We Have Different Views on Money. How Do I Get Him to Act His Age?

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Reader Question:

I have been with my boyfriend for close to two years. I’m 21 and he’s 27. He makes me laugh and he is good to me, but our views on money are completely different. I am finishing up my last year in school and work 20-30 hours per week. I’m responsible with my money and have quite a bit saved up.

He works as a server and he either doesn’t make any money or he’s doing something I don’t know about. I’m not materialistic, but I don’t want to live like that. He wants to live together, but I know all the financial burden will fall on me.

How do I convince him to act his age and get his shit together?

-Candice (Kentucky)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Candice,

What a responsible young woman you are. Congratulations on being so financially smart.

My first reaction is to warn you not to cohabitate with this man. Couples who live together have lower rates of marriage and if they do marry, they have higher divorce rates.

But on to your real question. How do you convince him to “get his shit together?”

Honey, we can’t ever make someone change. That change has to come from inside them.

However, we CAN enable someone to maintain their bad habits. If you are paying for things and silently consenting to his poor money management, then you are enabling him.

Now first, know this: People rarely respond to nagging.

So the only thing he’ll respond to is behavior. Ask yourself what you can do to send a message you are ready to move forward without him if need be.

I must say, though, differing money styles aside, the phrase in your email that struck me the most is “or he’s doing something I don’t know about.”

What could this be? And why would you not know about it?

Please don’t comingle your finances with someone who keeps money secrets. You could be inheriting his debt.

Find out more about this man before you move forward.

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