By Kara I. Stevens
If you are dating with the purpose of marriage, then you are going to have to focus on the romance as well as the finance when you are dating. Paying attention to how a man relates to money is crucial for predicting how well he will handle money when you guys are fully committed. If you are thinking that these are gold-digger moves, think again. Gold-diggers want to sniff out how much a man can give so she can take it all for herself to fund a lavish lifestyle. There is no love or romance from the perspective of a gold-digger, just money.
On the other hand, you want to be in love and on the same page with the man that you marry so both of you can enjoy a quality of life that reflects your values and prepares you both to live comfortably now and in the future. Translation: you have plans for sticking around for the long-haul. Here are three ways to tell if your mate is financially savvy.
He has no financial plan. If you are dating a guy that talks about making millions, but has no actual blueprint for achieving it, then he's not marriage material. If he talks about using his education for social and economic mobility or working for himself (and has done the work of starting the business), or how he plans to invest or save consistently over the course of his work life, then you know that you are speaking to a man that won't make you poor, because most importantly, he has no plans of being broke himself.
He doesn't value self-sufficiency and self-reliance. If a man that you are dating does not have problems with being underemployed or unemployed for a long time, then he's not marriage material. I am no fortune teller, but if you and he both are happy to date without him contributing financially to a relationship, that same lopsided paradigm will follow into a marriage. That means that there will be no real incentive or pressure for him to look for work because you have implicitly agreed by marry him when he wasn't employed. This gives the impression that the current situation would be okay for a long-term relationship.
He has problems setting personal limits on his spending. When you are dating for kicks, the guy that spends lavishly can be great company to keep. You get a lot of attention, you have over-the-top experiences, you enjoy opulence, extravagance, and decadence...all for free. Yes, when you are not swiping the credit card and you don't bear the financial consequences of conspicuous consumption, everything is all good. But think about it. Do you want this man to be your partner for life? Will he be able to reign in the spending or have enough saved for life's emergencies or the "once in a lifetime" opportunities that require money or the access to it?
Getting a clear understanding of how a man spends his money is an important part of the courting process, even though it is still a very taboo topic. But I promise you, it's better to know than not know.
Your happiness and your wealth depend on it.
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