I stumbled across the term "Sexually Transmitted Debt" several years ago in another Women's Empowerment Magazine, while going through a very costly divorce.
It's not easy talking about money, when you're in LOVE. And it doesn't help, if you're a hopeless romantic like me.
Fast forward today, I still believe in together forever, with a major disclaimer. Just in case, forever lasts a few years, I will cover my bottom and my dollars!
If you've handed over your "Safe Deposit Box", now is the time to set boundaries, so you can also experience financial bliss.
A Twenty~Something Ungenita had ZERO debt, I paid my taxes before April 15th and averaged a 650 FICO Score. I was proud of myself for being financially literate at such a young age. I viewed debt like a bad thing (avoided credit like it was a dress at full price) and let me be clear because debt is not a "4 Letter word". Sometimes secured debt can be used as an investment vehicle, yielding a high return down the road.
I'm not a Financial Adviser and I'm sure Suze Orman would have a few words for me too. I've been there and done that. A lot of people speak from theory, I speak from experience. You can learn from my mistakes.
If you're 22, 26 or 29 and dating a guy you think is worthy of a white dress, here are some wise things to keep in mind when it comes to finances.
Do not merge bank accounts with a guy you're dating!
Do not invest your life savings into a man's venture. A very close friend of mine invested about $150,000 of her hard earn money into her man’s business (before her 31st Birthday) and he promised to pay her back. She took his word and didn't put anything in writing and when the relationship ended, so did her cash flow.
Pay very close attention to a guy's spending habits: does he talk about saving money, is he diligent about paying his bills every month, knows what a Fico score is, does he use the "B" word, knows about an IRA, 401K and understands saving for retirement should be on his "Accomplished List".
There's love talk, but you must speak the same language when it comes to money.
I'm not asking you to look at his bank statements or tax returns, but having a stellar financial profile should be one of your "Man Must Haves."
Sexually Transmitted Debt Side Note:
This is not about "High Net-Worth Dating" and finding a rich guy to pay your bills, rather it’s about not falling in love with a reckless spender, because if you decide to walk down the aisle with him, you want to say "till death do us part” and not “till debt do us part".
Marilyn Logan, author of “I can’t afford to marry you” says, “I think you should have money talk long before pillow talk. If you have money talk long before pillow talk I think there are some people you would never lay your head next to.”
Gives Good Night Sweetheart, a whole new meaning right?
How To Avoid Sexually Transmitted Debt:
1. Fashion your finances.
The more focus you put on your financial house, the easier it will be to detect a financial house built on shaky ground. You should know the 3 credit reporting agencies (Trans Union, Equifax & Experian) and your Fico Score like the height of your favorite stilettos.
2. Make a list of all your debt and commit to a repayment plan.
3. Don't be afraid to crunch numbers, get to know your Net-Worth like you do your Twitter or Instagram Followers.
4. Review your bank statements online every few days and change your passwords every 90 days.
5. Save all your receipts and file your taxes (or get an extension) every year.
6. If you need help, seek guidance!
Resources are available and it won’t cost you a pretty penny, some are even FREE.
7. Disclose your financial profile, the good, the bad AND the ugly, the minute you start fantasizing about walking down the aisle in a white dress.
8. Make money management a prerequisite for your relationship.
Follow these steps and it will be easier for you to trust and open your "Safe Deposit Box" for The One.