Is It Okay to Go Into Debt Because of Love?

We are often martyrs when it comes to LOVE.

We do everything just to make those we most love happy.

We are willing to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of LOVE even to the point of sacrificing our future and drowning ourselves into debt.

A Story by Michelle Matthews entitled “It Happened To Me: I Was Financially Abused By a Boyfriend

You can read the full article here.

Here are some snippets from her blog:

“Growing up relatively poor means I never was taught how to budget a checkbook because we were lucky if the bank account ever had enough to bother budgeting. My mother filed for bankruptcy more times than I can keep track of, and my abusive step-father’s untreated bipolar-fueled, manic spending sprees often left my mom with very little to budget anyway. Have you ever had coffee creamer mixed with water on corn flakes because your mom can’t afford milk? I have. I don’t recommend it. Really creative on her part though, so thanks mom!

In addition to inheriting my mother’s lack of financial prowess, I also inherited her taste in men.

I’ve had a few of those relationships that threaded the waters of “Is this an abusive relationship, really? He doesn’t (usually) get physical with me.” One of the most abusive relationships was one I fell into around the age of 17. I already left home at this point because my family literally could not afford me and was living on a friend’s porch in the middle of a Buffalo winter.

At the time I was unofficially living with him because like I mentioned, my home was a porch. I had no proof of address, which is required to get a bank account. He refused to give me any proof that I was staying with him (a simple notarized letter would have sufficed). He told me we weren’t serious enough for that sort of thing and he wasn’t sure how he felt about me, but he’d happily let me sign the check over to him, and he’d make sure my money was safe.

Somehow, at the time, it seemed like a good option.

So I signed my check over to him. He spent all of it over the course of a summer. Some of it was eventually spent on some joint ventures; we got an apartment together that he choose in the neighborhood he wanted away from all of my friends. It was all I had to live on, but fortunately he decided what I ate and what I wore, so at the least those things were supplied, I guess.

When we moved in together, he decided we should put all of the utilities in my name. Electricity, gas, cable, Internet. He also decided we shouldn’t pay those bills. Those friends one has to convince you not to make such stupid decisions? He didn’t like any of mine, so I didn’t have any.

When I was working, checks were always deposited into his account that I had no debit card for, no pin numbers for. I spent a lot of my time avoiding calls from debt collectors and setting up payment plans to avoid having our utilities shut off. I thought about leaving a lot.

There were a number of reasons why leaving seemed like an impossible, the biggest of which was my financial dependence on him. I couldn’t ask my family for help. I no longer had any friends. And he had all of my money, and I had nowhere to go.

After two years, he broke things off. That’s the only good thing he’s ever done for me. I’ll always be grateful that I didn’t end up pregnant or somehow tied down to him, even though he tried. But even though we dated for only two years, his impact on my credit report has haunted me for the past 10 years.”

So Is It Okay to Go Into Debt Because of Love?

The answer is: It is NEVER okay to go into DEBT for whatever reason. Except if it is in a life and death situation.

But if you are managing your money properly, you will never go into a situation of going into debt due to whatever reason.

If you save and invest consistently, have an emergency fund, and have an insurance plan for life, accident, or critical illness, life will not catch you on the blind side.

Here Are 3 Tips So You Won’t Go Into Debt Because of Love:

1. When It Comes to Money, Use Your Mind and Not Your Heart.

When it comes into money, never give in to your emotions.

This is the reason why people lose money in the stock market. They buy when the market is high and sell when the market is low. Hence, they lose a fortune.

When it comes to spending for your special someone, spend within your means.

Sometimes, you are tempted to use your credit card in order to please your partner especially during valentines, anniversary, or in the holidays.

You say to yourself. “What is money but only paper. My loved one is my life.”

You can’t afford to pay it in full so you use your credit card and defer it for 12 months. Now you can afford the monthly payment term.

But those debts will catch up on you. The deferred payments of your gifts for valentines, your anniversary, his/her birthday, and on Christmas will no longer be just 10-20% of your monthly salary.

You will be shocked that after a year 50-80% of your salary goes to your monthly payments.

How will you pay your bills then? You will go into personal debt.

After 2 years, you are now drowning in debt.

So when it comes to spending for your special someone, use logic and not emotion because at the end of the day, which is my next point, is your relationship should be based on love and your values and not because of those expensive gifts or money in the bank (or if I may say, debts in the bank).

2. If That Person Really Loves You, He/She Will Accept You for Who You Are.

Pretending to be someone else to your partner will not result to any good in the long-term.

Being open and truthful to one another are the keys to a successful relationship.

Don’t let your partner believe in a fantasy that will crumble to the two of you in the future.

You don’t need to prove yourself by spending more than you can afford.

Because if you really love each other, he/she will accept you for who you are.

You can build your future together. You can save and invest so in the future the two of you can enjoy the luxury of life.

But don’t start building your future through debt because it will have a bitter end: the two of your drowning in the quicksand of debt.

3. Think Long Term

If you are living in debt because of love, can you sustain it for the next 2-3 years?

I don’t think so. It will come to a point that your income can no longer pay your monthly credit card payments.

You don’t want to start a marriage in debt. According to a study, money is the TOP 2 reason why couples go into divorce.

Managing your money wisely will make the two of you retire early and enjoy the luxury of life instead of working beyond retirement age just to survive and pay off your debts.

Also, NEVER EVER go into debt if you are not MARRIED. What happens when you part ways? The debt is on you. Just like to story above.

To End, It Is Never Okay to Go Into Debt Because of Love.

There is no good reason to go into debt unless it is a life and death situation. But as stated above, if you are managing your finances wisely, life will hardly surprise you.

Going into debt in order to go into business or buy a house is a different topic. But going into debt for consumption, e.g., buying gifts, going on dates, and traveling will not result to any good in the future.

You may also want to read my articles about getting out of debt and budgeting.

Your Millennial Wealth Planner,

Harold Q. Gardon, CWP, CEPP

How do you find the article? Do you have any questions? Please feel free to message me if you want me to discuss a particular topic or if you are seeking financial advice.

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