Ask Alma: I Wouldn’t Pay for a Darned Thing!

Dear Alma,

Three years after my divorce I met a really nice man. I am 34 years old, financially secure with no children. So far we make each other happy and get along really well.

We both pay for things when we go out. I own my stuff, condo and car, and so does he. When we go out, never Dutch, one or the other picks up the tab and it’s never been a problem.

Here is my issue: He invited me to go with him to meet his family.

Then he said the other night, “When are you going to get your ticket? Let me know so I can make sure we’re on the same flight.”

I was appalled that he wants me to pay my own way. I think that’s totally wrong.

What do you think?

V.B., Shreveport, La.

Dear V.B.

What? He wants you to pay your way. Girl, can you hear that chirping chickadee,“cheap-cheap-cheap-cheap!!”

LOL!

All I can say is, you’ve got an extremely frugal brother on your hands.

To the left, to the left, I hear you and I totally agree. On the other hand, my sane mind, to the right, to the right, is tugging at me saying, “If he has a serious savings account and meticulously maintains his finances, that might be a good thing for you.”

I mean, really; he’s not asking you to go in half on his root canal. It’s a trip.

Maybe he sees it as a vacation (you know how men are). Which I’m sure you do not (you know how women can be).

Don’t be mad; if things work out between you two, you’ll be glad he’s frugal, especially during your retirement years.

Seriously, tho, going to visit your companion’s family is not a vacation, and you need to clarify.

Unless you decide to have a straight-up conversation with him, I’d say give him the benefit of the doubt.

I don’t think there’s any intent of wrongdoing here. Since you guys share the cost most of the time anyway, and since it bothers you, make this a teachable moment in your new relationship and explain it to him. Let him know that visiting his family is like buying a special gift. And you’d rather not have to go in the store and get it yourself. Ask him to cover the cost of the flights and you volunteer to cover the hotel.

If you’re staying with family, you can cover food and entertainment expenses. Don’t be mad; if things work out between you two, you’ll be glad he’s frugal, especially during your retirement years. In this economy, a man that resists unnecessary spending and prefers to save his coins is a keeper.

Alma

Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: alwaysaskalma@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and on Twitter @almaaskalma.