My Girlfriend is Bad with Money: A Guide to Fixing the Financial Woes in Your Relationship

I can’t seem to get my girlfriend to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. We’ve been together for a while now, and it’s becoming a frequent occurrence that she never has cash and ends up asking me to chip in every time we go out or buy something together. I’ve tried to bring it up casually, but it’s become obvious that I need to take a deeper look into the financial woes in our relationship and come up with a plan to fix them.

In this guide, I’m going to be walking through tips, tricks, and strategies I’ve learned over the years to help manage my girlfriend’s money and get our relationship off of the rocky financial road it’s been stuck on.

Acknowledge the problem

When I first met my girlfriend, money wasn’t a problem, and we did everything together without worrying about who was paying for what. We splurged on dates, went on luxurious vacations, and even bought gifts for each other without thinking twice. We both had well-paying jobs that allowed us to keep up this lifestyle.

a woman shopping

But then things changed. She started getting declined at the register when she pulled out her bank card. She asked me for money more and more often, telling me she didn’t make enough to cover her bills and her wants combined. I tried offering her financial advice, but it never seemed to stick with her – lavish shopping trips were still the norm for us.

Finally, I realized that this way of life wasn’t sustainable, so it was time to take action and address the situation in a thoughtful way that respected our relationship. It became quite clear that my girlfriend had some major issues with money management, which needed to be addressed if we wanted to continue our relationship as a happy couple down the road. It was hard but necessary conversation for me to step up as a partner and help my girlfriend get out of debt, stay on track with budgeting and learn how to handle money appropriately without sacrificing fun times together or the overall health of our relationship!

Explain why it is important to address the issue

Addressing the money issues in my relationship was never something I expected to have to do, or even knew how to go about doing. But when the bills started piling up and my girlfriend’s financial situation kept getting worse, we were forced to confront the truth: something had gone wrong and it needed to be fixed.

Money is an important part of any relationship, and addressing the issue head-on is essential for long-term happiness. Money problems can quickly become a serious source of stress for both partners, leading to arguments and strained communication. If left unaddressed, this issue could put a strain on our already limited resources and damage our trust in one another. It is important that we address these issues now before they grow into bigger problems down the line.

Identify the Root Cause

Having a financial argument with your girlfriend can be a tough situation to deal with. Before you try to fix the problems in your relationship, it’s important to take a step back and try to identify the root cause of the financial woes. It could be a lack of communication, a lack of understanding on your girlfriend’s part, or a multitude of other issues. It’s important to be honest about what the root cause is before you try to fix the problem.

Examine your financial habits

Do you ever look at your bank account and ask yourself, “That’s it?!”

The revelations of a bottomless bank account are quickly replaced with the reality of how much it costs to live day-to-day. And if you have a girlfriend that is also living day-to-day, your financial situation might be going from bad to worse depending on where the money is being spent.

If you find your finances in disarray for reasons other than her spending money, examine your financial habits first. Are you:

  • Overspending and taking on more debt?
  • Living beyond your means?
  • Investing wisely or simply paying bills on time?
  • Are there any leakages along the way?

All these components contribute to your overall financial health – and could help identify potential root causes for why things aren’t working out. Once you’ve done an honest self appraisal, then it’s time to consider whether she may be exacerbating the problem – suggesting changes to help both of you improve largely depends on whether these issues already exist in some degree within both of your lifestyles. If they don’t, there may be little value in starting a conversation that ultimately leaves blame shifting back and forth.

Discuss your girlfriend’s financial habits

If your girlfriend constantly has no money, never offers to pay for things, or always wants to spend money on unnecessary items – you may want to discuss her financial habits. This conversation can be difficult, and it is important that you approach it with an understanding attitude. Understanding why she behaves the way she does will help you collaborate on a plan to resolve the issue.

YouTube player

Start by asking open-ended questions that encourage her to talk about her finances and views on money. For example, you could ask questions such as “what have been some of your financial struggles?” or “how do you think your childhood taught you about money?” It is also important to really listen and try not to judge the responses that she shares.

Discussing her current income and budget can help identify areas where she might need help to improve her financial skill set. It could be an opportunity for both of you to understand how much each person brings in relative to their costs, which can affect how financially independent each of you will be in the relationship. Focusing on educating yourself about your own financial habits is a great first step – it can create a more level platform for discussion when conversing about these topics with your partner.

Assess your financial compatibility

Before considering any solutions to your significant other’s approach to spending, it is important to consider if you are a financial match. You may be in love, but sometimes it can become clear that you and your partner have very different ideas about money. It is not a reflection of how much you care for one another. Therefore, this guide can help couples evaluate their financial compatibility in order to determine the best course of action without hurting the relationship further.

Ask yourself whether either of you make more money than the other, if one spends money too lavishly when compared to the other’s ‘budget-minded’ approach, or if there is a difference between your values when it comes down to handling finances. This will give you some insight into why your partner has been bad with their money and help assess how much ‘work’ needs to be done towards finding an effective solution.

Understanding what each person’s expectations and approaches can open up opportunities for negotiation or compromise when it comes time to come up with solutions together. It might also take some adjusting levels of trust and comfort within each other, as well as discussions on future financial plans that will work for both parties. As long as you find a common middle ground that best suits both of your goals, then building towards bridging this gap over time should be relatively successful in resolving the problem at hand.

Develop a Plan

If my girlfriend and I are in a situation of financial struggle, it’s important to recognize that it’s hard to talk about. Money can be a sensitive subject and it’s hard to navigate how to create a plan that works for both of us.

In this guide, we’ll go over some tips that can help us move forward and make better financial decisions as a couple:

Set financial goals and expectations

Setting and agreeing on a financial plan is key to achieving sustainable financial goals in your relationship. Start off by discussing your individual financial goals, what short-term and long-term goals you both want to accomplish. Make sure that each goal is realistic and attainable. Ensure that these are discussed openly, not as a criticism but with mutual respect, so that you can come up with steps to achieve them together.

This means discussing topics such as current credit score, debt, budgeting, spending habits, salary or income expectations and needs versus wants. This should be an honest discussion and put everything on the table so all cards are laid out – this way both of you can be on the same page when it comes to finances.

When having this conversation, talk through what each of you expect when it comes to money, as different amounts have different meanings for everyone. What does it mean for one person to spend money “wisely” vs another? You don’t need similar goals – maybe you only want one savings account while your partner may want two – but make sure these expectations are discussed clearly rather than assumed.

To help each other stay motivated, there should also be agreement on how much money will be saved every month towards these shared financial goals and how these funds will be saved (e.g., high rate accounts, investment auto-deposits). And lastly review if there is a better way of using resources such as signing up for pension plans or establishing an emergency fund for unexpected expenses separately or together when needed.

This conversation might not give a definite solution immediately, so try connecting with your partner regularly about progress made towards achieving these financial goals to ensure success in the long run!

Create a budget

Creating a budget is one of the most important first steps to help your girlfriend get a handle on her financial woes. Start by getting an accurate picture of how much money she brings in each month and how much she’s spending. It’s best to look at her bank statements and credit card statements over the past few months to get an accurate picture.

Once you have all the information in front of you, decide what non-negotiable expenses need to be covered each month versus ones that can be cut back or are more flexible (eating out- this can always change). Once everything is sorted, create an easy-to-follow budget with specific numbers assigned to everything – rent, gas, groceries, entertainment – so your girlfriend knows exactly what she needs every month.

Lastly, create a savings plan for all extra money after bills are paid. Whether it’s saving for something big like a car or just adding money into an emergency fund, outlining where and when extra money should be earmarked will help your significant other better save for her future – on top of sticking to the budget, you created together!

Discuss ways to save and invest

When it comes to tackling financial issues with my girlfriend, the best place to start is by discussing ways to save and invest for our future. We could start with budgeting, come up with a spending strategy, and work on building an emergency fund to cover any unforeseen expenses.

If we do decide to invest together, it’s important that we identify our respective risk tolerances and know our long-term goals. We should also take into consideration any potential tax benefits, as well as compound interest that comes along with saving regularly. Building a sound investment strategy alongside regular saving will not only secure our financial future but also provide us with short-term benefits. This can give both of us peace of mind, knowing that we have a safety net in case anything goes wrong.

Implement the Plan

It’s time to put your money plan into action. Immediate action needs to be taken in order to implement the plan that you have crafted. The results of this plan are something that you and your girlfriend want and need, which is why it’s important to take it seriously.

Start by laying out the plan step by step and clarifying the boundaries, responsibilities and expectations of both of you. Discuss ways on how to apply the plan and track progression, then set a timeline for re-evaluating your financial situation.

Implementing this plan is going to be a game changer and will help bring balance to your relationship.

Here are some steps to take:

  • Lay out the plan step by step.
  • Clarify the boundaries, responsibilities and expectations of both of you.
  • Discuss ways on how to apply the plan and track progression.
  • Set a timeline for re-evaluating your financial situation.

Discuss ways to cut costs

As with any budget, the first step is determining where you can cut costs. For your girlfriend, her spending habits are likely to be the ones that will require the most change in order to bring down your monthly expenses.

Discuss options for reducing expenses on dinners out, leisure activities and vacations. For example, instead of going out to a restaurant for dinner, consider cooking meals at home or heading to an inexpensive fast-food joint. Look into discount movie tickets instead of going to a movie theater; as well as coupons and promotions for local amusement parks and sight-seeing attractions that don’t cost an arm and a leg to visit. Even minor changes, like replacing expensive coffee shop drinks with home-brewed coffee, can make a big difference in your budget.

Agree on a payment system

When it comes to splitting the bills, it can be difficult for couples to decide what is fair and practical. If your girlfriend is constantly asking for money or insists on you paying for everything, then it’s time to come up with a system that works for both of you.

The first step is to agree on a payment system. This could include each partner paying their own bills, both partners chipping in an equal share of the costs, or taking alternate turns splitting expenses. Decide what works best for your partner and yourself so that you both feel comfortable with the arrangement and make sure payments are made on-time and in full.

Once you have agreed upon a plan, consider setting up automatic payments so that things stay on track. You can also use online banking services to simplify keeping track of who paid what when (and when they paid it). If either one of you is short on cash, try setting up an agreement where both parties put aside a certain amount each month into savings so that unforeseen expenses don’t ruin your budget.

Finally, make sure that both parties stay financially accountable for their expenses by reviewing spending statements at least once every month so that any irregularities can be identified early on—especially if either one of you strikes out balancing the checkbook monthly!

Discuss ways to increase income

When it comes to increasing income, my girlfriend has two options: either make more money in her current job or find another one. Of course, both have their benefits and drawbacks.

If she stays in her current job and make more money, then she will need to focus on ways of increasing her value at her workplace. This could include taking additional courses or certifications to increase her knowledge and skill set, or taking part in continuing education provided by the company. It is also worth researching resources, offering advice on how to negotiate salaries and asking for a raise or bonus.

If she decides that the best way to increase income is through finding a new job, then it may be necessary for her to craft a strong resume and cover letter. In addition, she might also want to look into creating different versions of each tailored towards various employment opportunities that match her interests and qualifications. With this could come the need for researching companies’ histories, understanding the job market climate within those industries, networking with industry professionals for contacts with those potential employers, and so forth. Once these have been sufficiently established, there needs to be an active search effort which involves:

  • Making phone calls
  • Sending out resumes with poise and confidence

These are just some of the main methods of obtaining a more prosperous career path, which can result in increased income opportunities.


girlfriend shopping

After taking a deep dive into the financial woes of your relationship, it is finally time to reach a conclusion. In many cases, the financial issues in your relationship can be traced back to a lack of communication and trust. The key is to talk to your partner early and openly, so that you can both work together to come up with a plan to tackle your financial issues.

Acknowledge the hard work

Step back and appreciate the amount of effort your girlfriend is putting in to fix her financial situation. Not only is she likely dealing with the overwhelming emotions of not having the capacity to take care of her everyday needs, but she could also be dealing with fear, shame, and guilt over not being able to keep up with money demands – demands that many individuals have faced at one time or another.

It would be easy for her to give up on ever getting her financial life on track, yet here she is taking actionable steps in order to do just that. Acknowledge this hard work and let her know you recognize it. Your support can go a long way in helping her stay motivated throughout the process – remember that even little encouragements can go a long way!

Celebrate successes

It wasn’t easy, but I’m proud of my progress in helping my girlfriend become financially secure. I now celebrate every milestone she reaches towards becoming independent without relying on my financial support. With each accomplishment comes a renewed bond between us and a more secure future as partners in life.

We’re learning how to better manage our resources, set appropriate boundaries in our relationship, and build a healthier and more trusting bond when it comes to money matters. Celebrations have become a common theme between us as we reach achievements – big or small – together or apart. When she hits her savings milestone by depositing into her savings account or when we pay off one of our many bills, the feeling of accomplishment is beyond tangible for both of us. And feeling secure financially does help in other aspects of life, so I’m there for support whenever possible.

Money matters can be tricky in relationships. It isn’t always easy, but being able to open up about each other’s finances fosters understanding and trust between couples. Celebrating successes, no matter how small they are, helps keep the fire alive and lets your partner know that their efforts do not go unnoticed!

Emphasize the importance of communication

The importance of communicating about money cannot be overstated. It’s vital that both you and your partner agree when it comes to managing finances. This means discussing both short-term and long-term goals, coming up with a budget, reviewing financial statements and talking through difficult financial situations like debt or high expenses. Talk openly and candidly to each other and be sure to listen without judgment – a bit of sensitivity goes a long way.

If you have a particular area of expertise or knowledge, offer it to your partner in order to help them better manage their own finances. Offer resources such as classes or online tutorials for those looking for an extra boost of support or information on how to save better. With the right combination of communication, support and education, you can both take the necessary steps towards being financially responsible and secure in your relationship.




Photo of author


I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.