(Closed) Would you marry someone who wasn't financially responsible?

posted 6 years ago in Money
  • poll: Would you marry someone who is financially irresponsible?
    Yes : (5 votes)
    2 %
    No : (128 votes)
    59 %
    Yes, if they let me take care of the finances : (68 votes)
    31 %
    I did, and regret it : (8 votes)
    4 %
    I almost did, and am glad I dodged that bullet : (8 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 3
    64 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Money is usually cited as the number one reason for divorce. I think that it is really risky to marry someone financially irresponsible. I think it’s a maturity thing.

    Post # 4
    4035 posts
    Honey bee

    @Tarheelgurl:  First, it is great that you are trying to have the finances conversation before getting engaged. Many people do not have this discussion (even before marriage) and it can be devastating to a relationship.

    Depending on how he was raised, his parents may not have taught him or modeled good financial practices. That does not mean he cannot learn (as long as he is willing). You should calmly explain how important this is to you and the future of your relationship first.

    With that said, if you do decide to get married, you two TOGETHER need to agree on a financial lifestyle. It may be a combination that is more moderate (some saving and some spending), but the important part is that you compromise and agree on something you two can stick too.

    It will be tough, but try to sit down in a nuetral setting (maybe even outside the home if possible–a coffee shop) where there are no distractions and nothing that would add pressure or a sense of urgency (do not do it on a busy day).

    Have all of your financial information handy like total income, bills, debts, etc for both of you (credit scores would be a plus as well). And then lay out what a typical month and year would look like. This should be as accurate as possible, including rent, utilities, expenditures, food, gas, entertianment, etc.

    Then talk about what each of you has in mind for financial goals. Do you want/need to make a large purchase (i.e., a car, house, etc)? Do either of you have a large amount of debt (i.e., student loans, credit cards, car loans, etc)? What are your income prospects in the next year or two looking like (i.e., unemployment, student status, significant increase)?

    Then agree on what each of you thinks is reasonable for savings and working toward large purchase/goals. You may not both contribute equally (depending on the difference in income).

    This will not necessarily be easy, but it will help you start the conversation and get on the same page. My Fiance and I have done this more and more lately (about 1 a month) and it has helped tremendously. We have been together for 9 years, but did not start doing this until about 8 months ago.

    You do not have to have joint finances or even share a household together at this point to do this, it is about communicating, compromising and agreeing on goals together.

    Hope this helps!

    ETA: My Fiance is a bit of a spender and makes half of what I make. We are not wealthy, but combined sit around $70k a year. It has been difficult at times, but he is starting to come around and rein in his spending/minimizing his debt. His mother has made very poor financial decisions throughout her life and so he has developed some interesting habits. But through communication and work, we are heading toward a stronger relationship and a better financial situation. 

    Post # 5
    963 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I did and I regret it. Financial security is so important in life and it’s very tough trying to be with a partner who doesn’t get that. I agree with PP that it’s a maturity thing in a lot of ways because it requires prioritizing the future over present wants. Even though I manage the finances and paying the bills, having an irresponsible partner is very stressful. I’m in charge of the money, so whenever he has an impulse, he asks me and I have to be the bad guy to come in and say sorry, we can’t afford it.

    Post # 6
    1855 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    Fiance is more financially responsible than me. When I was 18 and got my first credit card, I butchered my credit score. FI’s is perfect and mine is horrendous.

    It’s gone up a lot in the past 5 years, but his is still way higher than mine. So I think it comes down to circumstances. I fucked up before I met Fiance, but I’ve certainly learned my lesson. So a bad credit rating is one thing, but continuing to be irresponsible is another.

    Post # 7
    1855 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    oops, double post!

    Post # 9
    846 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    no way. i’m a saver, not a spender. and i know if i married someone who wasn’t financially responsible that would results in major arguments.

    Post # 11
    1839 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    nope. that’s not something i want to have to stress about.

    Post # 12
    4035 posts
    Honey bee

    @Tarheelgurl:  I agree, environment and learned habits have a lot to do with it. It is by no means an excuse or should be used as a crutch, but it is a reality that influences many people’s general behaviors. (sorry, I was a psych major in college and can soap box about behavioral influences every now and then).

    Anyway, my father is a major spender to the point of putting my parents in serious debt at one point, while my mother on the other hand, handles the majority of the finances, is a saver. She has struggled to rein my father in at times, but is standing firm on certain issues now. I too learned my habits from my mother and through self-education on financial topics.

    Sometimes, people have to hear it from someone else to really listen (i.e., not a loved one). Have you considered enrolling in a budgeting class together?

    ETA: Also, while many people will respond that they would not marry someone who is financially irresponsible, bare in mind that there are different levels and kind of financial irresponsibility. Some are not great savers in general, some save too much to the point they never spend and make their partners resentful, some spend beyond their means, and some never invest enough in retirement. Also, depending on how open couples are with their financial discussions, some people marry someone without even realizing how irresponsible they are!

    The important thing is to have an accurate assessment of the situation you are in and determine whether or not it is something you are willing and prepared to work with over the long run.

    Post # 13
    5118 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @bmo88: This is exactly what I would’ve said. OP, consider 1- the issue, 2- if it can be fixed, 3- if both parties can come to an agreement as to how to fix it or avoid it, and 4- both parties need to follow through with the plan. 

    Making up a budget is a great first step, it kind of smacks you in the face with reality. You need to decide as a couple if you’re comfortable financing things (or what types of things, ie house vs tvs, ets). I really recommend reading/listening to the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and/or going to a Financial Peace Univesity class held in your area as a couple. I agree with @bmo88: in that second post as well. It’s entirely fine to have different ideals when it comes to spending and saving, the important part is recognizing that, adopting a plan that suits both of you, and having both people work to stick with that agreement and not be resentful. They say finances are the biggest cause of divorce, but I say that it’s communication about finances that is the real downfall for most.

    Post # 14
    2523 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2012

    I’ll find other ways to make life hard on myself, thanks.

    Post # 15
    7771 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Wow, some responses on this thread really surprise me.  To me, there are more important things I look for and value in a partner- BECAUSE- budgeting skills can be learned!  But is the poll asking if WE would, or if you should?  Only you can answer for yourself what you are comfortable with. 

    ETA:  I do not beleive that money issues are the n.1 cause of divorce.  In the articles that describe this it seems to be more a matter of not being open and communicating/ discussing with honesty the debt and salary with full disclosure.  That is a communication issue.  I know no one who got divorced “over money.”  I would consider a financial course together like others suggest.

    Post # 16
    2295 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    No. But I probably would have ended the relationship within 6 months, it wouldn’t get to a point of considering marriage without me having a handle on that topic.

    Money issues are the #1 cause of divorce. It was vital to me (and FI) that we were on the same page. We took a 13-week financial class (Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University) together right before we got engaged.

    OP, I think that class would be PERFECT as marital prep for your situation. They recently shortened it to 9 weeks and revamped the whole thing. If it’s a big enough deal to possibly end it, it’s worth a couple of hours a week to see if you can get on the same page. It is also available online if you can’t do the schedule of the live class.

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