Can’t Buy Me Love

The older I get the more I realize how fortunate I am to have found someone with similar financial values as myself. Except, it wasn’t always this way. In fact, I had two other significant relationships before meeting Mr. MMM and only 1 out of those 2 were any good with money. In retrospect, I understand the importance of choosing the right partner in terms of financial well-being. Choose the wrong partner, and you might find yourself in your own private financial Hell.

Spenders VS. Savers

investInevitably, spenders and savers tend to find true love in each other. It could just be the natural way of things, but I’ve noticed that plenty of people are attracted to their financial opposite. Oftentimes, they marry! Some people combat this difference by keeping separate finances. Others have constant arguments that can have devastating results. Think: Divorce. After all, money is the #1 reason couples split.

Having been on both sides of the fence – being in a relationship with someone who was my financial opposite and now being in a relationship with someone who is on the same page – I can confidently say that the latter is much easier.

Opposites Attract

The relationship I had in the past with my financial opposite was bumpy, to say the least. Initially, we were attracted to each other because of our differences Ultimately, those very differences led to our demise.

He made more money than I did and paid for the majority of the expenses, but would never allow me to offer up any financial advice or suggestions. Of course I could say what I was thinking, but it would certainly fall on deaf ears and no changes would be made. Examples of his wastefulness included but weren’t limited to:

  • Dropping thousands of dollars (on a whim) on the latest computer, monitor, and accessories
  • Upgrading phones as soon as the contract was up – or before
  • Always picking up the entire tab for us and friends when we went out to eat
  • Paying for Direct TV, with the ultimate sports package
  • Buying only the best tailored suits for his sales job – totally not necessary
  • Spending thousands on each area rug in our highly leveraged home
  • Putting in an in-ground pool! – not kidding
  • I’ll stop here – you get the idea

I realized that, had we married, it would’ve been an endless battle of wills for me to try to curb his desire to spend, spend, spend. This was not our only issue. If it had been, I might’ve worked harder at finding a common financial ground. This was just another nail in our inevitable coffin.

Similar Interests And Views

us-ii

Us

After jettisoning (say that fast 3 times!) that relationship, I took a long time to be alone and to get it right. I finally met Mr. MMM a few years ago. We had a ton of things in common, including the money stuff! Score, Score, and SCORE! Since getting married, we have set sail on the path to financial independence. We hope to reach our goal of OPTIONS in 2021. Not only do we share our hopes and dreams with one another; we also share our bank accounts. I’m not saying this is right for everyone, but it does work for us. And since we are on the same financial page, it makes sense for us, too.

Love Is More Important, But…

BUT is the eraser word. It negates all that came before it. Let’s try it. “I love you, but…” See! Anyone who has ever heard these words uttered to them know the gut-wrenching angst that accompanies the start of that sentence. Of course love is more important than money. I’m not saying that anyone should marry someone just for their incredible FICO score. What I am saying is that a potential partner’s FICO score (assuming they’re old enough to have established some form of credit) should be at least a small factor in the decision to enter into a committed relationship.

Now, what do you do if you’re already deeply involved (or even married) to your financial opposite? The short answer is that you RUN! Haha. Kidding! You just need to find common ground. You talk through your differences and make decisions based on where you both want to go in your combined lives. Can a saver convert a non-saver in a relationship? Yep. Does it happen often? I’m not so sure about that one. I have heard of people going as far as developing Power Point presentations to convince their partner to stop their spendin’ ways. Sometimes it can work – but only if the other person is open to change. Love is a complicated thing. Throw in some money and you have a recipe for greatness, or disaster.

How do you feel about this topic? Have you ever, or are you now involved with someone who isn’t on the same financial page?

MMC

Mad Money Cat, chillin’

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  • Just Us Jan 20, 2017, 2:47 am

    I married young and found out he was a spender while I am a saver… followed by marrying many years later to someone who professed to be a saver. Silly me! I believed that second guy…
    So, not only should you discuss your financial mindset – but you should candidly share and inspect each others’ credit reports, too!
    Rock and I made a “date” of it – he pulled his credit report and we pored over it with a magnifying glass! LOL! Actually, it was good because we found a couple inconsistencies that he needed to clean up. I pull mine annually and argue every single detail that isn’t EXACTLY correct. (OCD and AR actually do have some benefits.)

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 20, 2017, 7:36 am

      This is fantastic! Yes, I do agree that asking for someone’s score/report is also a great tactic. I actually did just that on one of my first dates with someone I liked. The look on his face told me everything I needed to know. Ha!

  • Smart Provisions Jan 18, 2017, 2:13 pm

    That’s awesome, MMM!

    I’m currently single and I hope to find someone that has the same interests and a FIRE mindset or maybe I can convert a spender to saver as well!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 18, 2017, 3:55 pm

      Ahhh…single. I remember those days 🙂 Enjoy them because they don’t last. haha! You’ll have to let us know how it all turns out!

      • Smart Provisions Jan 18, 2017, 3:57 pm

        Of course, I’ll definitely update when the time comes!

  • ouellettem Jan 18, 2017, 10:31 am

    Very Nice! My wife and I are both spenders; big spenders. We absolutely love spending money on things that bring us pure joy for decades to come. We do not spend to fill some empty void. BUT in order to spend we need to first save; max out 401k and IRAs. Then save some more in taxable broker account. Meet the monthly bills and pay down plus a little more on the mortgage. After that lets have fun and enjoy life to the fullest and if it means a trip or new mountain bikes then lets do it.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 18, 2017, 11:12 am

      That is AWESOME! It sounds like you’re doing it right. The fact that you know your personalities and make yourselves do the responsible thing first, is great! Go forth and SPEND! 🙂

      • ouellettem Jan 18, 2017, 11:21 am

        We all need to do our part and prop up this economy….LOL Before we got married we put ourselves through the ringer to get all out in the open; money, family, religion, kids, dreams…Does not everyone do this before they make a Life Time Commitment?

  • Full Time Finance Jan 18, 2017, 8:57 am

    I’m on the same page with my wife thankfully. I’ve seen a friend get engaged to his financial opposite. When he found out about her hidden 50k in debt the relationship unraveled. Studies show that financial disagreements are a huge driver of divorce and marital strife. So why love is first it probably deserves your attention to observe financial differences.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 18, 2017, 9:56 am

      Absolutely. The #1 reason for divorce is finances. It’s not shocking to me. And it should definitely be a consideration when choosing a life partner.

  • The Green Swan Jan 18, 2017, 8:45 am

    I was lucky to find Lucy and so happy that we’re on the same page financially. No doubt that it helps tremendously that we’re shooting for the same goals in life and how important finances are to achieving those goals.

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 18, 2017, 9:55 am

      I couldn’t agree more. It like you’re two swans swimming with the current. 😉

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