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Maxed Out 2009-03-16 04:30:55

Maxed Out: Financial Dependency Prevents Marriage

This episode of Maxed Out is about Lisa and AJ, a couple living together in a lopsided financial relationship. AJ covers most of their shared bills because Lisa can't pay her half — she has more than $52,000 in debt and a bad shopping habit, while AJ has no debt to his name. He says Lisa needs to get her debt down to a manageable place before they can consider marriage, and this makes Lisa upset. AJ longs to go back to school, but Lisa's debt is standing in the way; he can't save for tuition because he's paying twice his share in bills. Find out more about their financial situation when you


Lisa is a waitress making $1,100 a month, and she spends the $600 she makes in tips without ever depositing the money into her account. She's only paying $89 a month to her debt, and financial guru Allison Griffiths determines that at the rate Lisa is going her debt will grow to $100,000 in five years time. That's nearly twice as much, and AJ is visibly overwhelmed with the news.

Allison instructs the couple to each take out $50 a week and track how they are spending the cash. She tells Lisa to put her tip money in the bank, sell some of her 40 pairs of shoes to a consignment store, and gives her three weeks to earn more money so she can contribute 50 percent of the bills and pay down more debt. Allison instructs AJ to open a separate savings account to make monthly deposits toward going back to school.

At the end of the episode, Lisa has quit her job as a waitress for a higher paying job at a salon, and AJ is earning more money because of a promotion and more overtime hours. Lisa is making much larger payments toward her debt, and their goals of marriage, a mortgage, and education seem more in reach.

What's your take on the situation and resolution at the end of the episode? Do you think they have taken the proper steps to make their relationship work and work themselves out of debt?

randeg randeg 8 years
I think they have taken the right step with the help of the financial guru. But Lisa may have a more deep seated problem when it comes to her bad spending habit. This should be addressed I think to ensure what they are doing now will continue working. Evelyn Guzman (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Sounds like Lisa is the type of woman who would marry someone just for their money. She doesn't have much ambition and it sounds like she's going to depend on Andrew for most of her financial needs once they get married.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
I'm so glad AJ has enough sense to not get married to her until she can be financially responsible for herself. I have the same deal with my boyfriend, we are each responsible for our own student loans and want to have good financial footing before we get married.
geebers geebers 8 years
Wow just wow. AJ obviously is blinded by love because all I saw was a spoiled entitled little brat. One of my deal-breakers when dating a guy (let alone considering marriage) is that he is financially responsible.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
These shows stress me out! But at the same time make me feel better, since I am way better off than them!
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Geez, he wants her debt to be manageable before they can get married and SHE"S upset about that? Even though he is paying for her half of things, can't pay for his own school dreams and does it all without dumping her? AJ, you are a better person than me. I couldn't live with someone that was sucking all of my income dry while they spent $600 a month on useless trash. Seriously, what is wrong with this woman and her sense of entitlement. Women like this give all women a bad name.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
"this makes lisa upset" that should tell AJ everything he needs to know about her; she doesn't expect to have ANY financial responsibility in their marriage. she'll do this for a few months and then back to her real self. run AJ!
syako syako 8 years
Wow. I have to agree with AJ here. If you can't handle your finances on your own and are irresponsible, you need to get that stuff together before marriage or you may be in for some huge financial fights. I like the idea of $50 a week. I do a similar thing, but with $40. All the money I spend during the day on coffee, lunches, extras has to be under $40. It really keeps my spending in check and it helps me to say "no" to a lot of useless things.
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