With the entire economy basically imploding around us, the question becomes even more relevant: what kind of financial shape does someone have to be in to be considered a desirable partner? I find money one of the most interesting conversational topics around and am always sad that it’s considered impolite to inquire too closely about others’ finances for a couple reasons: 1) I think that if we talked about it more among ourselves, many of us would learn a lot and not make as many financial mistakes, and 2) I’m a nosey biatch and want to know what everyone’s up to.
(photo credit greekshares.com)
This turned out to be a particularly interesting issue in my case because the BF moved to Phoenix a year before I did, when we’d only been dating a little over a year. Fortunately (given the market now) he at that time couldn’t afford to buy a house, although it was what he wanted to do more than anything. Given that he was renting, though, he chose a house that I would have put my foot down and said absolutely not to if I’d been moving in with him.
However, I wasn’t, and because a year isn’t really long enough to butt in, he rented it. Then when I moved to Phoenix, his lease wasn’t up yet so I ended up moving in to a place that is kind of expensive, bigger than we need, and relatively far from both of our jobs. We have had many discussions about moving to a smaller, cheaper, more centrally located place but decided that it would take so long to recoup the costs of moving + security deposits + first and last months’ rent that it’s not really worth it to move until we’re ready to buy. Fortunately this will probably happen for us when the market hits bottom (unfortunately for whoever’s house we end up buying).
Given banks’ reluctance to lend money right now, though, our debt is also a factor. We both have substantial student loan debt and he also has quite a bit of credit card debt. We make enough money to pay our bills, but what criteria do you use to judge whether someone’s “financially stable” or not? How soon is too soon to talk about money? Do you talk about money with anyone other than your significant other? If so, who?
Just as Lance believes that sex and social skills should be taught in school, I believe that budgeting and other forms of applied mathematics should be taught in school. Not that it would have stopped what’s going on right now, but maybe some of us would be better equipped to weather the storm.
That’s my two cents. What’s yours?
If this post made you want to cash in your 401(k) and emigrate to Costa Rica, you might also enjoy: