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What Financial Lifestyle Will You And Your Partner Have?

It has always puzzled me how people will share the most intimate details of their lives with strangers, yet will not share the most basic financial information with their partner. My husband and I recently sat down with a young couple, Daniel and Erica. They both had the look of young love in their eyes. Being married myself, I remembered how this look faded when we had some time to settle into the realities of married life.

My husband, apparently determined to hurry the “reality” process, asked the couple about how they will handle money when they are together. After giving us a “deer-in-the-headlights” look, they both answered the question. Daniel responded that he hated any kind of debt and he was willing to sacrifice to become debt free in about a year. At the same time, Erica responded that she was okay having debt as long as they could manage the monthly expenses. After they both stopped talking, they looked at each other in shock, achieving my husband’s goal of giving the couple a reality check.

To quickly diffuse what looked like the beginning of an argument, I mentioned that there are no right or wrong answers, only the best answer for you and your partner. I encouraged the couple to sit down and determine what their financial lifestyle will look like when they are together. A financial lifestyle is how you and your partner will manage money, handle debt, buy stuff like cars and homes, and set and execute goals like retirement and college planning. Whether on purpose, or by day-to-day decisions that add up over time, we all have a financial lifestyle.

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Daniel Erica


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