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DISCUSSIONDebt (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by Kara__El1 Star

We often discuss more obvious measures of RMV and, to a degree, SMV. Do you put effort into your appearance? Do you get along with his family? Do you have good domestic qualities? Do you let him lead? There is one quality which I personally don't feel we discuss enough, though: financial stability.

It seems a bit contrary to RP that this doesn't come up more often, considering that one of the most legitimate fears men face, when considering marriage, is a financial one. Additionally, financial struggles are often cited as the number one cause of divorce. As champions of marriage, I think it's important to consider our own financial situation before marrying and to continue to do so as an active partner in our marriages.

If you're single, is your financial situation something you're considering? If you're married/committed, at what point did you and your SO discuss financial matters? What was your financial situation when you were dating and how much do you think this effected your RMV? Did you sign or consider a prenup? How active are you in the finances in your marriage?


[–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I started monitoring my credit score at 23, realizing that with my student loan debt, I'd need a financial plan to attract a high value man. I began to pay off and consolidate my consumer debt and was quick to action, once I finished my master’s degree, when it came to consolidating my federal student loans and arranging payment schedules for the private ones.

At 26, I signed up for a couple of credit cards to raise my credit score after receiving a 12% interest rate on my car. By the time I met my husband, I had a small balance on my emergency credit card, a car payment, and student loans. I never hid my debt from him, but it was at five or six months, when I realized we were getting in pretty deep, that I decided he deserved to know the details before things progressed.

I told him exact numbers and outlined my plans to pay off my six figure student loan debt through my Income Based Repayment Plan under Public Service Loan Forgiveness. After 10 years of working as a public librarian and making affordable monthly payments, the remaining balance will be forgiven, tax free.

I love my surprisingly stable career, which will work well around family life, and has great pay/benefits. Because I had a plan for how to approach the debt, my husband was okay with it, especially since I'd already offered to sign a prenup to protect his family's business. This surprised me, as he’s very anti-debt, but we’re now working to pay off my private loans and get down to a mortgage and my federal loans only. Today, we're both actively involved in the finances and equally frugal. He never got the prenup together, which might have been a gamble, but I'd never take his family's money, anyway.

[–]GingerDoughGirl 40 points41 points  (5 children)

Prior to engagement being on the table, my fiance had me print off my credit report to review. If my credit was bad and I had what he considered to be too much debt, he would not have entertained the idea of marrying me. He presented me with his credit report at the same time in the name of fairness. He has his financial life in order and would not want to marry someone whose financial management skills were disastrous.

However, in the context of our relationship he manages all of the money. He is better at it than me. I was decent enough at financial management to qualify for an engagement ring but he is still way better. Even if I made more money than him he would probably handle all of the money because it is such a strength of his. We have a budget that we made together and every month or so we have a meeting where he gives me a run down of where everything stands. He is the gatekeeper for all of the money and I like it that way because he manages it all so well.

[–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 42 points43 points  (2 children)

This is very unromantic and pragmatic... which honestly, is exactly how I feel financial discussion during a relationship should be. Kudos to you guys for setting emotion aside.

[–]GingerDoughGirl 13 points14 points  (1 child)

This comment made me laugh because it is true! It made me love him even more because it showed me how thoughtful and level headed he is about major life decisions.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[removed]

    [–]pearlsandstilettosModerator | Pearl[M] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    This doesn't contribute to the discussion. Removed.

    [–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (3 children)

    This is a really good discussion topic considering it's known impact on couples. I agree it should come up more!

    I'm married (15yrs) but we began dating with exclusivity after knowing each other for about a year. I made good money, was self sufficient, and didn't have debt, but he was more established in his career and made way more than me. On that note, he had around 4 months PTO he wanted to use and abuse extravagantly and made it clear this was not my financial burden to share. I did pay for some stuff, presents, and dates, but not anything grandiose.

    When we moved in together we just combined finances, which is risky but it's what we did. He ran them for many years very well. We have investments and 401k's, etc. Tbh at first I'd have been clueless, so this was smart of him and easier on me. When I moved from my parents it was with roommates, so the extent of my fixed bill paying was giving them a monthly check for rent and utilities, car insurance every 6 months, and my school by semester. I had one credit card I used for emergencies and was pretty frugal in general. Had to be to pay for school. The thought of debt honestly gave me anxiety so I avoided it.

    I'd like to think that was good for my RMV, I'm cautious by nature. He did bring up that he was pleasantly surprised I didn't have debt so it did for him specifically. I had to hustle to stay ahead of financial obligations so the CC was not an option. It wasn't a dreary life though. My classes, labs, and volunteering had really awesome opportunities for travel and interesting experiences.

    We didn't do a prenup. My name is on our house, but he bought it on his own credit since mine was non-existent. We moved out of state for an amazing job offer he got years ago. I didn't want to move, but it made too much sense financially to pass up and his career took precedence. We bought a house we could easily afford in a great school District since we had a daughter at the time. There was no disagreement on whether to buy "too much house" or not, neither of us wanted mortgage slavery in a new state with hardly any professional network established.

    I worked part time off and on, a few years ago became a full time SAHM (2 kids) and took over finances. I now watch our credit scores, read all the contracts, pay all the bills. This suits me as I enjoy detailed work. It definitely freed some mental bandwidth on my husband's end! He's aware of everything without having to deal with it. I've found service delivery discrepancies and clarified, sorted odd charges (looking at you AT&T!), and verified murky details and handled hidden bad charges. He mostly just used auto pay 🤭

    This has worked very well for us over the years. He established a pattern that I took over. Thankfully he loves the job we moved for and it's been great for him in terms of professional fulfillment and advancement. He doesn't do the detail busy work in any aspect of our lives and is happier for it. I'm still the "cheap" person between us though lol. But it's good, he's better at picking the stuff to splurge on and isn't irresponsible so we don't fight. Except about my car which he hates. He calls it the "shit box" but it's not even that bad, he's just being a snob. It's paid for so I'm good. He got his Barbie dream car a couple years ago because of my "shit box" proclivities 😂

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 5 points6 points  (2 children)

    My husband also paid for everything, when we were dating. I remember only one date, where I paid for myself, and that's because we got different things in the mall food court. He was in oil and it was largely his idea to go to more extravagant places, so it made sense, and it suited our traditional values. I loved seeing that he could provide.

    I like that neither of you guys are the slurger in the relationship. My husband and I are pretty even-keeled in that regard, as well.

    [–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I'm the same way!! I like men paying for stuff, especially the plans they come up with. It is traditional and money very often is less a burden to spend than time for them. Obviously not in every situation and I dated a long time ago, but that's what my experience taught me. I'd never have taken an expensive gift that didn't involve time spent. Travel while dating = great. Jewelry or other pricey material things = big nope.

    It feels like it's dirty or bad to admit to these days to scrutinize the ability to provide. It's a big part of commitment or marriage with clarity though. So I'm very glad this got brought up. We very often as women turn ourselves inside out for what we bring to the table so I don't feel it's one sided.

    Having said that I do make it a point say thank you for stuff still despite sharing everything. I'm very aware that our lives are possible through his work. Even my part time job was a passion project that wouldn't have been possible without his career. As is the current SAHM situation. I don't ever want him to feel taken for granted even if he loves his job.

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    My husband bought me one expensive gift, a necklace, before I got an engagement ring. I likely wouldn't have been comfortable with any more. He did take me on several trips to his home state and a ski trip, as well.

    I do work and I make substantially more money, at the moment, but I almost never mention it. I regularly thank him for leaving oil for me, to work his way up in a new field. He works hard and I never let that go unnoticed, especially since a chunk of our earnings are going to the student debt I brought to the marriage, so that I could earn what I do. It's not a competition, when you share your funds.

    [–]Pixie03103 Stars 6 points7 points  (3 children)

    If I hadn't had the potential to be a financial support, I don't think our relationship would've gotten anywhere. Because of his family background, he had been in an arranged marriage. She never worked - either outside or inside of the home. (This is a bit unusual for Asian women, who are often at least good wives / mothers - but she was inactive in all ways.)

    He had been basically burdened by marriage most of his life, and was not at all interested in having it happen again.

    But what actually drew us together first - before we got serious - was that I owned my own small business. I think that's half the reason he fell for me, if you want to know the truth, lol. He saw I was able to work, talented, and detail-oriented. He invested in my business and saw the returns on his investment. I think that made him want to invest in me, as well. (He also liked how I looked, etc. But that wouldn't have meant much, as he had no issue landing beautiful women.)

    Our financial life is a big part of who we are, because we both come from financial struggle. Plus, we're from different countries - so we have had to travel a lot, which is expensive. Making money is just part of who we are. He makes a great salary, my business has grown, and we use the money we make to invest in real estate.

    He makes more than I do, but I make a respectable amount. Between us both, we do pretty well. We've kind of just always been a bit entwined financially - we're both traditional, so it worked, even when we were dating. I was okay letting him take the lead, give me a budget, make the financial decisions, etc. We don't have a prenup, but we did sign something when we jointly invested in our first rental property - which I had no issue with. We're getting married in a few months, and I think we trust each other enough to know that even if things went bad, we wouldn't want to ruin each other's lives. Especially as he has kids I'm very attached to, and we're working on kids of our own.

    So yes. I think he would've been really against marriage AND having more kids, because of his negative experience with his ex - and I think what changed his mind had a lot to do with my work ethic.

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 4 points5 points  (2 children)

    He saw I was able to work, talented, and detail-oriented.

    My husband would not have tolerated someone who didn't want to work. He grew up on a cattle ranch and even his "stay at home mother" got up in the middle of the night to help with cattle and secretaried rodeos for weeks at a time. The modern SAHM cliche is something he doesn't understand and he's far too ambitious to relate to someone for whom that was a sole goal. I think he could've been with someone who wanted to do what his mother did, or have some extremely active role in a family business or community organization, but that would be the extent of it if the kids were in school. Similarly, I had an ex who refused to work in any way and I couldn't have been with the guy who just wants to do as little as possible.

    [–]Pixie03103 Stars 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Same! Being a SAHM doesn't mean being lazy.

    I am able to work from home, but I am definitely working, lol.

    Not to get too religious-y, as tbh I am not textbook "religious" (though I was raised to be so), but it's Proverbs where a mother gives advice to her son, who is a king, about picking a good wife. I don't know the entire context, but I'm sure as the wife of a king, a woman wouldn't have to work. And yet, the woman described knows how to find a bargain, sell in the marketplace, etc. She basically stays busy all day, and saves the family money / earns money. I mean the Bible is pretty traditional about male / female roles in general, and definitely puts the burden of supporting the home primarily on the man - but I like to think about that passage because I really think it's an ideal description of a good wife.

    I think a woman is fully capable of using her smarts & skills to help out financially. Either by working, or by saving. And for me - I wouldn't feel fulfilled if I didn't.

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    What my husband detests is women who drop the kids off in their PJ's and then go home and watch Netflix and pick fights on Facebook all day. We've seen an uptick in these women, lately, as we move into our 30s. That's what I meant by "cliche." We both know SAHM's who prove the value in staying home, but I think he struggles to separate the two, when his primary examples of women who do so are ranchers.

    [–]ragnarockette4 Stars 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    I have never had any debt. I had a very generous father who bought me my first car and paid 100% of my college costs. It was such a wonderful gift to start adulthood debt free.

    My husband went to an exclusive private college. When we started dating he had about $50,000 in debt. Shortly before we got married I paid that off using a chunk of an inheritance I received when my mom died. After marriage we opened a joint bank account where we deposit 80% of our salaries. The other 20% goes into our personal accounts to spend as we please.

    My husband and I both have a strong sense of our finances and make decisions jointly. I make over six figures so I'm a decent contributor to our household income. We are currently house hunting so we are paying very close attention to our finances. However, my husband is more active in managing our investment portfolio and figuring out where we should put our money. If I was in charge we'd probably just have a bunch of cash in our checking account...

    I would not have married someone if I felt they were not financial responsible and ambitious. I have a vision of my life in the short term and long term and I am glad I married someone who has similar values and understands my love of both Costco and Gucci.

    [–]HappySoutherner 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    I am engaged and we spoke of finances pretty early on in our relationship. One of the things that drew us together was our value and views on money. We save, live within our means, and are debt free. We will combine all finances once we are married and no pre nup for is.

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    My husband and I were attracted to one another by our similar financial views, as well. Although my circumstances were different, since his parents paid for his schooling, we were both very fiscally conscious and hoped to be debt free one day.

    [–]teaandtalk4 Stars 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    As per usual, it's not the specific (net worth) that's important. It's what that specific is evidence of.

    A net worth of $500k from inheritances is NOT a good sign of financial intelligence. It tells us precisely nothing about your work ethic, ability to make sensible money decisions, etc.

    A net worth of $-100k from working hard, doing a $200k degree in a field with a good future (or buying an apartment in an area with good growth prospects), and living frugally IS a good sign of financial intelligence. It shows that you're willing to work hard, make compromises, and consider your future.

    In my marriage, my husband came into it with little money but great prospects. He came from a working class background where his parents had shitty attitudes to money. He'd been working for himself for a few years then taken a job in a high COL area, but still kept his expenses down and prepared for the future. I could tell from his lifestyle that he was relatively frugal, willing to forgo luxuries to keep saving, and career oriented.

    Me, I was two years younger and a student. I come from a MC-maybe UMC background but with parents who never gave me money. I had no money, but also no debt, and had worked hard part time for several years to afford travel. My lifestyle was not lavish, and even though I didn't have much savings, it was also clear that I was able to work hard to afford the luxury of travel.

    Fast forward eight years, we live in a home in a low COL area (a decision we made in order to maximise our chances of financial independence at an early age) with a small mortgage, no other debt, and comfortable savings (enough that we travel modestly every year or so). We have a weekly meeting where we go through a bunch of relationship questions and also discuss our budget. We have compatible attitudes to money despite our quite different upbringings, and we make big financial decisions together (but trust each other with the small ones).

    [–]glitterchild 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    I have a lot of debt, six figures, and I’m not happy about it, but it’s all student debt. I was very BP when I accrued the debt but it already occurred to me that my future husband may not like it. I don’t have any credit card debt. I’m responsible about the debt I do have. I graduated college and got into my desired career immediately. I’ve been extremely successful in my career and have risen the ranks very quickly. I’m easily able to pay my loans every month and I have a decent credit score. So I would really hope someone wouldn’t refuse to marry me just because of the debt. It’s not like I’m some reckless spender or expecting a bailout. I’ve always been able to pay my own debt and would be more than willing to continue that if I needed to. I also will be eligible for loan forgiveness after eight more years because I’m a social worker.

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    The loan forgiveness is what made it okay for my husband. This wasn't six figures just looming forever. It was a limited amount of time on a monthly schedule. I also make pretty good money for our area.

    [–]SZONom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    This is a great post OP, thank you for sharing.

    [–]Mewster1818 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    My husband and I combined our finances relatively early on in the relationship which isn't something I necessarily recommend despite how well it worked out for us. Most importantly though is that we are very like minded when it comes to finances, we dislike using credit (except on our mortgage which is a bit different from other lines of credit). We are both relatively "cheap", for example while I enjoy fashion and makeup and shopping I do not like spending money on it simply because it's what I would deem "frivolous". Our money mantra is basically "don't buy what you can't already afford, and buy only what you need and not what you want". I think having a discussion with your SO about the nitty-gritty of money management is key, if you have the same beliefs and those beliefs harmonize then that's great, if not then I think it's worth realizing that you either will need to be the one to readjust your mindset or you should decide that perhaps this is not the relationship you were looking for. You should not expect that he will change the way he conducts his finances for you.

    My husband's ADD and busy work/school schedule definitely leaves the household finances and scheduling to me, which is fine I choose to view it as a way to make his life less complicated and help him save his time at home for relaxing and recovering rather than me "leading". Fortunately, other than our mortgage my husband has never opened a line of credit with anyone, so our bills are very simple. Because we're very like minded on money matters I don't even issue budget guidelines for him, if he ever wants something he gets it, since he rarely ever spend money on anything besides gas. He only checks in with me on the budget if he wants something fairly expensive, and I usually try to accommodate what he asks for since it's so rare for him to want to buy anything for himself anyway. In that regard I guess we're not very RP since I know that everyone says that the man should be the leader in all things including finances, but I suppose this brings up an important point that you don't have to be 100% the same as the posted RP rules to have a happy, fulfilling relationship that both individuals can confidently enjoy.

    [–]apronandlace -1 points0 points  (4 children)

    Not having a prenup; I've read things that make me think they are not a good idea or necessary except for remarriages with former children or significant assets, and they "break the taboo" of divorce when you're just getting started out.

    http://ivkdlaw.com/the-firm/our-articles/prenuptial-agreements-and-lawyering/ten-things-i-hate-about-prenuptial-agreements/

    [–]Mewster1818 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    I offered my husband a prenup because we have already discussed that I will be a SAHM once we get to that part of our lives, and as a vow of my commitment because I am completely confident that were we to have one it would not be necessary. My husband was not interested in it and we did not sign one after all.

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    We primarily discussed it because his family owns a multi-million dollar ranch and he's a member of the LLC. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to protect familial assets. As far as the "taboo" of divorce, it's just statistics that most marriages end in divorce, so it seems like wishful thinking in our case, since he did have significant assets.

    This article is riddled with generalizations and exaggerations. I really think prenups should be approached on a case by case basis.

    [–]teaandtalk4 Stars 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    It's fair to skip pre-nups when talking about people of similar net worth. As soon as there are any serious assets (like family businesses), it's worth ensuring that each party is legally protected.

    [–]Kara__El1 Star[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I'd have happily signed something saying I couldn't claim the family business, but he never actually asked, possibly because I'd been so willing.

    [–]pheonix-in-the-ashes -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    I don’t think I’d ever sign a prenup per se. But that has a lot to do with where I live and I typically have more to lose.

    I take my financial health pretty seriously. I keep my income at over 50% disposable and save a lot.