What can I do if my girlfriend isn’t serious about money?

In the Get Rich Slowly forums, DannyBoy has a question that I think many people face: “What can I do if my girlfriend isn’t serious about money?” He writes:

I’m the sort of person who essentially looks into every area of his life to save, start investing, and be smart about money as much as possible. Do you think that somebody like myself, who cares so much about where his money goes, can be happy with a girlfriend who doesn’t? Everything else between us is cool, fun, etc, But I don’t want the money issue to turn me off her.

We’re both young: I’m 19 and she’s 23. She says she doesn’t want to save for retirement because we could all die in a second, therefore it’s a waste of time and money to save if the worst should come around. I don’t really agree with this. I mean, chances are most of us will make it to retirement. (Unfortunately, some won’t.) How do you think I should handle the situation?

Should I talk to her again about how I feel towards this? Should I let it bother me? I’m into her, and I want to remain to be into her, but I don’t want something so simple as saving to get in the way of what could be. Should I grow out of it, get out of it, or just accept it?

It’s relationship questions like this that make money so complicated. What do you do when you’re in love with somebody, but you don’t see eye-to-eye on money? (Or any other issue, for that matter.)

The standard reply to a situation like DannyBoy’s is that this relationship probably won’t work in the long-term. If both partners are not on the same page financially, there’s trouble in the future.

On the other hand, Kris and I are proof that it’s possible to have a fantastic relationship despite initial differences. When we were married, Kris did all the right things with money. I did all the wrong things. (This is one of the reasons we maintained separate finances.) Eventually, I came around. Not everybody does.

Obviously, DannyBoy and his girlfriend are young yet. Is it too early for him to worry about money differences? Should he worry about them at all? Is there anything he can (or should) do to open his girlfriend’s eyes?

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