While in the haze of new love we seem to forget that when we commit to someone we’re tying our legal and financial lives to theirs. When you get to this step, you have every right to assess the other person’s sense of financial responsibility. You also have every right to turn someone down if they don’t meet your standards. Finance may seem unromantic but so is paying off someone else’s debt.
So what questions should you be asking? I’m so glad you asked. (Obviously not a comprehensive list but it’s a good start.)
- How much debt do you have and what is it?
- What is your plan for paying off outstanding debt?
- Are you up-to-date on your taxes?
- Do you have any student loans?
- How many credit cards do you have and do you pay them off monthly?
- What is your credit rating?
- Do you live on a budget?
- What are you financial priorities and how do you determine them?
- Do you prefer to buy something on credit or save up for it and pay cash?
- Do you believe in joint or separate bank accounts?
That old statistic that couples fight most over money is because they chose someone with whom they were financially incompatible. A relationship can quickly sour if one of you is feeling that they have to parent the other one due to money issues. Worse is when you find out that they’ve incurred debt in your name. Don’t be that person – choose wisely.