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Home / Budgeting / My Spin On 8 Questions About Money And Relationships

 

Money and RelationshipsFirst off, I want to point out that several other personal finance bloggers have tackled this topic. I came across it the first time on www.thefirstmillionisthehardest.net, but as the author there points out, lots of others have tackled the topic before, including Money Beagle and Budgets are Sexy. I wanted to look the questions over and give a perspective that may not be unique (divorced a spouse who spends money faster than we both could make it), but is distinctly my own. You may want to skip this post if you do not appreciate the fact that I may very well be a bit snarky.

Would You Discuss Money On A First Date?

I have always limited first date money questions to the general where do you work? and what do you do? If I already have this information, I do not bring up money, except, after trial and error, I found that it is now polite to ask if they want to split the check on a first date. It was rude when I was younger. Apparently not anymore.

How Long Should You Wait To Talk About Money With Your Spouse?

If you are married and have not talked about finances, you have already waited too long. You should have discussed finances and your debt load months before the wedding. The exact time to bring finances up while dating is a personal thing, but it is a topic that has to be discussed prior to saying “I do.”

Who Always Brings Up Money In Your Relationship?

Alright, time for a bit of snarkiness. I always had to bring up money. The ex avoided money issues like the plague. Generally, because we were so different. Why? Because prior to marriage, I did not take my own advice given in the previous question. Talk about getting hit in the face with an uncomfortable reality.

Is It Harder To Manage Your Money As A Couple Than It Was When You Were Single?

That depends. Couples who have similar financial principles will complement each other. One will have their senses when the other wants to make a silly decision and vice versa. If you are polar opposites about money, it becomes very hard to manage money as a couple. It will lead to many fights. Finances are ranked as one of the top reasons for divorce.

Would You Offer To Pay Off Your Spouse’s Debt?

That depends. Was the debt incurred for a sensible reason? Since student loans are becoming ubiquitous, yes I would help with that. Is it an auto loan? Yes to that and similar ilk. I am keying on the word spouse in this question. Now, if this was a long-term girlfriend that I was engaged to, I would have to weigh all of her other debt habits. If it were a short-term girlfriend, I would walk away if she even asked me to help her pay her rent. Sorry to seem so harsh, but I am not a charity nor do I intend to be treated as one.

Is Debt A Deal Breaker?

That depends on the overall debt habits of the person. If they are paying all of their debts without problems, then no. Do they pay a credit card payment, then charge the free balance immediately? Yes, that would be a deal breaker.

Do You Think It’s Important To Have The Same Money Views?

It is very essential to have similar money views. A couple will have different views from time to time, but constant conflict is going to destroy your trust in the other person and lead to the end of the relationship.

Can You Really Change How Your Spouse Spends Money?

The answer to this question comes after nearly twenty years of trying, begging, and pleading. No, you can not change another person’s money habits. You can provide an opposing view, even attend personal finance classes together, but you can not change who another person is and how they spend money.

Thank you for bearing with me throughout the snarky editorial about my past experiences. I hope that you are able to take something useful from my answers. Be sure to search the title for views from other personal finance bloggers.

 

About the author: Jerry Coffey

 

Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.

 

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