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tpatterson2k9
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎04-04-2011
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Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

Seeing as how finances are the number one reason couples get divorced, I was curious about hearing from the myFICO community about what particular financial follies a partner has that would either end the relationship or, at the minimum, erase any thought of marrying that person due to the folly.

 

I don't know if I'm just being too picky or not, but there is one thing my girlfriend does that, albeit is not the worse thing in the world, indicates to me that she would not know how to control her spending later down the line.  As much convincing as it took, I finally got her to sign up for the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card not too long ago because of the awesome rewards (she had no prior rewards CCs).  Before she signed up, I told her all about the extra cash back she would have coming her way if she just started putting all the charges she normally makes on her debit card on her Amex card instead.  Well, it's been about two months and she still refuses to use her rewards CC.  After genuinely and politely asking her why, she explained that she doesn't think she could manage to only charge what she could afford each month.  To me, the fact that she doesn't have a general idea of her monthly budget or spending is a big red flag, especially since she should know because of her frequent debit card use.  The way I look at this is she's just saying no thanks to free money, but maybe that's just me. 

 

So what are some of the not-so-desirable financial behaviors you've witnessed in a current on ex partner that really made you think twice about getting serious with that person?


Starting Scores (lender pull 3/27/10): 759 (EQ), 752 (TU), 749 (EX)
Current Scores (myFICO 4/4/11): 768 (EQ)
Goal Scores: 800


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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

Well, something that SHOULD have made me think twice but didn't, lol, was DXH's unwillingness to plan for the future and set goals. He was always convinced that the wolf was at the door, and that we were barely scraping by, so I could never get him to agree to set aside extra money ("Extra money?? We don't have any extra money!!") for retirement or accelerate the mortgage payments. In itself that certainly wasn't a deal-breaker, but it kept us from being able to share dreams in partnership for the future, and it was a sign of an unending gloom and pessimism that wasn't much fun to live with.

 

The good part of it, though, was that he was (and is) incredibly cheap. :smileyvery-happy: He was definitely the disciplined one, and I learned from this, especially once I realized that one day I'd be on my own and have to act like a grown-up.

 

Sorry to hear about your GF. It can be scary making that transition to taking ownership of your finances. Oddly, it can feel easier and less threatening to think that you can't control anything and just spend until there's nothing left than to plan and budget and monitor. Hope she decides to move forward on this.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
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beamMEup
Posts: 4,473
Registered: ‎12-31-2008
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

OP - I'll throw out a different perspective.

I don't see not wanting to use a credit card as a terribly destructive behavior - the fact that she is willfully avoiding going into debt is a plus.

 

Some folks like and do well with credit products; and others avoid them.

 

I would be much more worried if someone didn't care about the debt they were racking up; or were focused on the "prestige" which they perceived came with their new AmEx card.

IME, I think you've got a winner on your hands. 

 

And when it comes to relationships, you can always be the one to manage and use revolving accounts. 

 

I didn't use CC's for a long time and DH says I was a pretty good catch.  At this point, in our house, I manage a good deal of the finances (and they're in pretty darn good shape).  DH uses revolvers but it's only for predetermined and prebudgeted items.  So we get the rewards, but I basically manage the cards.

 

And to answer your question, for me it would be high debt-load and blatant consumerism (whether they could afford it or not - it's just a major turnoff to me).

Just puttin' syrup on something, don't make it pancakes.
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tpatterson2k9
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎04-04-2011
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship


beamMEup wrote:

OP - I'll throw out a different perspective.

I don't see not wanting to use a credit card as a terribly destructive behavior - the fact that she is willfully avoiding going into debt is a plus.

 

Some folks like and do well with credit products; and others avoid them.

 

I would be much more worried if someone didn't care about the debt they were racking up; or were focused on the "prestige" which they perceived came with their new AmEx card.

IME, I think you've got a winner on your hands. 

 

And when it comes to relationships, you can always be the one to manage and use revolving accounts. 

 

I didn't use CC's for a long time and DH says I was a pretty good catch.  At this point, in our house, I manage a good deal of the finances (and they're in pretty darn good shape).  DH uses revolvers but it's only for predetermined and prebudgeted items.  So we get the rewards, but I basically manage the cards.

 

And to answer your question, for me it would be high debt-load and blatant consumerism (whether they could afford it or not - it's just a major turnoff to me).


Thanks for the different perspective.  I can understand your point of view, but the other thing that concerns me about her is that she is carrying a $500 balance on another CC at 24% interest and yet she has about $600 in the bank to pay this off (she still lives at home and has no expenses so this wouldn't be a problem for her).  When I asked her why she doesn't use that money to pay off the card, her rationale is that she is going to be making more purchases in a month for school when college starts up again so she sees no point in paying off her current balance.  It is this behavior combined with her debit card use that makes me uneasy.


Starting Scores (lender pull 3/27/10): 759 (EQ), 752 (TU), 749 (EX)
Current Scores (myFICO 4/4/11): 768 (EQ)
Goal Scores: 800


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GregB
Posts: 1,670
Registered: ‎05-24-2007
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

It should make you more than just uneasy. With that additional information, it sounds like she doesn't understand finances at all.

 

I'm afraid this is going to be a big problem.

 

 

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beamMEup
Posts: 4,473
Registered: ‎12-31-2008
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship


tpatterson2k9 wrote:

Thanks for the different perspective.  I can understand your point of view, but the other thing that concerns me about her is that she is carrying a $500 balance on another CC at 24% interest and yet she has about $600 in the bank to pay this off (she still lives at home and has no expenses so this wouldn't be a problem for her).  When I asked her why she doesn't use that money to pay off the card, her rationale is that she is going to be making more purchases in a month for school when college starts up again so she sees no point in paying off her current balance.  It is this behavior combined with her debit card use that makes me uneasy.


 

aargh.  that can be so frustrating when folks don't get some (what seems to be basic) stuff.

 

Is she willing to learn?  Would she look at how interest accumulates and how cc's and FICO consider carrying a balance if she were taught?  Would learning about FICO scoring and tracking her score have an impact?

 

I know that I learned some of this stuff later than sooner - some folks just have never been taught.  It sounds like you've been trying to get the message through - and she's just not that interested?

 

I'm just still carrying around the thought that so many folks are far more in debt (and eager to be in debt) and clueless about debt than she seems to be - I'm trying to hold on to any possible shred of hope.  *Sigh*

Just puttin' syrup on something, don't make it pancakes.
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IOBA
Posts: 2,667
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

If you can get your hands on one of those cc statements - that shows the interest charges - ask her, "Honey, what would you do with an extra $xx.xx <insert the amount of the interest and fees>per month?"  

 

Then show her how she could be putting that money in HER pocket instead of giving it away....

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tpatterson2k9
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎04-04-2011
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

Thanks beamMEup and IOAB for the input.  I wish it were as simple as pointing out how much interest she is paying every month, but I don't think even that would convince her to pay it off.  The funny thing is her credit score is only about 20 points lower than mine so it just goes to show that high FICO scores do not necessarily translate into good financial sense.  The worst part is that if she is like this now, I can only imagine how she'll be 5 or 10 years from now when she has to start paying on her SLs and start living on her own.  I don't think I want to stick around to see that all play out, especially since she has never worked full-time for more than 2 or 3 weeks in her lifetime (more like 15 hours a week) at the age of 22.  Sigh...she's a great gal but it's things like this that really make me wonder why I'm still with her.  Hopefully she'll get her act together sooner rather than later but I'm not counting on it.


Starting Scores (lender pull 3/27/10): 759 (EQ), 752 (TU), 749 (EX)
Current Scores (myFICO 4/4/11): 768 (EQ)
Goal Scores: 800


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tpatterson2k9
Posts: 154
Registered: ‎04-04-2011
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

Well out of frustration I just asked her if she paid off the CC yet and she declined to answer (which actually answered my question).  With that, I told her we can go dutch on everything from now on because she obviously has money to burn if she doesn't have a problem paying ~$20/month in interest.  All I get back from her is "that's rude."  Maybe it was, but at least this way I'll start saving more of my own money rather than spend it on her just so she can have extra money to pay more interest with.  She knows how into finance I am yet she doesn't want to hear any of the advice I can give her.  I don't get it.


Starting Scores (lender pull 3/27/10): 759 (EQ), 752 (TU), 749 (EX)
Current Scores (myFICO 4/4/11): 768 (EQ)
Goal Scores: 800


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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,115
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Financial Follies that Break the Relationship

It can be hard growing up, I guess. Especially if you're a bit scared to take on all the hard work that's involved.

 

Maybe if she hears that she needs to do some maturing for your relationship to work, she might take it to heart. Maybe she'll dismiss you as a jerk and continue in her ways.

 

Not much that you can do to change other people, unfortunately.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007

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