6 Steps to a Successful Money Talk with Your Mate
For Richer, For Poorer
Until "Debt" Do Us Part
If you want to prosper and thrive, get married and stay married like 92% of America's millionaires. But don't just marry the first person that comes along. Choose the right mate, and live frugally ever after.
In The Millionaire Mind, author Thomas J. Stanley devotes an entire chapter to the importance of marrying the right person. Why? First, divorce is financially devastating. All your efforts to save and live a thrifty lifestyle can be negated by divorce. Even a no-fault "simple" divorce will cost you far more than the "low, low fee," because you'll have to maintain two separate households where one would have been sufficient.
No one can guarantee that your marriage will last, but you can reduce the likelihood of a breakup and increase your happiness quotient by finding a mate as frugal as you are. Of all the issues that couples fight about, money is high on the list. Eliminate money as a source of dissension, and you've eliminated many marital spats.
What are some of the clues that you've found a frugal soul mate? Here's what Bruce, my husband of 21 years, told me in the first year of our marriage: "One thing I really liked about you was that you treated my money as if it was your own."
His jaw dropped when I sweetly replied, "And now it is!"
When he retrieved and replaced his lower jaw, Bruce explained that he noticed I was cautious when ordering in restaurants. I ordered modestly priced meals and didn't force him to break his budget when treating me.
Here are some other signs of a frugal date:
Find this person, and if the other aspects of his/her personality check out, you're on your way to a lifetime of frugal wedded bliss.
What should you avoid? Certainly, no matter how hot the chemistry, you'll want to steer away from a person who is perpetually in debt. If her motto is "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping," run the other way. Similarly, the person with a house full of expensive, trendy clothes and "toys" isn't going to change his spending habits the minute you tie the knot.
Aside from steering clear of obvious spendthrifts, be careful also of people who call themselves frugal but are simply cheap. Watch out for these red flags:
We all have checklists for the ideal mate. Put "frugality" high on yours, and look for that special person whose approach to money matches your own. Then fall in love and cherish each other for as long as you both shall live.
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