The Luv Doc: A Li'l Spendy
The kind of economic Übermensch G-Dubs prayed for back in '07
Dear Luv Doc,
My boyfriend spends money like a drunken sailor – and not just when he's drinking. He also spends money on clothes, gadgets, trips, food (he's a big tipper, too), but he doesn't make that much money. He is always late on his credit card payments, rent, utilities, and other bills. Somehow he miraculously manages to get by, but I don't feel like this is a good sign. Recently, he has been talking about getting married. I have told him about my money concerns, but he says he knows how to rein himself in. I am afraid he won't be able to and I will end up hating him for it. Should I trust him about the money?
First of all, Worrywart: Your boyfriend sounds like a really fun guy. I'd like to let him buy me a beer ... although if we're being completely honest here, it would probably be a top-shelf tequila. I'm sure he would be willing to pony up either way. He sounds exactly like the kind of economic Übermensch G-Dubs prayed for back in '07 when the economy was starting to take a nosedive into the shitter.
As G-Dubs would earnestly try to make you understand, capitalism is a stern taskmistress. You're always having to fleece Peter to pay Paul ... or rape Mother Earth to pay China ... or enslave yourself to some soulless corporation for half your life just to pay for a shitty tract home in Pflugerville and a hole to throw your corpse into. Just remember though, regardless of how ugly things get, it isn't capitalism's fault.
Without capitalism, life has no monetary value. Death doesn't have much monetary value either. What is a corpse's whole worth if you don't have to pay for it? My guess is that if death weren't so goddamn prohibitively expensive people would be dropping like flies. We probably wouldn't even have to wait in line for brisket at Franklin. People would be willing to just relax and let that congestive heart failure kick in. It's all good brah; death is free.
So your boyfriend is a li'l spendy. Yes, that could be a problem – especially if he picks up a drug addiction (which, between you and me, is not too hard to imagine given his addiction to materialism). You've got quite a potential mess on your hands. The American legal system is heavily stacked against debtors. The only way to successfully be a debtor in the U.S. is to be ridiculously in debt – like Goldman Sachs-level broke. As charming as he seems, it doesn't sound like your boo is bringing that kind of game.
Here is my idea – and I am not particularly sure it's a good one, but then again I'm no Warren Buffett: Before you commit to him for eternity, ask your boyfriend to live within a budget that you mutually agree is reasonable for, let's say, a year. I think by the end of that term you will know whether or not he can rein it in. If he can't, send him to whatever bar I'm drinking at.