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Ms Chase
Ms Chase, Life Coach
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2897
Experience:  Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues
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My partner and I have been living together for about six months.

Customer Question

My partner and I have been living together for about six months. I do really love her, and I would do anything for her. There are some things about our relationship that make me uneasy though. One is our financial situation. I'm the breadwinner. She was laid off from her job and has been unable to find another one. She started babysitting in order to have some income. She also receives foodstamps. Against my better judgement I agreed to merge our bank accounts. Because I just purchased a home, things are pretty tight money wise, but have been getting slowly better. My partner either thinks we are wealthy, usually right after I get paid, or else we are so poor that we can't even buy a soda. We've tried developing a budget, but she doesn't really want to be involved in finances. She's told me the bills are mine. So now I feel guilty for every little purchase. I've tried to have her more involved, but she doesn't want to be. She has grown increasingly clingy too.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ms Chase replied 8 years ago.

Are you male or female?

How long have you been together?

How did you meet?

What are your ages?

Why did you decide to merge the bank accounts?

Are you comfortable handling the fincances?

What does she mean by the bills are yours?

Is she giving you money?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am female. I am 34 and she is 27. We've been together about 8 months. We initially met via an online dating site.


We wanted to have a joint account to handle household finances, but she didn't like my idea of having 3 accounts one for each of us and one for the home.


I am not comfortable making financial decisions alone. Everytime I think I might be able to pay down some of my own debts, something else comes up that requires my attention. Just recently it was her car. She has been unable to make payments since February and the situation finally went to court. She had been trying to give the company money, but they refused to take it. I told her we could take care of it, but she waited until a few days before the court date to do anything.


She has numerous outstanding debts. We regularly have letters coming to our home for her debts. She doesn't like that I want to stay on top of my bills, even though paying them ontime means we don't have a lot of extra money. She makes snide comments about my spending habits, but says nothing when she decides she needs something. She never spends a lot of money, but a lot of times I know nothing until I look at the bank account.


Last night I bought groceries because we didn't have any and she was angry because I hadn't used her food stamp card. I had the money. I get paid in 2 days, I didn't think it was a big deal. In fact, I thought she would be happy. Instead, she got huffy and logged into the account to see what I had spent. She's happy to eat the food I bought, but because it would affect the $2000 I borrowed to pay off her car, she was worried. Then she tells me she doesn't want us to go in the hole. Yet, she plans busy weekends that end up costing much more than we planned on. A last minute camping trip ended up being close to 300 dollars. Money, I hadn't planned on budgeting. So we never having any padding.


When I try to talk to her about saving, she just wants to save for vacation. She doesn't like that I want to put money in my IRA or in my son's 529 plan. She's never had money before, and she understands nothing about it. I constantly feel guilty for spending the money I earn. I want to make this relationship work, because she is a wonderful person and I do love, but at the same time, I don't like the way she controls situations by using guilt.


If I try to talk to her, it dissolves into a fight and she tells me I'm treating her like my BPD mother. My therapist says I'm not, but I don't know what to believe.


She does give me her checks for babysitting, and she also works evenings at a school as a asst. theater director. I'm left with all of the finances and the majority of the household chores. I'm starting to resent her and I don't like that.

Expert:  Ms Chase replied 8 years ago.

I will be very frank with you and tell you what you probably already know.

1. 8 months is not enough time to know someone enough to move in with them, and not NEARLY enough time to put your name on a bank account with someone else
a. you've already said you don't like her spending habits. If anything happens a joint account gives her full access to any money you have in the account.
b. having a joint account doesn't affect your credit score but it does affect your bank score. Every time your account gets overdrawn, it stays on your bank credit and can affect you getting a loan, a cell phone, another bank account, etc.

You say that you are not comfortable making financial decisions along, but you sound like you have a far better grip on what needs to be done financially in your house than she does. I agree that if you can use the food stamp card,t here's no reason to spend cash on food unless you have to. A penny saved is a penny earned.

You have to make a decision...obviously you care about her, but you not liking how she's making you feel guilty or trying to control the situation is right on the money. You have to be concerned for you and your son, even if she isn't. There's nothing wrong with being in love, but that doesn't mean that you have to be other than you are, or change the way you live or think for someone else. If you're going to handle the finances, then handle the finances without her going over your bank account to check behind you.

I personally think that you should separate the accounts. Sure she'll get upset, but thats something you have to make a choice about. She should have her account, you should have an account, and there should be an account for the house (it's up to you if you want to make that a joint account, although I think if you are responsible for the bills then it doesn't need to be joint). Sit down and go over all of the bills, decide how much she needs to contribute, how much you will contribute and what goes in the house account every week or month. Her personal account and your personal account are your own business. In fact, I wouldn't even leave my back info or statements where she can see them until you get to know her (trust her) better. If she insists on not having separate accounts, you may want to open an account on your own just to put money in for now....perhaps that might seem deceitful, but you have to protect yourself somehow...ask yourself why she doesn't want to do something that is simple common sense? Your therapist is right. I welcome your thoughts, let me know if you want to talk more


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Ironically, I just opened another bank account. I received a significant raise at work, and I'm going to siphon extra money off into this account so I can have emergency funds again. I haven't said anything to her.


Just last night she told me that she thinks her working nights doesn't really phase me. Truthfully, I like her being gone. I get tired of her wanting to snuggle and be close all the time. I like being able to do things I enjoy or working around the house.


As for the food stamp card, she goes over receipts when I use it, so I never feel like I can really use it. I'd rather just use my own money, and if I put something in my cart I didn't plan for, then I don't have to feel guilty for it.

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