Sometimes people talk about money like it’s just a great big “dollars and cents” math problem but actually, it’s *incredibly* emotional. If you’ve ever had a disagreement about money, you probably know what I’m talking about. Things can get heated pretty quickly and sometimes a little fight can lead to a serious falling-out.
“My sister is a public school teacher and dated a guy who passed the bar on his first try and then decided he didn’t want to be a lawyer. While she was working, he was home smoking weed every day, all day. She finally says she won’t pay for his weed and he starts driving like a maniac while she’s begging him to be safe. He forced her out of the car in this horrible part of a nearby city and just left her there.”
“My great-grandmother (granny) lived to be 103 and she was an amazing woman. The money issue is that she started giving away her savings to her descendants in her nineties. My great aunt wouldn’t let anyone see my granny without being there to intervene, to the point where my granny would try to hide visits from her.”
“My granny was not a rich woman either, just a small-time farmer. She gave my mom some money for us for university, and some china and tablecloths when my great aunt was out of town on an Alaskan cruise. When my aunt found out, she canceled the trip, made the whole family leave the cruise IN ALASKA, and DROVE the whole way back to Manitoba, showing up at my mom’s house crying and begging for the china in the middle of the night. The next time we were at my aunt’s place, my mom saw it in boxes in the garage. We do not speak to her anymore. Disgusting behavior.”
“My ex and I moved in together after college. He made twice as much as me at least but also said he had way more student loan debt. I believed him and we split everything 50/50 because I thought our debt-to-income ratios were the same.”
“He acted like he had no money all the time and yet after two years of living together somehow almost all his debt was paid and I was drowning in mine because I spent all that time thinking we were both struggling.
I totally understand some people prioritize saving more than others. But it’s really frustrating and insulting when they’re trying to literally step on you to get ahead. Like his debt and ability to save mattered so much more than mine. Why? It’s heartbreaking.”
“My mom and stepdad made the mistake of renting a house from a family friend. He almost immediately started acting like a slumlord, charging way more than the place was worth and never making the basic repairs that the house needed.
And if he did make repairs, it was grudgingly and he’d usually do it wrong.”
“He was a contractor, which would make you think he’d be able to do at least a competent job. He also screamed and swore at my grandmother in the middle of the street because she told him he’d installed a new screen door upside down. When they moved out, he made up a bunch of lies about how they were terrible tenants so he could keep their security deposit and they had to take him to court to get him to give it back. We haven’t spoken to him since and last I heard he was trying and failing to sell the house for way more than market price.”
“My very first roommate was an ex–best friend. I knew she was always a little shady, especially when it came to money (she’s milked accident injuries to make them seem worse off to get an insurance collection) but for whatever reason, I didn’t think it would extend into our friendship. She was already living in an apartment with her then-boyfriend, but they broke up and she found herself struggling to stay there (they also had a baby).”
“Thinking I was being a good friend, I moved in to help her afford the place. It only lasted about three to four months because she was constantly acting as if nothing in that place was mine. Another friend of mine had a room available at her place, which made more sense for me to live [at] since it was closer to where I worked. After discussing this with said roommate, she became extremely hostile because I was no longer her built-in babysitter. We split the rent for each of the months I lived there but she expected me to pay a security deposit?? Even though I was technically not on the lease and you get the deposit back. She went around telling anyone who would listen that I never paid her, even though I split everything with her, let her borrow my car on multiple occasions when hers was in the shop, paid for my own food, cleaned, and babysat when she would have to work. We occasionally run into each other now but it has never been the same.”
“I dated this guy and about three months in, I realized he was way more well-off than I was. I was struggling at a job I loved that shadily paid women, like $10K less than direct counterparts. Anyway, he was earning six figures, as well as income off a second condo he rented. I absolutely didn’t expect him to pay my way but he’d get weird about money.”
“Like, we’d go out to dinner and basically order the same meal monetarily wise, but he’d have a Diet Coke and I’d have a glass of wine and he’d refuse to split the bill. One time we went to a place and their card scanners weren’t working and I didn’t have cash. He paid for us both but made me sign something saying I’d pay him back my half. I’d invite him over for a home-cooked meal (which, you know, still costs me money!) and he wouldn’t contribute, but he asked me for half if he got takeout. He had a car and I didn’t, and he expected gas money if he drove me home; so…I ended up mostly taking the bus two hours home (30-minute drive). It just seemed weird to me that he had all this money and I was making like 60% less than him and he couldn’t contribute like three extra dollars to split dinner or give me a ride home without demanding payment.”
“I dated a guy who apparently was only interested in me because he thought I made and had a lot of money. Wrong! I was just smart with money. Our relationship ended because he cheated, but he cheated on me with several women he thought had more money than I did. He ended up marrying one who he thought owned an apartment complex. He was surprised to find out after the wedding she didn’t; she only managed it.”
“When a friend at a film school learned my family doesn’t observe Christmas, she invited me to stay at her boyfriend’s to experience three days of Christmas. Nice of her! When I arrived on Christmas Eve, they said we needed to visit a supermarket to buy food and drinks.”
“As I watched them throwing all sorts at their two trolleys, I thought it seemed a lot for three days. But then again, people overindulge at Christmas so maybe this was normal.
When a cashier said “£328.62 please,” they stared at me expectantly. Took me a moment to register that they expected me to pay. I said, “Oh sorry, how much is my share?”
The girl feigned surprise and said, “I thought you wanted to thank us for letting you stay at ours for Christmas?” This shocked me enough to just bite my tongue and pay up.
Later that night, they got drunk and argued loudly while I watched TV, pretending it wasn’t happening. Same thing all day on Christmas Day. I crept out at 4 a.m. for home. Avoided her since.”
“When we first met, my ex had two jobs and was living on his own with roommates. As soon as he moved in, he quit his jobs and leeched off of me. We would go grocery shopping and he would fill the cart with things he wanted that he wasn’t going to pay for. He would use and then break all my tools and never replace them. He didn’t help around the house, used all my utilities and cleaning supplies, let his cats freely use the house as a bathroom, etc.”
“When we broke up, he refused to move out and then when he did eight months later after not contributing at all, he only moved out like a quarter of his stuff and expected me to store the rest of his stuff for free. He then brought the girl he cheated on me with to move a carload of stuff. I had a couple [of] friends come over and put all his shit on the curb (he hoarded the weirdest shit, like broken pieces of metal and random furniture). I ended up having to file bankruptcy because he drained my accounts and ran up my credit cards. Don’t be nice to broke-ass men.”
“My ex and I lived together and he decided one night to wake up at 3 in the morning, go into my purse, steal my debit card, and drive 45 minutes away to a random ATM to take out all my money. He came home and put my card back and when I checked my account and noticed it was very negative (I had bills that were automatically taken out), he acted like he didn’t know how that happened. I only found out when I was on my way to the police when his dad (a police officer) asked me not to press charges because it was his son who did it. I regret to this day not following through.”
“My husband and I have friends who were wealthy when we met them (and we were/are not) but due to his cancer and her illnesses lost their house and everything. They came to live with us for a short time and we loaned them money. When we decided to do so, my husband and I assumed we would never get the money back and we were OK with it, so we tried to make it a gift but the other couple insisted on paying us back.”
“Now they avoid us. If we do run into them, they talk about the money and how they are going to pay us back but we just don’t care about that. I just miss my friends…”
“My small immediate family no longer has a relationship with my brother. He quietly stole a large sum of money over several years from us, including when one of us was sick. He was 25 when we caught him and found out everything we knew about his life was a lie.”
“He was still living at home and eventually asked to leave because it just wasn’t safe to have him there (he still came back to pillage the house). It seemed like a lot of it was to impress his girlfriend and her family. We also learned about the awful fake stories he told about us to keep up this house of cards.
It’s been a couple years and he’s never really apologized. Never paid us back or wanted to clear up the lies he told — he doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. Only calls if he needs something or is trying to keep up appearances with his now-wife’s family. No one can trust any interaction with him. It’s sad all around.”
“I’d just had a baby and my then-boyfriend told me that an airline was having a huge sale and the flights to Japan were stupidly cheap, so what did I think about going for a holiday? I was like, you kidding, I’d love to but I’d just gone back to work after being on maternity leave, so money was tiiiiiight. He said it was fine, he’d organize it all, pay for it, the lot.”
“He sorted out childcare; he arranged flights and hotels. And when we were on the plane, he presented me (and his best friend, who I didn’t know was coming and who also shared the room with us!) with an itemized bill. Huge red flag.”
“My mum and her sisters bought a café with the inheritance from their parents. Her sisters walked out on the business because they are selfish and lazy. They now want to sue my mum for their inheritance even though all the money is still tied up in the business, which we continued to run without them.”
“We do all the work and they think they are entitled to money even though they walked away and lied about why they were no longer working there. It has split the family. Not just mum and her sisters but aunts and cousins as well.”
“My abusive ex was terrible with money. We lived in a property my parents owned and they decided to do him a solid and give him a break on rent so he could get his debt under control. Not only did he not put the money toward his debt, but he also kept racking up more, refused to move out when we broke up, and threatened to sue so he could get anything he had out in the house (like the new fridge). I made a fraction of what he did and ended up paying for all the bills and food. It was a nightmare.”
“Fast-forward to when I met my now-husband. He was on unemployment after getting laid off from his last job. We took turns paying for dates. He never defaulted on bills and didn’t have a mountain of debt. It was such a relief, I regularly broke down in tears over it.”
“An ex of mine accused me of only being with them for their money, which wasn’t the case. They messed with my head so much that I ended up paying all the bills and not having a penny left for myself. I didn’t buy a single item of clothing in the last three years of the relationship.”
“I also didn’t eat breakfast or take anything to work for my lunch because I couldn’t afford to pay for that much food. The relationship ended well over 10 years ago and even now I still have hang-ups about money and will never let anyone pay for something for me. My parents give me money for Christmas and birthdays, and it’s always a game of bank transfer hockey as I try to give it back to them.
If someone shows you who they are, then believe them and get out before you lose yourself.”
Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.
Do you have any personal rules when it comes to mixing cash with friends and family? Tell us what works for you in the comments below.
And for money tips, tricks, and stories, check out the rest of our personal finance posts.
Latest posts by CAESAR (see all)
- I'm Absolutely Obsessed With Olympian Erica Sullivan Who Is Definitely The New Lesbian Supreme - July 29, 2021
- Book Lovers Rejoice Because We're Giving Away A Bunch Of Gift Cards To Bookshop - July 28, 2021
- "Tooth Fairies" Are Sharing Their Most Creative And Funniest "Visits," And They're Such A Good Laugh - July 27, 2021
- 17 Things You May Love If '90s Girl Groups Are Forever Your Jam - July 26, 2021