While you’re being wined, dined, and wooed this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to quiz your new date on those topics that really matter. Most importantly, says author and financial advisor Leslie Greenman, find out if he has a healthy, balanced approach to money.
Below Greenman offers great tips on how to zoom in on your new date’s views on money management so that you can find the love of your life and keep your financial health:
Bring cash. Have cash with you on the date so when it is time to pay you can offer to cover your half with cash. While you’re offering to pay, mention to him that you don’t like to use credit cards and wait to see how he responds. You might be surprised at how he reacts.
Check out his wheels. Is your date driving a flashy sports car, but you know he’s in the first job of his career? Is he driving a more modest set of wheels but you know he’s in a leadership position at work? The type of car he drives when taken into consideration with his career can be an indicator of how he spends and budgets his money. It might also indicate that he turns to material objects for fulfillment.
Ask about his relationship with his family. Often, he’ll give you the information you want without you having to pry. For example, he might reveal that his divorce from his wife resulted because of money issues. Or he might reveal that he was raised in a middle class family with frugal parents.
Find out if he is reluctant to discuss difficult subjects. The best approach might be to ask him about his past relationships. Did they end well? Does he still talk with any of his exes? If he is very reluctant to talk about his relationships, it could be a red flag that he won’t be able to communicate about difficult decisions if you’re in a relationship.
Check out his phone. On average, people spend $150 on phone apps per year, but some people have bills as high as $900 per year. Is that a luxury you feel comfortable with? “Check out your date’s phone,” recommends Greenman. “Is it the latest, greatest smartphone model? Ask him what his favorite app is and whether he gets only free ones. If it appears he spends a lot of money each month on something as trivial as phone apps, consider how he might spend money in other areas. On the other hand, if he has an app that helps him manage his monthly budget, that’s probably a good sign!”
Go online. With all of the information available online, you can find out a lot about someone with a quick search. For example, you can check if a person has paid their property taxes by searching online public records.
Look at his Facebook page. Has he posted a lot about expensive clothes or gadgets that he’s bought? Or about being low on money? Are the pictures he has posted of him with other people or with his stuff?
Think about your deal breakers. “If your date has only one or two of these faults, you might still want to give him a chance and that’s okay,” notes Greenman. “Be clear about your own goals and expectations and stick to those when you’re deciding on whether you should go on a second date.”
About The Author:
Leslie is currently a financial advisor, author, and public speaker. Through her tough experiences of becoming suddenly single, she realized how easily women could be misinformed and taken advantage of. Her book, Dating Our Money offers women the important information they need to confidently make smart choices with money and men.