Does money really matter when selecting a spouse? The verdict is out on this topic. I posed this question to my colleagues and friends, both married and single, and was astonished by the responses I received. Many people said it did in fact matter, but differed on why.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Joyce and Mike Bolds, who have been married for more than 30 years. They agreed a person’s financial situation should be considered when selecting a spouse, but their views differed slightly.
“A couple should complement each other. You do not want to choose a spouse who is worse off financially than you,” Joyce said. She also stated she warns her 21-year-old daughter constantly, “Make certain you marry someone with benefits,” she laughed.
Her husband, Mike agreed, but argued it depends at what stage a person is in his or her life. For example, he stated, “If a person is just recently graduating from college, but is headed in the right direction, it should not matter.”
Jonathan O. Sumter, who is divorced, said, “Not only is it essential to know your partner’s financial habits beforehand, but it is also advantageous to operate a marriage like a partnership.”
So, if money is a concern, there are some key things you should do before jumping the broom.
Speak with your mate
Are you comfortable with your spouse giving money to in-laws? Or, what about your spouse withdrawing funds to start a new business venture? Should there be one account or should each spouse have separate accounts? It is important to address these issues before deciding to marry.
Reveal it all
Is your mate a saver or a spender? Can you depend on your mate to make sound financial decisions if you are unable to do so? Take a moment to put everything on the table. Review your potential mate’s financial status, credit report and observe his or her financial habits.
More importantly, it comes down to what you are able to live with. One person may say it doesn’t matter because love conquers all. Another says love doesn’t pay the bills!
Remember, Your Choice, Your Future!