Today’s important guest blog is from Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz – who raise some crucial points to consider about the person you are dating — and their financial picture.
Should you consider a person who doesn’t have clear financial goals as a lifelong partner? Balancing the family budget requires teamwork and setting common goals. People who are in love support each other through thick and thin—through good and bad financial times. Before you decide that he or she is the right person to marry, you need to take a serious look at how they view financial goals, choices and commitments.
Since the number one cause of disagreements in marriages is financial, it’s critical to observe if the partner you think you want to marry exhibits any of these 12 financial warning signs:
1. You are not on the same financial page. In fact, you disagree about almost all financial goals, choices, and commitments.
2. When you quiz them about their personal budget, it’s clear they don’t have one. When you suggest that budgeting is a good thing and try to show them how to prepare a financial budget, they act disinterested or feign interest and never go any further.
3. Rather than pay off their credit cards each month, they pay the minimum. They often pay late or don’t pay them at all. This is a regular occurrence because they never seem to have enough money to pay their bills.
4. Your partner is often out of work. They blame other people, the high unemployment rate or other circumstances beyond their control for this lack of employment. They often say that it’s just a temporary situation, but even when they’re working they don’t seem to keep a job for very long.
5. He or she excessively spends money without regard to income. It seems that they are living far beyond their ability to support that level of lifestyle. When they want something, they buy it without regard to what it costs or how they will pay for it
6. They tend to be tight-lipped about their financial situation. In successful marriages, partners talk about anything and everything. There are no secrets. If he/she doesn’t want to talk about a financial situation or life goals — that’s a red flag.
7. Since you started dating, they have asked to borrow money from you … repeatedly. While this isn’t in and of itself all that much of a problem, it’s another warning sign that should alert you to dig further into their financial philosophy. For example: A man who wants to make a good impression is rarely going to borrow money from the woman he’s trying to impress.
8. You’ve noticed bills laying on their desk or kitchen table marked “overdue” or “past due.” This is an indication of a serious problem. Credit ratings are easily available with much emphasis on paying bills on time. Neglecting to pay bills indicates a lack of concern for a good credit rating or financial credibility.
9. They still live in their mother’s house. While there may be good reasons for this arrangement, it does bring up a cause for concern. Are they there to help out their mother? Is he there because it’s easier to live there than go out and earn a real income? Is she there while she’s saving money to buy her own house? It’s important to understand their reasons (and there should be some).
10. If they are in a financial rut, they lack ambition to get out of it. Without ambition, the two of you are going to have a hard time making your marriage work.
11. He or she has been in college or a training program for a disproportionately large amount of time. You’re beginning to wonder if your date will ever graduate. While it’s commendable to gain additional education or training, eventually, you have to graduate and find a job.
12. Ladies: You often end up paying when you two go out to dinner, a movie, a concert or a sporting event. While in today’s culture it’s appropriate for the woman to occasionally pay the bill on a date, you shouldn’t make it a habit. If the guy you’re in love with often asks you to pay the bill, it’s a red flag. You need to do your homework and investigate further into his financial plans, philosophy, and practices.
The last thing you want to do is marry a person who doesn’t have a financial plan, good financial practices or a financial philosophy that matches yours. If you go ahead and marry them when you don’t agree on finances, you will end up with money problems and endless arguments.
Creating a successful marriage or relationship is not always the easiest thing to do, but the fact that you’re reading this suggests you’re highly interested in making your marriage or relationship work!
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