Apr 04

One thing that people tend to neglect to do is to look in the mirror initially before making themselves the de facto financial expert in the relationship.

In a lot of situations people who seemingly are doing well are just wearing a fancy mask to cover an ugly liability sheet. The person who doesn’t care about or ignores finances goes into relationships with these individuals that look good on the outside financially and then allows that person to take care of their finances also. Then a few years down the line when they’re both knee-deep in debt with no hope in sight he/she wonders at what went wrong with this seemingly smart individual. There are many snakes out there who hide their finances very well and show the outside world a picture of success and growth but in reality are no better off than someone working at a fast food restaurant. They may have some liquid assets but they are so deep in the red that if they were to lose that lawyer’s job then they’d be back home with mom or brother or sister.

My main point is that financial discussion is worthless if both parties do not know what questions to ask. Being that this is my subject I know that people get their eyes glazed over, lack the patience for, or have no clue whatsoever on. In certain situations if you are the financial expert, your significant other will have no problem with you being the family accountant (they better hope you aren’t fronting – see above). But if you wait until deep into a relationship knowing that your guy/girl likes shiny things, fancy restaurants and complains biweekly about her account being in the negative, then you are the asshole in that situation for expecting change. A money savvy person cannot marry a financial disaster, it just doesn’t make any sense. Why limit your fun and spending to maintain a strong defense with your finances only to have your wife or husband doing the exact opposite on their end?

As to the argument that this is something that should not be discussed when dating, I would say that financially educated people would be able to pick up on the warning signs based on conversation and habits of the person that they’re dating to know whether to broach the subject – to see if he or she is worthy long-term. If you want to keep your money, or better yet make your money continue to grow, then make sure your girl/guy has a little Suze Orman in him/her. If he/she doesn’t and you’re two years into a marriage wondering why you’re having to pick up a second job then the fault lies squarely on you.

Oh but love is all that matters right? Not quite – when it comes to finances everything in life is either an asset or a liability. So shop smart and look beyond the cute face and perfect figure to see if there is potential disaster in your mate.

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  • Wynn

    I cannot agree more on this vital subject of assets and liability and marrying into one of them. It’s all part of dating and understanding if they are an asset or liability.