippery slope, and I think OK NEXT month I’l get back on track. I used to do that ALL the time!

  • Reply Her Every Cent Counts February 12, 2013 at 18:18

    I’m an impulsive shopper. I’ll spend $300 in one night on something I probably don’t need. When I get married and have a shared account I will need to start planning my purchases! 🙁

  • Reply Sense February 12, 2013 at 18:37

    This is fun but I’ve thought about this a lot and tried to correct all my bad spending habits, so I probably have some that I don’t recognize!! I guess mine would be …a travel addiction? Very expensive. I also use the internet to watch TV and go over the 30 GB limit a lot, incurring extra charges, but it’s hard to say as that could be my roommate doing that, not me. It’s only usually an extra $10-$20 more, though. I can’t get my grocery bill down to what I think is a reasonable level. I used to spend money in advance to ‘get a good deal’ and end up not using the product or service at all (Groupon, anyone?).

    XBF used to drive me mad because he never planned out anything. For example, instead of realizing he’d get hungry if we went out for the day, he’d be surprised by it every time when he could have just freaking packed his lunch. Then he’d try to steal stuff from my lunch, get grumpy without enough food, or eat out and complain that I wasn’t eating with him, or that I was being rude by bringing my own food into a restaurant. No amount of nagging would prompt him to make his own lunch and I got tired of constantly buying and packing his food when I was on a student’s part-time salary and he was working full time. (and then he’d complain if I asked him to pay me back after the 100th time. NO win situation. Ugh, can you tell I’m glad to be rid of that headache?!) he was also prone to losing things, spending impulsively, erratic driving, and regularly splurging >$300 on alcohol in one go to treat his friends.

  • Reply Kelly Abroad February 12, 2013 at 20:41

    When I have something to save for I can be very, very good with my spending habits. But my guilty pleasures are takeaway coffee, sushi, massages and facials and magazines. The thing I’ve spent the most on though is travel. I shudder to think how much. Tens of thousands of dollars, at least.

  • Reply Untemplater February 12, 2013 at 21:04

    I think a lot of men have a tendency to lose their sunglasses. Anyway, one of my weaknesses is sometimes I set aside cash at home because I don’t want to carry around all of it in my wallet at once, and then it takes me a bunch of extra time trying to find it later because I hid it too well from myself!

  • Reply Hayley February 13, 2013 at 02:31

    H1 and I have the same bad habit, and that is that we both treat ourselves too often – yes, we both work very hard and all, but we also don’t need to buy everything we think we want! I’ve actually put in a new rule for myself until April – if I buy any new clothes, they have to be replacing something. I’m hoping it’ll recalibrate my brain somewhat.

    Everyone talking about travel – if it’s not getting you into debt, there’s no better thing to spend money on in my opinion!

  • Reply The Happy Homeowner February 13, 2013 at 10:00

    His: Coffee, expensive meals out, anything about cars
    Mine: DIY projects (anytime I pass by a Home Depot, I happily shout out, “Home Deeps!” as proclamation of my love for that damn store…hahaha), letting produce rot and eating junk food for dinner

    For the record, any meal that consists of just cheese is pure bliss in my book 😀

  • Reply Savvy Scot February 13, 2013 at 23:28

    Good to get this all out before V day 🙂

  • Reply Justin@TheFrugalPath February 14, 2013 at 15:07

    My wife would be glad to hear that she’s not the only one who gets upset at her partner’s snack/beverage budget. Every time I come home from the grocery store she checks the receipt to see what snack I bought myself. I’ve even hidden the receipt so I wouldn’t get scolded.

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