I love the progress I'm making in my life in regards to my financial freedom and minimalism. However, I'm aware of the fact that these two priorities in my life aren't exactly the priorities of the majority of society. I discussed in a previous post how I'm sometimes judged because of my frugality and as a result I have begun to wonder how my lifestyle might affect future romantic relationships.

Suzie Orman always says, 'People first, then money, then things'. And while I definitely share this sentiment, money is vitally important in a relationship. Statistics have reported the number one reason for divorce in America is money problems. I don't have all of the answers, but I feel I have come to realize what is important in life and how I spend my money reflects that. I also must admit that I am also sometimes guilty of judging (mentally, not verbally) people for, what I consider, harmful/wasteful financial decisions.

As a result of my mindset and where I am in my life, I know a relationship with someone who does not understand the true purpose/value of money would not work for me. In a weird way, my approach to and view of money has become a part of my value system. For me, planning a future with someone who still believed in mass consumerism and debt would be like planning a future with someone who didn't attend regular religious services or something of that equivalent. It is that serious and that ingrained in my consciousness at this point. I'm not saying my mate would have to believe exactly the same as I do, that would be kind of controlling and self-centered. But I do believe we should be like minded on most paramount issues that have the potential to negatively impact a relationship. And finances are definitely a huge issue in any relationship.

So, what have been your experiences? For those who are married, did you and your mate decide together to embrace financial freedom or did one have to pull the other along kicking and screaming? Did the relationship survive the change in financial lifestyle? For those who are still single, has your financial mindset affected any relationships or whom you choose to date?

14 Comments:

  1. searching for salvation said...
    I also must admit that I am also sometimes guilty of judging (mentally, not verbally) people for, what I consider, harmful/wasteful financial decisions.

    Me too. In fact I do it verbally to my wife about others. She grounds me though and tells me our plan is not for everyone. But like you said major fight in relationship is money. Make sure they are on the same boat as you in money, kids, and religion. Good Luck.
    Serendipity said...
    I've actually seen a person call in to Suze Orman and ask if he should leave his gf because he didn't like her FICO score. I'm serious.

    I'm not married but Rambo and I have been together for four years and it's only a matter of time before we actually take the plunge. Although he proposed to me when we were much younger, we haven't really been in any rush. Plus, I agreed to clean my finances up before which is a long journey.

    Rambo is alot better with money than me. I remember when I first got my current job he sat me down and explained how to create a successful budget. I think we would honesstly be SOL along time ago if he hadn't been patient with me and I hadn't taken the time to realize it was important and learn myself. And now look. He wants to combine checking accounts with me :O

    I think it's important to be on the same page with money, kids, God, etc. Whatever is important to you should be important to the person you want to be with. And while it may be harder for you then someone else, or it just seems that way, it's not a bad thing. It honnestly just means you want more for yourself and that is a great thing.
    Rebecca The Greeniac said...
    I think it's really important to at least be in the same chapter if not exactly on the same page.

    My Ex and I fought about money all the time. It's one of the reasons we broke up. The end finally came when he drained the joint checking account (which was supposed to be for shared expenses like food, rent, utilities etc.) to buy beer for a party. I had to take money out of my savings to pay the rent and to buy food for his daughter (from his previous marriage). His defense: "Beer is Food!"

    Seriously though, I think that trying to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't share your views about spending and related lifestyle issues would just be asking for trouble. I mean it's such a big part of how you live your day to day life, not to mention that once you are married you become legally responsible for his financial decisions.

    I have a friend who just has horror stories about her ex-husband. He came into the marriage owing the IRS a pile of money. Once they were married she was also legally responsible for that debt. But get this... since the debt was accrued before the marriage, the IRS wouldn't give her any information about anything! It was like they'd only communicate with him, but she was legally liable for the debt too. It was total craziness!

    I say find yourself a good frugal man and you'll be much happier. That's what I did!
    singledebt said...
    I'd give you advice on romance, but given the title of my blog, probably not worth a whole lot.

    However, judging from the couples I know, and let me tell you, that is everyone around me. People are first, but if you can't agree on how to live or at least how to compromise on money, lifestyle, and raising kids, it will not go well.

    I have many reasons I am single, but I know one of them is money. Not the way I live now, but the remnants of my past. Personally, I can't imagine I'd end up with anyone with all that hanging over my head. Although at the same time, I would probably accept someone in the same boat as long as they were showing a changed attitude and progress. Double-edge sword, I guess.
    Willow said...
    I wrote in the guest post I did at welivesimply that we were fortunate that both my husband and I came from families who taught us about saving money. He was better at it than I was for many years. But then I got interested in decluttering and that led me to read finance/saving/frugality books and then I was the one who was more frugal!

    I would say that if you're already married, you need to work toward a common goal of the financial situation you're both able to live with. If you're single, be very careful and wise before entering in to a marriage. Make sure you're on the 'same page' in religion, finances/money, children.

    I too hear horror stories. And one of my children lost everything due to an ex spouse's lack of self control with money. really tough.
    Divine and Debt Free said...
    I have had a few fights with guys that I wasn't even dating about finances. One guy thought it was be funny to tell me he leased a corvet, I was horrified then relieved when he told me he was joking, but he knew how serious I was about debt.

    I do believe people come before money, but if i am going to be with someone I need to know where they stand financial and we need to be on the same page about goals. If I meet a guy and he feels like debt is cool and normal its a no go, but if he is working his way out of debt im game.

    I use to like guys who had the cars, houses and, new toys, now i get excited when i see a man get out of a beat up car and when he says he lives in an apartment with roommates even lol.
    Cash Only Living said...
    I think what you are saying is very true. When it comes down to it, the majority of people end up with financial problems because of poor impulse control and irresponsibility...is that the kind of person you want to rely on to support you and your kids?
    So many divorce cases (and Judge Judy cases too) revolve around one person (usually the female) bailing out the other person (usually but not always the male) financially then being suprised when she doesn't get paid back. Thst is not the kind of guy you want to spend your life with! I'd rather be single!
    aspiringminimalist said...
    Like other values - honesty, integrity and compassion - valuing money is not different. If both people are not on the same page, things can get tricky when it comes to big decisions - since almost all decisions involve money.

    Having said that, though I believe that both people need to value money equally, it doesn't mean that they will agree on all purchases or how to spend all of it. I think the important thing is that both parties are aware of each other's circumstances, and be able to make compromises that can help both people in the relationship achieve their financial (and other) goals.
    FreeBird said...
    To answer your questions to married folks, my husband and I were both spenders mostly on big houses and new expensive vehicles. We both made decisions to down size and get out of debt. I found Dave Ramsey online and brought it to him and he agreed whole heartedly. I tend to be a little more of the nerd (spreadsheets and planning) but his desire to not owe anyone is pretty strong. So we went on this journey together.

    (Loving your blog by the way! :)
    Annienygma said...
    I am getting to the point where I wonder if I will end up being alone as a result of my minimalist/frugal ways. While I would have no issues compromising on certain points most of the guys I meet are materialistic spendthrifts with more junk than brains!

    Perhaps one day I will meet someone who has a healthy balance of materialism/frugalism that I am comfortable entering into a relationship with but for now I shall continue to be alone...
    Betty Jo said...
    My husband and I were very well matched as to our financial and simplicity views. It was a second marriage for both of us, and neither came into the relationship with debt, or a huge bent towards consumerism. Money is something we simply never fought over. My only regret is that he basically took care of all day-to-day financial matters, although we made major decisions together. After he passed away I was at a loss with some of the financial issues, but I'm educating myself these days and all is working out.
    Young Mogul said...
    Great feedback...you all have definitely given me information to ponder.
    Everyday Tips said...
    I am very lucky in that my husband has always hated debt as much as I have. Neither one of us are compulsive spenders and we have the same goals. We did discuss money before marriage also, but I know some do not.
    365 Fashion Rehab said...
    I think knowing someone's financial status (as in debt) is very important when starting a relationship but there is always room for maturity when it comes to finances. When my husband and I first met, I was wild with money and he very stringent. We have actually come together, meeting in the middle (or now maybe post fashion rehab I am more frugal!) and now I am the one that manages our money and we trust each other completely. Could I be with someone who owned lots of department store credit cards and leased a new car every year? Absolutely not! But love is worth taking the time to see if you can come together as a team. Good luck and keep us posted. Love, A
    www.365fashionrehab.com

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