The Financial Train Wreck: Will the new boyfriend help fix her finances?

If you haven’t seen my previous posts on my dear sister in law (otherwise known as the Financial Train Wreck or FTW) I suggest that you check them out here and here. Her appalling financial skills (or total lack thereof) cause me to constantly laugh at her and pity her (often at the same time) and make for a good example of what not to do with your personal finances.

In today’s post, we hear about the latest boyfriend and what he might mean for her personal finances…

Do appalling finances affect your ability to attract a mate?

FTW tells the new boyfriend how far she is in debt. She had to invent a new number - the bazillion gazillion with 85 zeros.

FTW tells the new boyfriend how far she is in debt. She had to invent a new number – the billion gazillion with 85 zeros.

When FTW broke up with the last boyfriend (who admittedly turned out to be quite a loser), I wondered about her ability to attract a new boyfriend given the appalling state of her finances. You see, in my view, turning up with her balance sheet must almost be the financial equivalent to turning up to a new relationship with an STD. You can be attracted all you like, but there’s one little problem that you can’t easily get over and it could be a real stumbling block from day one. Such stumbling blocks can be handled later on if necessary, but if you are just starting out in a relationship then many people might not stick around with this sort of information.

Now before you judge me, I’m not saying that a person’s finances should be what makes them attractive, but most people would like to know beforehand that they will be on the hook for a truckload of debts, or at best be saddled with a future bankrupt. Many people also like to picture a dream of shacking up with that person with their nice house, white picket fence and 2.3 children, and finding out that they have debt collectors chasing them isn’t the best way to make you believe that those dreams could actually become a reality in the future.

Despite this, FTW managed to attract a new boyfriend in the most appropriate of ways… via Tinder of course.

Being a bit older and with my dating days well and truly behind me, I find the concept of Tinder all very strange and business-like. In FTW’s words, when telling us how she met the new guy she said that it was via Tinder, which is a “f$%k site”, so that pretty much says it all. I was quite surprised that contact through this site could actually lead to some sort of meaningful relationship, but here they are about six months later and talking about moving in with each other.

Evidently poor finances may hinder your ability to attract a new mate, but if this happens, just go on Tinder and make up a good profile!

So when did the new boyfriend find out about her financial situation?

FTW's new boyfriend is much smarter than the average... ex-boyfriend. He may wear a tie to work, but that's where the similarities end I would say.

FTW’s new boyfriend is much smarter than the average… ex-boyfriend. He may wear a tie to work, but that’s where the similarities end I would say.

The future Mr FTW (perhaps we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves) is actually quite a nice guy, and much smarter than all of the previous boyfriends. He is studying some sort of physics or engineering degree (yes, very vague from me, but the detail doesn’t really matter – the point is he clearly has some grey matter which is much more than the previous ones had), and even has steady employment with presumably decent finances. Admittedly he has a newer car (looks about two years old, perhaps purchased with finance?), but seems to talk a fairly financially responsible game otherwise.

We asked FTW some time back whether the new boyfriend knew about her financial situation, and to our shock she said that he did. Supposedly she told him after only about a month, and FTW appears to have reigned in her spending in that time period, but perhaps she is just spending the same except that it comes out of his wallet now instead of our of her credit card?

It does make me wonder whether the new boyfriend is having an effect on her spending (and her total lack of control in relation to said spending), and whether this was the key all along – to get someone decent with money to pair up with her and encourage her to do the right thing. I’m sure that there are many people that feel like they are controlled by their partners in relation to finance (so much so that “financial abuse” is a recognised term), but this certainly doesn’t appear to be anything like that. I think it might be that perhaps she is choosing to stop seeking some sort of satisfaction from spending now that she has something more positive in her life in the form of the new boyfriend. Let’s just hope he sticks around otherwise she’ll fall of the rails for sure!

They’re moving in together (in another city far away)

While FTW has moved out many times, they have usually been in pretty half-arsed arrangements in dumpy houses with stupid ex-boyfriends or no-hoper friends (one of whom seemed to be short of teeth, which is surprising for a female in her early 20s). Many of them also seemed to work in fast food restaurants and have the maturity of other 15 year olds that work at these restaurants. Given all of this, it wouldn’t surprise you that FTW seems to move back home with my wife’s mother about every 12 months or so, and we’re therefore never really sure that she has moved out for good.

Imagine our surprise then when FTW and her boyfriend told us that they were moving to another city as he has a new job there. He was effectively poached from his old company with a significant pay increase to move to another city that’s about four hours away from us. FTW is therefore planning to find work in this new city and move there with him as soon as she has a job. This approach of not moving until she actually has a job there is another sign of potential improvements in maturity from FTW – in her old says I’m sure she would have quit as soon as they made the decision, even though they wouldn’t be moving away for weeks.

My wife and I are now curious to see how FTW’s financial situation evolves with her moving in with the new boyfriend in a (relatively) far away city. She’ll finally be out from under her mother’s wing (and hopefully won’t be borrowing any money from her any more), and it all seems to be a result of the new boyfriend and a change in mindset/attitude that he has brought.

So what do you think? Do you know someone whose financial attitudes have changed significantly as a result of their partner?



4 thoughts on “The Financial Train Wreck: Will the new boyfriend help fix her finances?

    • Ah, Jersey Shore… not being a big watcher of television (too many advertisements) I’ve never actually seen it!

      I hope he doesn’t throw her to the kerb either as it will mean that she’ll move back in with my mother-in-law!

  1. Sounds like the move and change of scenery will also help her gain confidence and independence with taking charge of her finances. I know how easy it is to rely on parents when you’re in their house. Everytime I visit my parents, I stay in my childhood bedroom and it’s like I’m instantly 13 again. My Mom cooks for me and my Dad drives me around so I can meet friends.

    Good luck to your sis in law.

    • I hope you’re right about the change of scenery helping her take charge of her finances as her mother is tired of supporting her every time things fall apart!

      I live in the same city as my parents so don’t have the opportunity to stay in my childhood bedroom, but that would definitely be weird! I hate driving anywhere with my dad – he always takes the slow way and drags me into helping him with whatever errand he has to run.

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