I am trying to decide whether or not I should marry my boyfriend. I love him with all my heart, but he’s so thrifty that it’s not in his nature to give me gifts. I always have to ask him for things, and only then do I get anything…. I’m tired of wondering if this is the way it will be my whole life with him and if he will give me financial help for our home without me having to ask for it.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to live like that all the days of my life. What should I do?

Dear Friend,

You answered your own question! You said that you don’t want to live like that the rest of your life. So obviously you should not marry your boyfriend. If you go ahead with a marriage to someone who thinks so differently than you do, you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of arguments and unhappiness. Break it off now, no matter how difficult it seems.

We are not saying that your boyfriend is wrong to save his money. We believe that saving is a practice that requires the character qualities of patience, self‑control, determination, and discretion. Your boyfriend is wise to save now for the future. Another wise man, King Solomon, said that “he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”(1) When a person has the ability to deprive himself of something he wants now, in order to have what he will need in the future, he is greatly increasing the probability of a comfortable future for himself and his family.

However, in order to have a happy marriage, a husband and wife must have similar beliefs about how much money to spend and how much to save. You too may want to save money, but you do not think it is necessary to save as much as he wants to save. Even so, you do not have the same beliefs as he does about saving, which means that marrying him would be a mistake.

Money is one of the top three causes of severe problems between spouses, so couples should discover whether they have similar values and priorities regarding the use of money before they agree to get engaged. In many cases, one of the two may already have accumulated a great deal of credit card or consumer debt. This can be a red flag indicating that the person has not developed those character qualities of patience, self‑control, determination, and discretion. A wise person will not agree to marry that person until after the debt has been paid. Beginning a marriage with considerable debt is a sure formula for future conflict and unhappiness.

There are financial experts who recommend formulas for what percentage of income should be saved and what percentage can be spent. We are not financial experts, but we are convinced that when two people agree to share their lives and resources, it is of critical importance that they also agree on those kinds of details.

Make the right choice!

Linda and Charles
1 Pr 13:11