Her Boyfriend's a Mooch

Q: I'm 23, and my boyfriend is 21 years old. We have been going out for about two years. When he got fired from his job, I helped him financially when I could. When we go out to eat, I'll pay, but that's it. Then he started putting things into my shopping cart like toothpaste, lotion, etc. Fine, until he started not paying me. And now he wants to know how much money I have in my bank account, what I have to spend on, and he wants me to give him money for whatever he needs. All this is going on since he got his job back. I understand that they are not paying him well, only $300 a week. What can I do to stop him from trying to mooch off me?? -- Emma, 23

Dr. Susan: You're only two years older than he is, so there's no excuse for his treating you like his mother. It was only fair of you to help out with the cost of eating out together when he didn't have a job, but now that he's back at work, just say no. You're not married and don't have joint accounts, so the way to get him to stop "trying" to mooch off you is to have it out with him. Then stick to what you say. Tell him you feel uncomfortable shelling out now that he's working. In order to avoid resentment that could wear away at your feelings for him, just don't do it anymore. Offer to do less expensive things together to help both of you stretch your budgets.

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