Very good message!!
Who you love can seriously impact your finances. A partner who is supportive and committed to the same financial goals as you will help grow your wealth.
Though you might not be thinking about money at the beginning of a new relationship, you should be. As covered in my book, Modern Couple’s Money Guide, within the first three dates you can determine whether you and your love interest are financially compatible.
If you’re not, run for the hills or you could end up another divorce statistic. Money matters are the leading cause of separation and divorce in Canada. With that in mind, here’s how to tell if the person you’re dating is your financial equal in your first three dates.
Date one: Are your values similar?
At its core, financial compatibility is about what drive your goals. Remarkably, this has nothing to do with how much money either of you make, what you own or what you owe. Those things can change. Values don’t. This includes owning property, having a family, how hard you want to work and travel aspirations.
On your first date, explore each other’s values. Lob a few of these softball questions at each other: Do you want to own a home? Where do you like to travel? How important is family to you? Do you like your work? Do you prioritize experiences or things?
Date two: Proof is in the pudding
Pay close attention to what your date spends their money on when you arrive at your second outing. For example, your date might be a fashionista wearing designer brands or they might want to book your reservation at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that’s hip, but without the hefty prices. Still, your date might pick you up in an UberX versus an UberBlack.
Here’s a hint of a red flag: if your date appears to be out-spending their income level, they may have money coming from other sources or they could be funding their lifestyle with debt. In rare circumstances, they’re living off of their savings.
Date three: The coupon test
There’s no better way to force a financial conversation early in a relationship than to use a coupon or store credit.
When I went on my first date with my honey, I pulled out my coffee rewards card and cashed it in for free americanos for us. Though in the moment, he was slightly horrified, he quickly learned that I like to get good value when I shop. When we went out again, he used a Groupon. That’s when we fell madly in love with each other.
The bottom line in relationships is if you work towards shared financial goals, it doesn’t matter whether you start from rich, poor or modest means. Together, you can grow your money to support the life you’re designing.
Lesley-Anne Scorgie is a personal finance author and founder of MeVest.ca