My Fiancé Has Money and Treats Me Well, But He’s Soooo Cheap! What Should I Do?


Evan, what should I do?

I am engaged to a guy who I have been dating for 4.5 years. I love him but I have so much anger and resentment towards him. He is a good person and we have a great time together and I enjoy his company/companionship. He always is happy to see me and be with me. We have a lot in common, but I feel we have some major core differences. He is extremely selfish. He is wealthy and I think this has affected his outlook on money. I am very generous with a big heart, but I find that I am always disappointed. I don’t expect to be spoiled by someone, but he spends a lot of money on his (our) house, cars, gambling when he can, but if I need $200 to go to the store, he makes me feel awkward and here we are supposed to be getting married in December. All our finances are separate, I would be fine even with a pre-nup which I know is coming, but I am not fine with having a husband who puts himself that far above me because of his money. I do expect my husband to help with car payments, medical insurance, basic stuff, I am not even talking about shopping and material things, and this is a guy who is a multi-millionaire, and I made $100k up until last year because of the economy and now until I do something else, am only making about 45k. I am worried about marrying someone who would watch me struggle and not offer to help or was that spoiled that he doesn’t have the “right” consideration for me. HELP!


You know what they say about rich guys, right? The reason they’re rich is because they don’t spend any of their money

Dear Lara,

You know what they say about rich guys, right? The reason they’re rich is because they don’t spend any of their money! Ha! I kill me.

So first of all, let’s get one thing out of the way first: he’s definitely selfish. There are plenty of people who have issues around money – including yours truly – but your multi-millionaire takes the very expensive wedding cake.

As I’ve said before, many women don’t appreciate the difference between being cheap and being poor. If he makes less than $50,000, pretty much ANYTHING he does for you is generous. However, your guy isn’t poor. He’s rich, and yet you don’t feel he is generous of spirit. That really sucks when you’re facing a lifetime together.

But if you’ve been seeing him for 4  ½ years, I suspect you knew about this trait all along, but dealt with it as just one compromise you had to make in the relationship. It didn’t suddenly surface out of the blue. “He USED to throw me $10,000 birthday parties, but now he only has the Pizza Hut staff put a candle in my calzone!”

I’m not going to defend his penurious ways, and I’m not going to suggest that you don’t have the right to be frustrated. I am, however, going to try to look at the other side – something that you may not have done yet.

So let’s recap: you love him, he’s a good person, he’s super-wealthy, you have a lot in common, you have a great time together, he’s happy to be with you, and you’re engaged to be married in December. Sounds like a promising start, no?

But there’s this one thing – this big thing – you don’t get out of him. It’s a definite character flaw: no generosity. Yet he probably pays for the bulk of the house, car payments, medical payments, vacations, etc. He’ll buy you things and provide a nice life. The only thing he doesn’t want to pay for is you, spending the money that he earned. And since you’re now making less, you expect him to make up the difference.

At least that’s HIS perspective.

I think two things: he’s genuinely cheap, and he genuinely loves you.

Your perspective is that it’s not his money, it’s your money – together. And even though you have everything you want in your life, you can’t get over the fact that he’s so stingy that he won’t let you spend what he considers “his” money. In your mind, it’s not about the money, it’s about the principle! I hear you, and I’m sure a number of readers do, too.

The real sticking point is that his take on “his money vs. your money” is not changing any time soon. It’s deeply ingrained in him. Which gives you two choices: leave him because you feel like you can’t spend your life with a rich man who is cheap, or stick around and appreciate that you have a super life, filled with love, companionship, fun, and tons of material possessions – but your husband is simply a skinflint.

Life is about tradeoffs, y’know?

I also think you may be equating his lack of generosity with a lack of love. He can provide for you in 100 different ways, but because he’s hesitant to give you $200 to go to the store, he doesn’t truly love you. Do you believe that? I don’t. I think two things: he’s genuinely cheap, and he genuinely loves you. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t be marrying you. In his mind, he just doesn’t want his wealth to be taken for granted.

Just the other day I was talking with a semi-successful guy – not a millionaire – who took care of his girlfriend when she was unemployed and couldn’t afford to pay rent. The problem arose when, one year later, she STILL didn’t want to pay rent because “he could afford it”.   Ironically, the same way that she feels that “it’s not about money, it’s about principle”, so does he. You think he should pay for you because he can. He doesn’t want to pay for you because you assume he’s supposed to.

Another thing: your boyfriend may be cheap, but I’d have to guess he’s better than the rich guys who equate money with love. Their theory is: “If I buy you a Jaguar, maybe you won’t notice how emotionally distant and abusive I am!”   These type of wealthy men   make the worst husbands because they think that they can buy your affection and don’t have to actually, y’know, listen to you.

All of this begs the unfortunate and delicate question: is it possible that you take your boyfriend’s money for granted? Maybe just a little? After all, you may have taken a pay cut, but you probably still live in a big house with a nice car and have everything you need. So while I’m not going to defend your fiancées behavior – cheap is not cool – I’d have to ask you one really tough question:

Would you be marrying him if HE made $45,000?

And, if not, are you also equating love with money?

It’s not that I’m not sympathetic to your plight, Lara, but it’s my responsibility to point out the side of things that you may not have already considered. Please let me know what you choose to do.

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  1. 41


    “What you ignore is that many women ARE goldiggers….One of the things women in general do seek in men is ‘security’ in the form of financial security.”

    Seeking in part financial security makes a woman a gold digger???

    If so, does a man who seeks in part, a younger, hot woman make him shallow?

    1. 41.1

      “Seeking in part financial security makes a woman a gold digger???”

      – Yes. Getting paid for companionship makes her something else too….

      – Particularly in this day & age where women can do the same jobs as men & aren’t expected to be barefoot & pregnant by age 20. Hell, 60% or more of college graduates are women.

      “If so, does a man who seeks in part, a younger, hot woman make him shallow?”

      – Apples & oranges comparison. Compare looks to looks. So, does a woman who seeks in part, a younger, hot man make her shallow?

      – Nah… She’s ’empowered.’

      1. 41.1.1

        vino im sorry but men and women aren t the same biologically, we compare looks to financial stability, cause looks are what men prioritise and security is what women priorities in a relationship, cause women want to a man who will take good care of their babies and cause women want to feel loved and taken care of by their man cause she knows when he really loves her he will want to offer her anything he can.. when a man takes care of his woman it makes her love him and cherish him even more and men who really understand women do that, besides if you re with her for 4.5 years and you re still trying to “protect” your money from her cause she might be a gold digger it means that you don t really know her or love her how can you be in love with someone you still have doubts about so she has the right to be offended if he s not generous.


      2. 41.1.2
        Bright Eyes


        There are a lot of generalizations going on here…obviously we don’t know all there is to know about this situation.

        I have not taken money from any man…or expected them to pay.   And I do not have a great financial situation myself.   I had a great career and made a great living, but took a MAJOR step back to be the one to stay home and raise the children….which wasn’t specifically my desire, but I thought I was sacrificing for the betterment of out team.   Fast forward and I am still raising the children, divorced, and in an exceptionally precarious financial situation.

        In many cases, men lead with their money…want to impress you with it, want entice you with it, want to make that their strength and cannot believe you won’t accept it.   How is that not the same as some women wanting to be gold-diggers?   There are two sides to these stories.

        However, this woman’s story resonates with me a bit because I am quite a bit less financially secure than my boyfriend of three years.   Always scrambling to the bottom of the pantry before payday..and sometimes getting by on very little.   Not spending money impulsively.   Worrying about car repairs, house repair expenses, wondering if I should sell my house…all very stressful.   My boyfriend makes a great living..he doesn’t owe me anything at all.   But it does make me concerned that he can see me in this situation and buy a second brand new BMW in three years (keeping them both), hasn’t had a desire to pay for a vacation, hasn’t entertained the idea of living together to share expenses (which alone would help me).   He also has several hobbies that each require about $10,000 a year to participate in.

        He does pay for meals when we go out.   And other than the above is pretty frugal.

        Does he owe me anything?   No.   I wouldn’t even be that easy in accepting someone else’s money.   But I have to say…. it does concern me that he is okay seeing me struggle while being pretty lavish in parts of his own life.   If you love someone, don’t you also want to at least try to make their lives less stressful?   I don’t know.   It kind of just makes me sad.   

  2. 42

    To make a blanket statement that any woman who considers finances at all, in any way, in choosing a mate is a gold digger is ridiculous.

    Reducing the issue to “paying for companionship” doesn’t strengthen your stance either.

    Say a woman wants to stay home and raise her children instead of using daycare. That woman will seek a man with the same value system who can and wants to provide financially for his family. Two people who want the same thing. No one is getting used.

    He’s not a caveman to want that and she isn’t a gold digger.

  3. 43

    Janet, your post was the best yet.

    Frankly, there are an awful lot of judgements being made about the couple in question. She’s a “gold-digger”, He’s “stingy”…truth is we all have different ideas about what being in a relationship means. Some people are okay with seperate finances and think money isn’t part of the relationship. While others believe that finances can be a reflection of the relationship. Look at it this way, how do men end up feeling when they don’t get sex from their partner? Doesn’t really matter if a man’s SO does infact love him. What is important is that *he* feel that her lack of sex is reflection of her lack of love. For some women, this can be simliar. His lack of wanting to provide for her can make her feel he doesn’t want to be giving towards her. Living in a world where more men don’t want to be giving to you then not, can easily make a woman feel that if her own partner shows the same signs, he can’t possibly be as dedicated to the relationship as she is. If a man is stingy with his money, he might be stingy with other things. And he might not think that she is really his partner.

    I will say that I am rather sick of hearing women get judged for being gold diggers. Most women aren’t. But the truth is that YES, women want a man that will want to share a life with her and provide for her. That is naturally ingrained in most women. We don’t sit around and tell men they are look-diggers. A silly term but true. It’s okay for men to be shallow about the way women look. That’s okay. YOu won’t hear other men castrate other men for it. And women aren’t nearly as tough on men for looks as men are on women for their looks. But godforbid a woman want a man that wants to share a life with her, in ALL areas, and that includes money. Because deep inside our nature a man that wants to share his resources with us, wants to share a life with us. Sadly, there are alot of men today that are so afraid of themselves they rather sit around and call women names like “gold-diggers’, defend their own shallow wants and perscute women for theirs.

    Good luck with that.

  4. 44

    Woo Hoo! The original comments plugin is back!

    Thanks Evan!

  5. 45

    Hmmm… He pays a whole lot of the bills; but what does she contribute? Or is it okay to believe because you earn considerably less than your fiance that you are exempt of paying household bills??? I don’t see the logic in that one ..

    If she is exempt of contributing towards the household bills then she should have lots of money left over, more than the 200dollars she’s asking for.. Me thinks at least..

    Is he really cheap? Does she expect an allowance or atleast expects him to give her the balance that she isn’t making anymore?

    Did they make any agreements on how much each party is going to contribute towards whatever.. or is it because he makes more that he should take all cares upon him..
    Which he is doing..i must add..

    Her resentment comes from assuming, having certain expectation which she never cleared up at the the time these issues arose..

    Get it cleared up first or else you may go from resentment to outrage when he kindly shows you where to sign (pre nup!)

  6. 46
    Sarah from Dating Tips for Women

    I may have a little bit of a unique perspective on this, because I grew up this way with my father. My mom and dad divorced after 22+ years of marriage when I was 17. They split up, and my Dad, who had always made great money, went on to make REALLY great money. He can pretty much afford to buy anything he wants, but has t-shirts that he wears that are older than I am, and he is ….very…..frugal. 🙂 I love my Dad – very much. He and I have a great relationship. However, there is always that element of money and an internal war I struggle with because I KNOW my Dad has a lot of money, and could really help me financially (we have been struggling HARD lately, almost lost our house) but he won’t help. NOW – I KNOW that it is HIS MONEY and I have NO RIGHT to it. I didn’t earn it. My financial situation is not his fault. But in my heart sometimes I am still hurt that he won’t help. Its an internal war that I seem to struggle with all the time – and even have to defend, because a lot of my family thinks that he should be helping us too and it actually makes me mad that they think that! Like I said, its not his problem, its MY problem.

    So I think it is very possible to love him with all your heart – and for him to love YOU that way too, and for him to see money as a totally separate entity from the marriage and the love. My dad is living with a woman whom he has lived with for over 10 years and he does not give her a dime either. Yet he is the one who makes the house payments when she cannot pay her half, etc. And I understand how it makes her feel “less” than him. But I also know that my Dad genuinely loves me, and would die for me, but money, somehow, just isn’t part of that equation, and it doesn’t have to be.

  7. 47

    Right or wrong. One or the other. Penurious or gold-digger. The issue will continue into the marriage. He will not change and she will always feel resentment toward him for it. It’s a match made to to break up-before or after the ceremony.

  8. 48

    I think she needs to have a serious talk to him regarding money. This story reminds me of a family in my neighborhood where I grew up. The father drove a brand new car and bought an expensive, state of the art stereo system. Meanwhile his wife and kids were wearing old, ratty clothes.

  9. 49

    I love this article and Evan’s perspective on the situation. If you can’t talk about money, you can’t get married. I suspect that Simone doesn’t have the vaguest understanding of her own personal values about money, but she is very quick to judge her man’s values on the issue. It would be so much fun to hear his side of the story.

  10. 50

    That’s pretty awful Carol.

  11. 51


    Your work has helped me quite a bit–thank you!

  12. 52

    In a nutshell: Stingy with money; stingy with affection. That’s been my experience in life, anyway. At the first sign that a guy & I might be starting a relationship, I let him know right up front what my financial situation is, that I am and always have been gainfully employed (with health insurance no less!) but still have a considerable amount of debt from medical bills/kids, and that I’m not ready or able to retire yet. Then I make it clear that I expect no financial support from him. But if he plans to keep up his current lifestyle, which includes frequent travel, spontaneous getaways, and long stretches of leisure time, I’m not a good match for
    him. Some men will willingly cover a woman’s expenses for the pleasure of having her companionship, and that is a choice he makes. Whether I accept could depend on many factors, but if I do accept that generous gesture, does this make me a gold-digger? Or a kept woman? Not in my book. If he’s making the offer begrudgingly, I would be foolish to accept because that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Granted, there are many unknowns in Lara’s letter, and we’re only hearing one side of the story. But we do know it’s bothering her, and that means it will continue to bother her and it WILL affect their relationship from here to eternity. And contrary to what someone said earlier, I consider this a huge deal-breaker — whether he’s stingy or she’s a gold-digger doesn’t really matter in the end. They’ll be unhappy. People don’t change. On the issue of feminism, I think a woman can feel hurt by her partner’s lack of sensitivity when it comes to money matters and still be an ardent feminist. I’ve personally found that it’s the man who came into money through means other than his own hard work who is the most likely to criticize his woman for not being more financially sound, even if she is a very fiscally responsible person. If he doesn’t realize his good fortune and do what he can to help her out BECAUSE IT MAKES HER HAPPY and maybe takes some stress off her shoulders and thus helps their relationship, then he’s placing his own comfort over hers and is someone I, for one, would not want to share a life with. On the other hand, if a woman sees a relationship as an opportunity to better her lifestyle and will foolishly opt to let a man “save her,” or pay her way, she’s still buying into the premise that men = caretaker. That’s not a feminist value, in my opinion. We’re not children, and we shouldn’t EXPECT men to act “fatherly” and either bail us out of financial situations we’ve created or keep us comfy and happy. But for the record, men can also be gigolos and never give it a second thought. They make decisions which financially impact both partners (“Hon, I quit my job today; I could not take one more day with my dick of a boss.”..or “Yea, I know I shouldn’t have, but babe, getting this sailboat has been my dream. Besides, you’re coming up for a promotion, right?”) and expect the woman to carry the day. I’d say Lara and her guy are sailing into some very choppy waters, and a storm’s a-brewin’ … In any event, she can’t say she didn’t know.

  13. 53

    Evan, terrific perspective. Very well written. We’ve haven’t heard his side, which I’d guess would only make your opinion even more valid.

  14. 54

    Happy Birthday, Evan!

  15. 55

    #83 JerseyGirl

    I just read this comment from Steve Harvey, who wrote “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man”, “We (men) created the term ‘gold digger’ so you won’t ask us for nothing”. Not that I agree with everything he says, but I had to chuckle at this!

  16. 56

    What if these people have children? Will they be his or her responsibility?
    What a CRAP situation. Only in the USA could people have the gall to believe that such petty quibbling about counterfeit currency and who has more and who pay’s for what and such utter nonsense is actually more important than becoming a family which is suppose to be the point of being married.

    1. 56.1
      Mrs Happy

      If these people get married, they will often argue over money. If they have children, and she stops/reduces her paid work, they will argue over money even more. Their views on marital finances are likely not compatible with mutual financial comfort.
      Money issues while dating become massively magnified once marriage occurs, and again further magnified when children enter the scene. Being on roughly the same page wrt attitudes to spending and saving and sharing is extremely important – and even then, there will be some fights about money. My advice to singles: bserve your bf/gf ‘s attitude to money; any issue you have will become bigger once you are running a home and future together.

  17. 57

    It’s interesting to see the disparity in comments here. Yesm, she does appear to have an expectation that he pay for things for her. And yes, the ideal of equality between men and women has not 100% crystalised as some envisioned it. We still have a division of labour in the family and also in our career choices. Notice that many (not all) women who choose the high pressure careers that were traditionally held by men are also choosing to greatly delay or choosing simply not have kids? This couple definitely needs to sit down and talk about finances! What are the expectations of each of them? Why do they feel that way? What compromises can be made to make each of them more comfortable? Finances are one of the top reasons for divorce, and if they don’t deal with it ahead of time, it will lead to troubles for them in the future.
    .-= Johanus´s last blog ..Avoiding the Trap of Worthless Spending =-.

  18. 58

    Oh that’s good Ruby..I will have to get that book.

  19. 59

    it’s HiS friggin’ MONEY! he can do what he wants with it. if you want 200.00 to go to the store, use YOUR money.

  20. 60

    @Michel #96- Only in the USA? I find that very hard to believe.

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