Is Someone as Frugal as You a Turn On or a Turn Off?

As I foray into the dating world (well, not really, but kind of) I have been meeting different types of guys.  I didn’t know that there were guys who were out there and were as passionate about saving money and finding deals as I was.  I mean, I do because everyone who posts on Red Flag Deals is probably a deal junkie, but I guess in my last relationship, I felt quite proud that I was good at that.  You know, it was like my niche.  I was the cool girl (not so cool, really) who loved a bargain and who found good bargains.  My ex-boyfriend wasn’t really into bargain hunting or saving money and left it up to me to do all the research and stuff.  I really liked knowing that I found a good deal.  I felt proud of it.  It’s my thing!

Enter a new guy that I am seeing.  He knows how to score a good bargain and seems to be even better than it than I am (I know, like whhhhatttttt??).  He buys most things online (down to…towels) because they are cheaper and he picks them up from the states.  He is probably more frugal than me.

Does it go back to Values?

I know having the same views on money is very important, since the number one reason of divorce is due to money.  Couples fight about money, especially when you have different spending styles.  One saves, one spends and then people in the relationship end up lying to each other about their purchases.  Couples also fight about who gets to control the money or the purse strings.

AdviceI’m not sure why it’s such a taboo subject and such a difficult subject to talk to your significant other about, but perhaps it goes back to the fact that money is all about the manifestations of our own values.  Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a lot of stuff, vacations, adventures, and other intangible and tangible experiences.

So when people have different spending styles (e.g. one is a spender and one is a saver – or *gasp* even a miser), I can see that there will be natural disagreements.  Our spending styles are really often a product of our family of origin.  If you grew up with parents that pinched their pennies (which doesn’t exist anymore, by the way), you will likely be a penny pincher too.  Or, you could rebel against what you were brought up with and become completely frivolous with money.

What is Money Compatibility?

Money provides a means for people to explore their values and display what they value I suppose.  I think that generosity is very important and although I am a frugal person, I am very generous when it comes to gifts, treating others for meals etc.  I guess the worry (subconsciously I suppose) is that I think, what if this person, who is so frugal, is not a generous person?  What if he will be frugal with his “displays of affection” so they say, towards me?

I am finding myself thinking the opposite of when I was in the last relationship.  It is confusing me even more.  For example, my ex-boyfriend drove a nice car (he was probably going through is 1/3 life crisis) and although I didn’t really discourage him, I guess I was thinking that him and I share different values.  For example, I’m happy driving my beater car for a while because I would rather spend my money on traveling.  With current guy I am dating, he drives a beater car too (though not as old as mine) and doesn’t see the value in spending money on a luxury car.  Although I wouldn’t buy a luxury car, I am interested in getting a new car (maybe an SUV) so I can carry things in my car without having to borrow or rent out a small truck every time I need to move something small.

Essentially, I feel like the tables have turned and now I feel like the frivolous spendthrift one! What is wrong with me? :)

Readers, I can’t tell whether this is a turn off or a turn on.  What do you guys think?  Would you want someone who was as frugal (or maybe more frugal) than you are?

About

Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

15 Responses to Is Someone as Frugal as You a Turn On or a Turn Off?

  1. This is a very tough question because there is more than this one point to consider My wife and I are compatible regarding our spending, but I don’t think we are the same. For example, I would never judge someone on the age of their car, but I would regarding the condition. Is the car clean,well kept and well maintained. I think there is so much more than just financial compatibility.

  2. I didn’t plan to leave any comment, thinking I have nothing to say about it today but I was curious to see others opinions so I left my Google Reader and came directly here :) To my surprise, there is no comment yet. I would love to hear what people think about it. I’m going through quite hard time in my relationship now so any financial-relationships post are something I’m interested in. But there is something else: this guy you wrote about is the same one you compared last time with your ex-bf? ;) If so, it’s getting serious ;)

      • I’m sorry for this question, I didn’t mean to be too nosy :) Yes, me and my boyfriend talked a lot about problems but time will show if it will work out in the end. You know what it is said: everything will be alright in the end, right? If it’s not alright it means it’s not the end ;)

  3. I think it would be nice to date someone more frugal than myself. When finances are separate in the beginning of a relationship I don’t think too much of how the other person spends because it’s the time for experimenting and getting to know each other’s values. In a committed, long term relationship however where marriage is likely then I would like to think of the other person’s money as my own. If my partner decides to stay home and look after the kids, then it’s up to my income earning ability to support them :) In this case maybe it’s a good thing if they’re being extra frugal with their display of affection towards me because it’s our money. On the other hand if we both value the principle of being generous to your loved ones when gifting then I might be disappointed if they got me something from the dollar store. It just depends on values. Every couple is different so it’s important to talk about these things.

    • My gf and I have been together for almost 5 years and we still have individual&combined finances. We split common stuff at the ratio of our salaries (so if one is on EI the other pays a lot more for the day to day stuff) and we each have money for our things, if she wants a $200 hairdo, fine.. if I want a $500 tool, fine.
      We have never had one single money issue with this method, we are really glad of having this “system” as all our friend have or had issues with money in their couple (whether they kept it to them or it degenerated into fights)… And we think we’ll keep it this way all the time; there is absolutely no need to combine our salaries and spending, as long as we keep track of everything so it’s fair.

      • @BeachBoy- Yeah I agree. I don’t think I would be comfortable combining 100%. I do like your idea of splitting common stuff at the ratio of our salaries.

    • @Liquid- That’s true it’s all about values. I think being frugal as okay as long as they are not frugal with their affection/ gestures towards you.

  4. Money was a major cause of my divorce. Money for a new snowmobile – yes. Money for a new roof – no.

    I consider myself partly to blame because I ignored all the signs when we were dating. The exhaust on his truck was held on with coat hangers but he bought a new stereo for the truck.

    Look carefully before making any major investment.

  5. For me, it is definitely a turn-on. My bf is probably the most frugal person I have ever dated. Although I am more money savvy than he is, he has a knack for getting things second hand and is a DIY kind of guy. However, when you are first dating someone and the relationship is very new, it is hard to say how much you should show your frugality. In the beginning when we first started dating, we went out a lot to movies and restaurants until we were comfortable bringing each other to our own homes.

    Someone who is irresponsible with their money and has no savings is a bit of a turn off for me.

    • @MakingtheBacon- That’s true- guess it’s a fine balance! I don’t like guys who are irresponsible with their money either. Maybe I should stop complaining LOL.

  6. ahah I’m that kind of guy! I buy dishwasher soap online! I buy replacement lightbulbs online, I buy dog food online! Everything is so much cheaper online in the US that it’s worth it, except for our groceries…
    My girlfriend is as frugal as me and t’s a good match. We don’t annoy each other because we both want to have the lowest price possible. We tend to buy expensive stuff (best quality), but often we pay less than people buying cheap stuff, just because we always get good deals.
    IMO, if your partner is not as frugal, an issue arises where the other can become bored or annoyed of you always trying to save $ here and there. My gf and I usually do groceries in more than one store.. I know a TON of people that would get tired of that.

      • I buy Orijen food, it comes from Alberta, but it’s cheaper to get it in the states (how stupid!). Even with the frequent buyer discounts at the stores (like get the 11th free), it’s still cheaper to get them online and delivered right to my cottage in the US!

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