They chose financial independence over home ownership.

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My girlfriend is more than US$100K in debt!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Human beings are rarely solitary. 

Although in modern societies with very high cost of living like ours, fewer people are thinking of getting married unless they want children (but, in Singapore, people who don't want to have children will still get married just to get a BTO HDB flat) and fewer who are married are staying married, many still need companionship in life.

Realistically, once we have a partner in life, for better or for worse, naturally, things will change. Our life is no longer ours alone. It is shared. This is only fair. We gain something. We lose something.

When it comes to money, however, I personally feel that couples, unless they are married, should keep their finances separate. 

To pool financial resources together is a BIG step, whether forward or backward will depend on the circumstances each person brings to the relationship.

Money, I think we all agree, is a very sensitive issue. It is probably more sensitive than religion. Don't agree? 

Would it be easier to ask your date whether she goes to church or what is her personal net worth? 


If we care about financial security and if we are not rich which I assume most of us are not, no matter how strong our attraction, it is probably a good idea to stay away from someone who has growing financial debt. 

The question is how do we find out?

Some of you might remember my female friend, Posh. If you don't, see related post at the end of this blog.

I never did find out how much her net worth was and I didn't know if she was heavily in debt and, if so, whether it was growing in size. I only knew that if I wanted to be rich, I would have a better chance if I had a frugal partner. 

Posh and frugal didn't exist in the same space.

Now, say, I gave Posh the benefit of the doubt and thought that she had plenty of money and that, despite her lavish spending, she was only spending a small percentage of her income (hey, love is blind or so they say) but found out much later that she was actually in debt and that it was snowballing! Then, what?

By then, it could be too late. 

"I didn't notice the crows nesting in the attic of the house before. Love the house, love the crows." 

Of course, I derived this from the Chinese saying "爱屋及乌" but I always get the feeling that the saying is to console ourselves when we discover something bad comes attached to someone or something we love.

I might be putting my head on the chopping block here (and this won't be the first time) but if we are not rich and if we want to be rich, we are probably better off with a frugal partner in life.

If you are willing to get married to someone who has snowballing debt and to help pay off the debt, you are a better person than me. Good on you!

Related post:
A story about a lady in my life.


Kevin said...

Hi AK,

Has Posh thought of making an attempt to reduce the snowballing debt or she is having the "spend first,worry later" aka YOLO mindset? :P

AK71 said...

Hi Kevin,

I am sure she would apply for the YOLO card from UOB. ;p

Unintelligent Nerd said...

Hi AK,

According to some articles I've seen circulating online, one of the predictors of divorce is financial incompatibility.

I think that love and attraction can only go so far. Once reality sets in, that's another different story.....

AK71 said...

Hi UN,

I agree with you. Once the honeymoon period is over, reality bites. -.-"

pf said...

Aiyah... Uncle ak... U so jaded. No wonder u not married. Besides posh and frugal, there is a million in between. If u talk to ppl, no need ask whether they got money or in debt anot. Ask them what kind of financial planning strategies /tools they use. Ask them if they know cpf usage and restrictions. Ask them how they get income tax reliefs. All these will tell how good they are at being a money manager.

Cory said...

Like to add some logic into comment by Unintelligent Nerd that solely looking on divorce due to financial incompatibility maybe misleading to derive couples do not put loves first over majority in financial incompatibility. There can be huge majority of couples who are very well in loves with financial incompatibility.

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Haha... Any one of those questions you suggested would be quite telling unless the other party is totally clueless. ;p

Unintelligent Nerd said...

Hi Cory,

Yes, I agree with you in that regard as well. There are cases where couples are able to put love above financial incompatibility. They are able to take financial challenges within their marriage head-on and may even develop a better relationship through their struggles as well.


pf said...

If the other party is clueless, most likely he or she doesn't have much money to manage lo... Most likely not good with finances. Not necessarily don't hv money, but... If those who hv but don't manage, I'm sure u also don't like. So, see pretty and obedient anot lo.... Lol

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

A person can be clueless when it comes to social settings but very good with finances. I have a friend who is like that. ;p

pf said...

Hee hee

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

"Money matters in love." LOL

Should marry a gal who has money... ;p

pf said...

Aiyah... I think it's a matter of how well one manages the resources given to him/her. If can manage well, speaks a lot...

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