Dating off debt

Revealing how much debt you’re carrying could be an “interesting litmus test” for a budding relationship, prompting you both to ponder: Is this person going to run from the first sign of a challenge, or are they going to stick around?It’s an opportunity to see how your would-be life partner reacts to the news that you’re not the totally together person you may have presented yourself as in the getting-to-know-you stage.• Find a system that seems fair: To ensure that the person without debt doesn’t resent their partner, figure out a system that lets you both contribute.A not-so-small part of me fears he’ll leave me for someone who’s more fiscally responsible, someone who has a “real” job and doesn’t experience insomnia while waiting for their royalty statements.

After you’re both debt-free, you can focus on investing.• Check in regularly.Guglielmetti recommends that couples with debt have a “check-in money date” monthly or quarterly (and at least twice a year for couples without debt).As hard as it was to disclose my debt, the relief of having it out in the open is immeasurable.Stromberg suggests the more financially secure person could shoulder discretionary expenses such as going out to eat or vacations, or necessities such as utilities.This frees up one person to be aggressive in paying down debt, while still splitting the rent, for instance.• If one person is struggling, offer incentives: If you’re bringing in significantly more income than your partner, you can follow in Stromberg’s footsteps.

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