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How Different Economic Backgrounds Affect My Relationship

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TAMU chapter.

When I first started dating my current boyfriend, one thing was increasingly apparent. We grew up in much different households and even tax brackets.

Growing up in a small town in northern California, the town was historically fairly poor and was full of laborers and of people who constantly worked in the fields. My parents barely had high school degrees and worked 12 hour days each to ensure we had enough food, a roof, and clothes. I am eternally grateful for everything they have given me but I will admit that it was hard. I was financially aware at the age of 5 and had money as a worry for over 15 years of my life. Budgeting, holding off on buying stuff, and always being in the mindset I’m incredibly broke is something that will forever plague my mind.

My boyfriend grew up in Cypress, Texas and his parents still currently reside there with his brother. He grew up in a large updated house, with almost anything he ever wanted (well within means of course). He never really had to worry about money and just kind of lived how he wanted. Don’t get me wrong, he is incredibly grateful of what privileges and opportunities he has grown up with. Overall, it is still almost opposite of where I am from and what I have had to grow up with.

One of the main things I notice is our different views on money. He is always in the mindset that if i want something, then I should buy it. Whether it be food, clothes, or just a random item. For the first month of being with him I was actually shocked. He just went out to eat, bought whatever game he wanted, or didn’t mind just getting things without frantically checking his bank account. I see everything as some large investment rather than simply just buying an item. It could be deodorant and I’m still checking if one I hate is going to be cheaper. Is the 30 cents going to matter? No. Not really. But it still will make me feel guilty for simply buying something. Grocery tripping always feels so weird because I’ll forever be searching for the cheapest option and he just puts whatever he wants into the cart!

Another thing I feel is guilt! A big purchase feels like a stab to the heart whenever I buy something over 10 dollars and I am constantly wondering if I should have done that or am I just acting insane. It’s on my brain for almost 3 weeks and it feels like I made a bad decision. I also feel so so bad whenever he pays for my dinner or any of my personal items. I know it’s normal for boyfriends to spoil you but its the monetary guilt that always creeps in.

Even though this piece feels like I am just complaining about our economic backgrounds, I am forever grateful for the things I was given and how I am so lucky to be where I am at now. I also am so incredibly grateful for my boyfriend and I think it is so interesting to show how our backgrounds affect our mindsets now!

Xyleyna Medina is a part of the events committee in Her Campus at TAMU chapter. She helps form or create event ideas, hold events for the TAMU chapter, and work along with others to put on activities for the other members. When she is not working with others in Her Campus, Xyleyna is studying for her degree in English at Texas A&M University. After graduating in spring ‘24 (whoop!) she plans to continue her education as a grad student studying Speech-Language Pathology. After that, Xyleyna plans to become a speech therapist. Previously being a tutor for many children with dyslexia and other speech disorders, it became a passion for her to work with them and go into a more professional setting with her passion. When she is not focusing on her studies or Her Campus, she enjoys spending time with her cat and gaming! A personal favorite game of hers is Valorant and while she likes to grind that game, she has enjoyed dabbling in other FPS games in her free time. As an English major, she loves to read and discuss them with her friends. Another personal interest to her is plants and taking care of and growing them.