Should I Say Yes to My Future Mate’s Debt?

 In Relationships & Money

So you say you’re in love and it seems like the most perfect relationship ever, eh? You almost know each other’s thoughts at this point and you can’t imagine life without each other. That’s beautiful!

There’s an old saying that goes “money can’t buy you love”, but being broke doesn’t buy it either. Not talking about money is one of the top 10 mistakes couples make in marriage. Quite often couples are so drunk in love they don’t take the time to explore deeper issues that could create problems when the “love high” is gone. Here’s a small suggestion, before you dive head-first into the sea of love without a life jacket, take the blinders off and have a tall glass of reality. Schedule a “Debt Discussion Date” before you make your trip down the isle of wedded bliss. Here are five things you must know before you say yes to the debt.

1. Can You Show Me the Money? – This is a tough one right out the gate, but you both need to determine if your current financial pictures are similar or polar opposites. List all assets versus liabilities to determine your individual net worth. It may not be a pretty picture but you will want to know what you’re in for financially. Don’t wait till later when your joint-checking account gets garnished for old unpaid debts you had no idea existed (true story).

2. What’s Your Money Personality? – How does your potential mate view money? Is money always a sour subject or is there always a financial emergency brewing. Is their financial philosophy “go big or go home” or “you can’t take it with you”. A person’s attitude towards money, whether it came from childhood or adulthood will be the driving force behind their spending decisions good, bad or ugly.

3. Financial Goals . . . Got Some? – If you fail to plan, ultimately you plan to fail. Without financial goals and a budget to help you reach them, your financial future and dreams will remain as pies in the sky. Are your financial goals similar? Opposites may attract but when it comes to money and relationships opposites could lead to disaster and ultimately divorce.

4. How Do You Manage Credit and Debt? – Personally, I’m allergic to debt but many people are not. Saying yes to the dress is one thing, but saying yes to bad credit and debt is quite another. As impersonal as it may seem, you must review each other’s credit report. Credit is used to determine everything from security deposits to employment. Therefore, you need to have a clear understanding of what lies ahead. Be careful not to judge. Having “bad credit” may have resulted from a lay-off, divorce or a complete lack of knowledge. Remember, no one was born with personal finance knowledge.

5. Saving, Investing and Giving, Are You In? – This category is crucial because these decisions involve expendable cash (cash remaining after bills are paid). Does your potential mate feel you should just buy more stuff or prepare for your financial future? It’s important to note with investing generally women seek security and men are risk takers. You will have to find a happy middle ground. Many couples don’t make it to this stage because they ended in divorce over the first four.

That’s our Q to your A! Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Are your future financial goals similar to your mates? Do you know how much debt your mate has? Have you reviewed each others credit reports?

Rhonda J. Williams

Rhonda J. Williams

Rhonda J. Williams’ personal mission is re-educating people to manage, multiply and maximize their resources.Ms. Williams has been teaching and encouraging clients, peers and her family in the area of personal finance for more than 10 years.Ms. Williams is known affectionately as the “All Cash Queen” amongst her peers and family.As a certified financial counselor, Rhonda brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to her audience.
Rhonda J. Williams
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  • Anita Booker

    I graduated from college a year ago with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. I have had such a hard time finding a job.I am also an Officer in the Army NG, but that is only part time. I apply for jobs as much as I can but I have no luck and my student loan payments are getting hard to pay with the job I have now at a parts store. What can I do.

    • ChristopherBarnes

      I have a complete understanding of how you feel, and what you are going through. I find myself conflicted, confused, as to why I may not have received a job. I am also a veteran, Hospital Corpsman, with multiple degree completions, and certifications to include EKG Tech, NA-I, and Registered Medical Assistant, but was unable to pay for the testing I have been so broke. I am saying all this because just two days ago I finally received a job offer after years of being hired and fired after a few months of work due to conflicting school schedules with my employment. KEEP TRYING, and what I found is to never think a job is beneath you! I thought so, and I went to a Temp Agency who found me an awesome job back on base within a week. Try the temp agencies and get three different resumes completed: General, One specific to the job, and also a federal. I am now going to be working for the government again, but it took me five years since I left the military to find stability. DON’T GIVE UP, and any extra time and effort you put in to your job will pay off. Work as hard as you can, and I wish you all the best “fellow armed forces brother”. God Bless you and I know it will work out soon, keep seeking his guidance also, but help yourself also by continuing the search.

      • Carol

        I have the same problem. I graduated from Kent State University December 14, 2002 with a BA in Sociology. I have yet to find a good job. The jobs are low paying jobs. I have never felt that a job is beneath me at all. I was working at Kent State in there Survey Research lab. I work there for two years. In between those years I was laid off constantly. Then before that I worked at this place called Venture Data. There was a lack of hours. I ended up losing my apartment and living in a motel. My boyfriend and I stayed in the motel for three years. I have looked, looked, looked for jobs. I am determine, persistent in looking for a good paying job. My faith in God has kept me going. During this time my mom passed away in August of 2015. It has been tough but I know that God has a good plan for my life.

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