I get hundreds of letters from boys and girls alike bemoaning the fact that they can’t get their partner on board with the savings plan. Hey, if you’re already committed, you have a lot less wiggle room unless you’re prepared to dump the dummy and move on.
The best way to avoid the problem is to have a money conversation before you decide to tie your wagon to his or her horses. If your good buddy refuses to talk about money, that should be a sign of things to come. After all, if you can’t talk about money, how are you ever going to work together to get to where you want to be?
There are some other telltale signs that can be translated into “wrong way.” There’s the young (or not so young) lad or lass who still lives with Mommy and Daddy but doesn’t have a huge downpayment saved to show for it. Worse yet is the chick or dude who lives at home, doesn’t pay rent and depends on the ‘rents to take care of everything. Hello? This is a child. And unless you’re looking to adopt you should run and hide.
If your dearly beloved needs to borrow money from you, from family, from other friends all the time, get out now. No cash flow management skills, and the sense that other people are happy to “help out” are a sure sign that you’re going to be left holding the bag down the road. And that bag won’t be full of chocolates and roses.
Boyfriends or girlfriends who don’t have bank accounts and choose to use a cheque-cashing service – or worse, a payday loan company – may be uneducated or stupid. You have to find out which. If your attempts to educate them on a better way go unheeded, let that be the red light on your relationship.
Then there’s the Prince or Princess who has a part-time job or a very modest income and is wearing the latest everything. If your sweetheart is a fashionista and you’re wondering how they can possibly be buying so much stuff on their very small incomes, don’t buy that “I’m a smart shopper” crap. Rest assured there’s a ton of debt lurking in your future.
Love may be blind, but only a glutton for punishment enters into a long-term relationship with a self-destructive Money Moron. When they go down, they’ll take you along with them.