The original poster (OP) and his girlfriend have lived together for 7 years. They usually split their expenses 50/50 and tend to not keep track of minor purchases like snacks and fast food. He did mention that they will share the cost of fancy dinners out in addition to large regular expenses.
It Was His Girlfriend’s Birthday
He planned to take her around town and OP told her in advance that his budget for the evening was $500. She understood and was happy with the amount he was spending.
They Went to Several Places
They went to an adult arcade, to a paint night, and then planned to go to a upscale restaurant for dinner.
He Gave Her a Budget Update
Before heading to the restaurant, OP told his girlfriend he only had $200 left for the evening and she again said she was fine with that.
She Ordered a Bottle of Wine and Food
She ended up ordering a bottle of wine with dinner (OP later said the wine itself was $160) and some appetizers.
They Went Over Budget
The bill came out to $223 and change.
He Asked for the Amount Over Budget
OP asked his girlfriend to pay for the amount over his $200. He asked her to pay $23 and change plus the tip. He says she looked at him “dumbfounded” and said she didn’t bring her wallet and would pay him later. He said it was fine and to send her via Paypal later.
She Was Upset
The next day she gave OP the $23 in cash but left a note saying “since I guess we nickel and dime each other now, here’s your 23 bucks. Happy Birthday, me.”
He Tried to Discuss it With Her
OP tried to talk to her about it but she refused and called him a cheap jerk.
Was He Wrong?
OP feels he was very clear about his $500 budget and that it was all he could afford. He updated her throughout the night so he feels like she should have been aware of her spending. He is wondering if he was wrong to ask for the amount over his budget?
The Readers Respond
Many readers felt like the amount that was over budget was negligible and he should have just paid it. Some also thought it was his responsibility to keep track of the budget.
“OP should’ve A) kept better track of what they were spending. Or B) just took the $23 from his other savings and replenished it at another time. The girlfriend had no obligation to keep track of the spending and was not in charge of the budget, OP said he was and should’ve followed through accordingly.”
Is She Acting Entitled?
“Yeah, I honestly think people are looking at it as “he couldn’t even spare $23” rather than “he already spent $500.” I’d say spending $23 for a $500 birthday party sounds like a pretty darn good return.”
“He is the one doing the good deed of spending $500 on her for her birthday. It doesn’t matter if he has “money or a another account”. It’s the entitlement that drives me nuts. I think the girlfriend overreacted over such a small amount of money and OP handled it very maturely.”
Is There a Double Standard?
“$500 is not a small amount at all and he told her upfront. 23$ can or cannot be a small amount depending on the person but that does not matter. He gave her what was already a not small amount of money and she went over that. Why is it then him who is making bad budgets when she went over the limit he told her? Just because he is a guy? Seems a lot of double standard is coming through in this thread.”
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