Don’t Let Love Destroy Your Finances

Falling in Love and Watching Your Money

Is love destroying your finances?

We all love being in love!  The butterflies, the smiling, the first kiss.  I’m not going to lie, being in love is great. It’s what people dream about. It’s what Hollywood makes movies about.  Enjoy the love when you find it, but don’t let it ruin your finances!

Often times, couples who are in love throw logic and care to the wind.  They end up making decisions that wreak havoc on their budgets, savings accounts, and worse: credit scores.  You can save yourself a world of hurt by avoiding these five faulty decisions.

1. You Go into Debt for a Valentine’s Gift

Going into debt for consumer purchases is just bad practice in general. You would never do this with your own purchases, so why would you go into debt for your significant other? If you can’t afford something, don’t go into debt for it! Consider a cheap Valentine’s Day gift.

You want to avoid paying interest on the debt at the end of the month. If money really becomes an issue, talk it out and possibly do something simpler. It’s not always about the gift, sometimes spending time with each other is more important.

2. Paying for His/Her Rent or Car Loan

If you’re not married yet, paying for each others loans is flat out stupid. You’re not sharing assets yet so why would you do this? Who know if a breakup is around the corner? Don’t risk your money. It might seem nice to do it, but you could get burned in the long run.

3. Never Talking About Finances

Did you know that finances are the number one reason for divorce in the United States today? Even more shocking is that many of these problems could have been solved by talking about finances early on in the dating stage.

Waiting until you get married to talk about finances is dangerous and can wreck havoc on a relationship as well as your bank accounts. You need to discuss spending personalities, habits and financial history.

You don’t want to wait until you’re married to find out your significant other has 50k in gambling debt. Financial problems can be a real deal breaker for some people. Talk about finances often and early on. You will thank me, trust me on this one!

4. Share PIN Numbers with Your Girlfriend or Share Credit Cards

Oh boy, I still can’t over the fact that people do this! If you’re dating, why would you share your ATM PIN?! You’re just asking for trouble. Until a ring is on her finger, you should never share this information!

You should be 1000% sure that you’re going to get married before you share this type of info. What if the relationship ends up badly? Do you really want a crazed person running around going on a shopping spree with your ATM info?

I know I don’t, and I’m sure you don’t either. Sounds like hell to me. Keep transactions separate for the time being. Once you’re married, go ahead and share this info. Until then, keep it confidential.

5. Opening Joint Accounts When One Person has High Amounts of Debt

This is a rare instance where I actually recommend couples not to open joint checking accounts. The reason being is that both of you will get dinged and locked out from high interest savings rates and low interest loans.

If one person’s account has some serious debt, keep the accounts separate and make it a goal to get all the debts paid off. Only after you have paid off the debt for one account should you open joint accounts. You don’t want to tie up money when you don’t have to. You really should avoid this.

As you can see, there are some serious financial traps that are easy to fall into if you’re in love. Don’t let love blind you and ruin your financial future, it’s just not worth it. Try to iron things out before the wedding and communicate as much as you can about finances during the dating stages.

What do you think? Is this good advice or do you disagree? What are some of your experiences?

Photo by harry ng



Last Edited: February 8, 2012 @ 12:55 pm The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.

Comments

  1. This is good advice. Tough I love my SO, we’ve never made any of these mistakes. So risky!

  2. This can be a touchy subject for new couples. I agree, it is best to talk about finances as soon as possible in a relationship so that there are no surprises later. If you do decide to pay your SO’s rent, don’t expect to get it back if you break up.

    • I know that for my girlfriend and I, it’s been a huge trust building exercise by putting our finances out on the floor and talking about it. Once you know you;re not hiding anything, it’s amazing the types of conversations a couple have.

  3. Great advice, I’ve seen way too many people in my age range (mid-20s) support unmarried partners and let them have access to their finances, just to get screwed later on when the leeching partner finds someone with deeper pockets or gets back on their financial feet and heads off leaving the person in debt. Love and money should rarely mix!

  4. Kathryn C says:

    do people really do that stuff? maybe that’s why I’m single!!

  5. @Kathryn C: people that aren’t that bright do. A friend of mine is currently supporting his third girlfriend this year, who moved in and he gave a debit card copy to after a month of dating. Then he wonders why he always ends up broke and sometimes homeless after his break ups *headdesk*

    • That’s insane KT! It’s funny because I tell my girlfriend she can go fly a kite if she ever asks me for money while we’re dating haha.

      • It’s totally crazy, he asked me for input on his finances and I told him that he wasn’t in the financial position to support anyone, let alone a girlfriend that is unemployed. He’s now quitting his job on her request because it cuts into their “couple time” too much.

        So ridiculous.

  6. Committing resources such as time and money to a relationship where there is no long lasting commitment through marriage is definitely risky. This is like saying I love you to fund you, but not forever. Secret accounts are a no-no in marriage and so is hiding debt from each other. Having secret money and issues from your spouse conveys that you do not trust them—no wonder many marriages end! It’s a trust issue.

  7. Another reason not to have a joint account is so that the significant other doesn’t flip out and raid the account. If they are a joint owner, then they have the right to that money. If they just have the PIN, then they are stealing. In which case, you have recourse.

    I think it’s okay to share a bit of personal info, but avoid being technically joined by an account of some sort (loan, lease contract, etc.)

    • No joint property until marriage, is my rule, and we each pay our own debts unless otherwise negotiated.

  8. I own joint property with my boyfriend (we co-own a house) and we also have a joint credit card, but I wouldn’t recommend that anyone else follow our example. He and I are bound together as business partners on two different ventures, regardless of whether our relationship works or not 🙂 I’d advise most people NOT to do what he and I are doing … keep your finances separate until you’re married.

  9. My boyfriend and I live together and share a checking account and finance a car together. We own online business together too. I know if we ever broke up things would be very complicated. But I don’t worry about that, because I have faith. Plus, it makes our relationship stronger 🙂