Friday, September 10, 2010
Financial disclosure - when?
Our most recent poll on Facebook was "When is an appropriate time to divulge your finances (i.e., debt) when in a dating relationship?" Here are some of the responses:
Laura: When you mutually agree to exclusive dating and believe the possibility of life-partnership exists.
April: NOT on a first date while complaining about your life, stabbing your food......
Jody: When you are on facebook and everyone knows your business anyway. lol
Karen: While you are still in the friendship dating stage and you both want to move forward with the relationship. Very important to do when the timing is right.
Theresa: Funny... I know that there are some red flags for me when it comes to dating someone. Financial recklessness would be high on my list. You can be in debt and not have bad money management skills. I am fine financially. But... if a guy is not responsible with his money you will find that out with time, but the problem is staying emotionally untethered long enough to find out... not so easy!
Mark: would suggest waiting till you are absolutely sure you want to marry the other person.
Stacey: I'm not sure, but I do think it should be before marriage is considered. When you marry someone, you marry their debt too. Many of us that are or have gone to college have huge student loan debts. When someone marries you, they also marry into paying that debt down till it is gone.
Bill: I think Mark has the right track... I would suggest not discussing any financial situations until the relationship has progressed to the stage where both parties, are either living together, or in serious discussions, about the possibility, of moving in. At this point, debt becomes important. Should we split bills? should I be on any lease agreements? rental obligations? These questions are a normal process, when sharing living space. Now, I believe that an open discussion, COULD be had, prior to a living arrangement. If both sides sit down and honestly discuss how their economics compare to one another, this could help remove loads of unwanted, heated debates later on in the relationship, because one side found out, all too late, that the other had over x amount of dollars in hanging debt. Discussion is the key, open and honest communication, trust, and the ability to disagree, will make this situation much less a nightmare.
Jody: While you are dating, you tend to drop lines like, "out of my budget, etc." Money troubles don't stay that secret and become part of conversation if you trust each other enough to confide your worries. I wouldn't wait until I was living together or engaged to divulge large debt or even large investment holdings. I do agree Bill that an honest discussion of finances and what each of you expect and can provide for each other, would save many arguments later.
Financial counselor Dave Ramsey recommends that couples discuss finances as soon as things get serious. Finances are a huge part of a marriage and often the cause of divorce. It's important to be open and honest about your finances. Remember, Jesus spent a lot of time talking about money in the Bible. He knew it would be a tough issue for us.
(As a last side note, Cache' Connections does not recommend or condone living together prior to marriage.)