Some Thoughts

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I've been thinking recently, what with the (what K likes to call) "quarter-life crisis" edging on me, and with a lot of my friends having babies and husbands and wives and homes and such - the biggest question I have floating over my head is the following:

What happens if I fall in love/marry someone who has mounds of debt and/or no idea how to manage the finances?

I take great pride in the fact that I have never gone into debt to acheive anything (yet) in my life. Of course, I've never owned a car or a home, and don't pay rent. Yes I know I've got it easier than some. But I also think that I have been able to manage my money well. I rely (and always have) on a 90% cash-only spending option. I enjoy spending cash more than credit or even debit.

But, what happens down the road, should I meet and marry a man who has, lets say, $50,000 in student loans. His debt becomes our debt. I don't like that thought at all. It actually makes me not want to get married! Hah.

My friend H (yes, the camera one)'s parents recently got divorced. H said that when they got married, her mom had no debt, and her dad carried about $50,000 worth of various debt - a debt that they (as a couple) carried with them until they got divorced and split the assets. H speculates that her mom felt bitter about having debt, blaming H's dad for bringing the debt into the family.

I would imagine that it's tough, for the debt-free spouse to accept (all of a sudden!) a huge debt load into their lives. I agree when people say that you must, must must must! talk about money before getting married. What do they say? That most marriages break up because of money problems.

The scary thing is, that I forsee many of my friends (some married, some unmarried, all my age range - around 23) having money problems in their marriages. I base this purely on how they handle money now - most of them think that their money problems will go away when they make more money...

What I'd really like to do is pick them up and shake them around a bit. But here in Canada we call that "aggravated assault" and given my line of work, I don't think a Criminal Record will help me at all. Hah.


Canadian Saver said...

Have you ever watched the show "Til Debt Do You Part" ? It's on The Slice Network and deals with couples in debt. There was a couple last week with exactly this problem, the husband had a lot of debt ($26,000+) and the wife resented having to use her paycheck to pay for 100% of the expenses while his paycheck went to pay off debt.

I thought it was interesting...

I'm not sure what I'd do if I met someone who was deep in debt and we got serious.... Part of me would want to help out with what I've learned, but at the same time it would really scare me!!!

Canadian Saver said...

Actually, I am pretty sure that this couple was on Maxed Out, not Til Debt Do Us Part. It's on W Television (women's television network) on Tuesday nights, 8 pm Eastern. Sorry!

(It's just as good as TDDUP!)