28. A man who is cheap with his wallet will also be cheap with his heart.


Unfortunately, I’ve dated a lot of cheap men in my life. I’m certainly not proud of this fact and it I think a lot of it has to do with???????????????????????????????????????? self worth. I also think the lines for young women are blurred even more today than they were when I was in my 20s. But that still doesn’t mean you should date a man who splits everything 50/50 or won’t take you out and pay. As one of my eloquent cheap ex-boyfriends tried to argue, I was an “independent woman” and that I should pay when we go out, even though he seemed to conveniently forget that I cooked dinner for him every week and he never once brought over a bottle of wine. I got over him (finally) after we went on a ski weekend together and after we had split everything down the middle, he had the nerve to ask me for gas money. It was the last straw. But here’s what I also have found about men like these: when they aren’t generous with their money, they won’t open their hearts either. It’s weird how this behavior seems to go hand in hand. My dad, a very wise man, says, “character counts.” The way a man treats his money and how he spends it on you (or doesn’t) is a key insight into his character. I know a lot of young men will make the same argument as my ex-boyfriend (who was in his 40s, by the way) but don’t fall for it. Cheap is as cheap does. And trust me, it still isn’t easy for me to let a guy pay. Those moments while the check sits on the table cause me major anxiety and I feel like I have to do something like offer to “help” or pay the tip. I’ve done both of those things. But I’ve found when I didn’t do either, I felt much better. If the guy really cares about you, he will, too. So I’ve finally sworn off of cheap men because it’s not worth going out with a guy knowing you can treat yourself better than he can.

Word to the wise: Cheap men are a dime a dozen and it pays to find the ones who aren’t. If you’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places, this is the right place to start. And here’s a few more thoughts on this topic:


Do you agree with the correlation of man’s heart to his wallet? Ever dated a cheap guy? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”


About Eva Finn

Eva Finn is an award-winning marketing copywriter, advertising instructor and life expert. She started the blog, Wise Before 25 so young women can avoid making the same mistakes she did. This blog will become a book of the same title, which will include contributions from readers. She was also published in a book about the subject of hair– the good, bad and the ugly – called, fittingly enough, Hair Pieces, by the Cary Tennis Workshop. As a copywriter for more than 20 years, she has written ads, brochures, direct mail, radio and television for clients that included In-N-Out Burger, Bank of America, Toyota and Ingram Micro. Eva has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education. She has taught advertising classes at The Art Institute of California-Orange County and California State University, Fullerton. And she has had plenty of hard knocks from the school of life.

21 responses »

  1. Oh, Lord did I need this today!! I met a guy online (he pursued me) with a profile saying he made $100,000-$150,000. First date? A made-over gas station diner. We had a great time, but I thought it was just a test. Now, to boot, I was nice enough to drive 1.5 hours (one way!) to see him so he wouldn’t have to drive to where I live. Second date, I got all dolled up with a nice dress, it got worse – a deli. Third date was a place to eat next to the movies that we saw because he had free tickets. This guy has a pension and a full time job. I’m like WTF? It’s not that I’m a gold digger, but it’s like asking him over for dinner at my place and serving him peanut butter and jelly with chips. It would say no thought, no effort, you don’t feel special. By never taking me anywhere nice, I do not feel special at all. He tells me how pretty I am and what a great body I have, but just won’t take me to a nice romantic place. I’m going on my 5th date with him tomorrow, and it might be my last. I spend more money in GAS than he does on me for dinner. Guys, step up your game. Win her heart. Make her feel special. Because, like with me, when we don’t feel special, we move on… Thanks for this article!! Now I will know why he’s so cheap. (And I’ll discuss this with my sons!) 🙂

  2. I literally JUST broke up with my boyfriend of a year tonight because of this. He was certain we were going to get married, but the thought of spending my life uncomfortable every
    time we bought groceries or the bill came at a restaurant was torture. I finally had a sit down with him (very uncomfortable) and told him that I needed him to stop making me feel like he paid for things begrudgingly and to treat me like a woman and stop being so frugal. He came back right away telling me that his issue was that I – I repeat – I needed to be treating him more when we went out. So…after pouring out my heart about this topic, he comes back with telling me I need to pay for things more. OMG. Final straw. I was just shocked. This is a grown man.

    • Wow! Good for you and are you sure we weren’t dating the same guy??? 🙂 Stay strong and know there are good guys out there who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Thanks for your inspirational comment.

      • I think you might be missing the point – I am equating love with generosity. To be generous, it doesn’t matter how much money you earn. I always think of Miranda and Steve in “Sex and the City.” He was a bartender, she was a high-powered attorney. And yet, he always insisted that he pay for her – even if all he could afford was a piece of pizza. And she insisted on paying for him but he wouldn’t let her. That’s called being a gentleman. As far as dying single and alone, I can only hope that all cheap men do! 🙂

    • This article sounds like it’s equating love with money, and if that’s the case I guess all men making less than 30000 a year will die single and alone.

  3. I went to a weekend holiday with a girlfriend, my supervisor and his friend (no dating here). On many occasions when we went to the shops to buy food for dinner one guy would go wait outside the shop and the other one follow us but would never offer to chip in. My friend and I paid for the food. After we went back I asked my supervisor’s friend to chip in for the food he said okay but never paid. On top of that, he complained to my supervisor that I was asking him to pay for the food he ate. My supervisor then went on to tell me off that I had the nerves to ask the guy to pay. Like…I’m just speechless and have to keep my mouth shut because I don’t want to lose my job. It was $30… I have never in my life met any guys so cheap like this…

    • Unfortunately, I have. You sound like a smart cookie and it’s more important to keep your job. And now you know for next time. Don’t let people like this take advantage of you. Thanks for your comment and be wise 🙂

  4. I dated a cheap man for 13 years. Notice i said “dated” because I ended up breaking up with him and marrying a man who is generous with his money and his heart. Such wise advice, I can’t believe that I never made that connection before I read this!

  5. Great post! I can relate. I knew I had a real “winner” when a boyfriend bought me a $25 gift box of lotions from Bath & Bodyworks for Christmas while he gave his sons a thousand dollar laptop. Next!

  6. Good comments! My mom used to tell the story of how my dad would take her out for a cheeseburger and coke when they first met. He could barely afford it on his sailor salary at the time. And she was still so hungry after the date, that she’d go home and eat some more. But the way he made her feel was what kept her coming back for more. 50 years more!

  7. Absolutely! Not every man can afford to wine and dine you in royal style, but the urge to share what he does have and treat you as if you were worth being treated well should be one of the strongest feelings you are left with after spending time with him. I heard a saying “I have a lot to give to someone who has a lot to give to me,” and it is worth remembering. Treat a man nicely, do respect and appreciate the hard earned cash he’s shelling out for you, and reciprocate in many ways, not necessarily financial, but do not lavish your care and concern on someone who doesn’t make you feel special. In my experience, it is pretty hard to feel special while the guy has his calculator out, figuring out how much you owe him. It is a blow to self worth, and that is not good. And if he doesn’t make you feel special while you are dating, only imagine how not special you may feel years later if you end up staying with him.

    • Ain’t that the sad truth! Hopefully, I will never have this experience again and anyone who reads this and is in this type of relationship should definitely listen to your wise words 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  8. Agreed! It’s not the size of his wallet, it’s how he chooses to use it. Wait, we are talking about wallets? 🙂 And yes, going for a walk with girlfriends is much more satisfying than going out with Mr. Stingy! Or feeding Kea Mea sausage and cheese is even better 🙂

  9. Abundance in love, laughter, and lunch! If a guy won’t share his pizza or buy a woman a large coffee…next!

    Recently I dated a gentleman who was generous and never allowed me to pay for meals, movies, or cocktails. He was also generous with his wisdom and humor. However, and most importantly, he kept his affection under lock and key. After exquisite dinners there was no hand holding or hugging.

    I’d rather enjoy a $$$ evening with a kiss for dessert than a $$$$$ evening with a hand shake. To those who are stingy with love, laughter or lunch I say move on and then go for a walk with girlfriends.

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