Money matters in all relationships, but not necessarily in the way you think
Money in a relationship matters.
It is not because the man has to make more, or that women are only looking for men who make bank before they can fall in love.
Money matters in all relationships because of the way you both have to agree on how it is spent.
You have to decide if you want to spend it on a fancy vacation, or scrimp to save for a downpayment on a house.
You have to decide if you want to have kids (if at all), and temporarily give up a secondary income while on maternity leave, and make do on one income.
Saying that money matters, doesn’t necessarily mean anyone has to be filthy rich or is a gold digger for saying so.
GOLD DIGGING VERSUS DEBT AVERSION
There’s a difference between being a gold digger and being debt-averse.
Golddiggers are people (who are not necessarily women, but the stereotype is such) who actively seeks out to be taken care of, and to NOT work.
Debt aversion is someone who doesn’t want to be with someone in a heavy amount of debt, or otherwise, avoids debt like the plague themselves. *raises hand*
AVOIDING A POTENTIAL PARTNER BECAUSE OF THEIR DEBT
On the one hand, I can see how this makes sense.
Someone $100K in debt, making $30,000 a year, is not likely going to be able to pay that off in a 5-year time frame, even a 10-year time frame.
You have to start taking into consideration that you won’t be able to go on vacations (how rude would that be to go on a splashy vacation while they sit at home and starve!?), or spend your money freely without making that person feel ashamed, resentful and/or angry.
The relationship will take a strain, and as the person who is not in debt (or makes more money), you might start to feel resentful right back at them, or perhaps starting to feel obligated to help them out as the relationship deepens.
It’s not fun.
But on the other hand, I was the one in the hole with $60,000 who started dating someone who had never been a penny in debt.
BF met me before he knew I had debt.
We dated for a month before I told him I was originally $60,000 in debt and I had $30,000 left to go after 3 years of working.
He was definitely scared, but he soon realized I had a plan, and I was determined to live like a hobo to get that debt cleared.
I kept a $1000 emergency fund, contributed the full 4% to my employer’s retirement plan because they were matching it dollar-for-dollar (it was a 100% return, in my eyes — free money!), and put every penny I had towards my debt.
But I didn’t start out thinking like that. In the beginning, I was trying to get used to the idea of budgeting and tracking what I spent, not having done it, or have been taught how to do it for my entire life.
I was spending somewhat freely (in my critical hindsight eyes), still trying to find a balance between living fabulously while knowing I was deep in the red.
It wasn’t until I woke up one morning and realized how sick I was of that debt.
To have to think about it for the next few years (as was my financial plan), sickened me so much that I vowed I’d do what it took.
I turned into a debt extremist and managed to make a huge dent in my debt. My budgeting and expense tracker became an obsession for me. I pored over those spreadsheet cells, and I even started sending small amounts of money towards my debt ($1 here and there), every time I got a deal on something I bought and had money leftover.
I stopped shopping, I only spent money on food, train tickets to see BF (which he paid half for), and made do with my pants, somewhat pinned and stapled at the waist.
As a result, I can’t really say that I agree with NOT wanting to be with someone who is heavily in debt.
BE WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS THE SAME MONEY MINDSET
What I do agree with, is being with someone who is on the same page about you in regards to money.
You have to agree with each other. You have to talk. You have to care. You have to set goals together.
If your money mindsets match, it could be a match made in heaven, seeing as the #1 reason why people divorce or split up, is because of MONEY.