This episode of Maxed Out features Adrianne, a woman in her 20s whose relationship with money compromises her romantic relationship with her boyfriend, Mike. It’s the first time on the show where a couple breaks up during the month it takes for financial guru Allison Griffiths to work her magic.
The show begins with a profile of Mike and Adrianne: Mike is careful, Adrianne is careless; he owns two condos and she rents her apartment; he doesn’t have a car and she has an expensive car payment. Get more details on their breakup and how Allison tries to help Adrianne when you read more.
At one point in their relationship, Adrianne was living with Mike rent free, hoping it would help her get out of debt (she’s more than $25,000 in the red), but a bad shopping habit prevented her from getting anywhere so she moved out to an apartment on her own. Adrianne owes Mike $5,000 and he leaves to take a three month teaching position in Beijing, hoping Adrianne will be on track when he returns.
She knows that her lack of control over her finances is eroding her independence and her relationship with Mike, and she wants to use his time away to get on a road to self-sufficiency. She never gets the chance to prove anything to him because they break up shortly after he leaves, which pushes her to keep spending money because she sees it as a mood elevator.
With a monthly shortfall of $450, it’s no wonder Adrianne can’t get out of debt. Allison encourages her to get rid of her car because it’s taking up 35 percent of her take home pay, and suggests that she find a better paying job to get more money in the bank. In the end, Adrianne is successful on several accounts: she gets a job making $15,000 more, it's within walking distance from her new apartment, which eliminates the need for a car, and the apartment is $300 cheaper in rent.
What would you have suggested to the couple?