It’s the end of the month and it’s time to pay the bills again. You hate this part of life, the never ending exodus of your hard earned cash to corporations that don’t really deserve it. But, it’s a necessity. It has to be done whether you like it or not. You take comfort in knowing that you at least have enough money to pay your debts in a timely fashion without a ding to your credit rating.
You slide into your office chair and power up your computer. You go to your bank website and login. That’s when you get the biggest surprise of the day. Your account reads: -$32.00! Not only do you not have enough money to pay your bills but you owe your bank $32.00 in overdraft fees.
What the heck is going on?!
You reboot your computer to see if the numbers were caused by some kind of computer error. There’s no way those numbers could be correct. You pay all of your bills on time. You don’t even carry a balance with the IRS at the end of the year. You pay everything as you’re supposed to. Your bank has made a serious mistake. You log back into the bank’s website. The number remains the same.
You grab your telephone and begin to dial the bank. Someone has some serious explaining to do. But before you completely dial the number you tap the ACCOUNT HISTORY button on your account to see what could’ve caused such a royal mess up. Who knows? Maybe you did forget something. And that is when you see it….. THAT FREAKING IDIOT!
4 Returned Checks for Insufficient Funds.
All checks made payable to TOP SOUNDS MUSIC STUDIOS, RE: STUDIO TIME
Signed: Your stupid boyfriend/husband
Your lover is a 35 year old executive with a very successful marketing firm in the city. Sounds like a great guy, right? That was true until he somehow got it in his head that he wanted to quit his nice paying job and pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a rapper. You didn’t want to seem like the kind of woman to not support your man’s dreams. After all, he did stick with you when you were downsized out of your last job. So it was only fair that you support him in his endeavors. You dealt with the screaming and the loud drum beats rattling the picture frames on your wall at 3am every weekend.
You dealt with the “new friends” that showed up at your home looking like low-level drug dealers, making you want to hide anything of value. You dealt with the huge amounts of money he poured into “top of the line” keyboards (which he couldn’t even play). You dealt with all of that. But this was taking it too far.
You print out the account history and you storm into the bedroom. There he is. Mr. Unemployed Yeezy. He’s laid out on the bed like a bum, blasting his headphones as if he’s in high school. What an arrogant idiot. Forget the niceties. You slap the headphones off of his ears.
“What is this?!” you scream. Your supposed man calmly sits up and belches. He actually belches in your face! It’s only 4:30 in the evening and you can tell that he’s lit from drinking. This whole situation is getting better by the second.
“Oh, hey babe. How was your day?” he asks.
“Hey babe?! What is this, Richard? Why is my bank account negative?” you ask, knowing full well what the answer is.
“Oh. I was going to tell you about that. The studio had this special deal. If I paid for the sessions in advance, they knock off 20%. Good deal, huh?” he asks, smiling.
“Are you serious?! How are we supposed to pay the rent? What about gas and food?” you ask, throwing the printed documents in his face.
“Relax babe. We’ve got it covered. We’re allowed to be late on the rent once in a while. We can pay that with your next check.”
Does this scenario sound familiar? You’d be surprised at how often this happens. Sometimes it’s the woman. Sometimes it’s the man. But it all equals disaster. Nothing is worse than being in a relationship with someone who is financially irresponsible. Whether it’s someone trying to capture their second childhood or someone who’s going through a midlife crisis, no matter how much you try, their irresponsible behavior always rubs off on you.
People often endure the nonsense far too long. It’s only when they’re either evicted or when they are in the process of purchasing their first home that they realize that when it comes to a relationship, choosing someone who is financially sound is just as important as choosing someone that is emotionally sound. But many people find out far too late in the game which person they have. Actually, you can pretty much gauge what type of person you have in the first few days of knowing them, but that’s another subject.
Let’s say you’re in this current situation. What are your options? How do you get out of debt? And if your hopes are firmly on keeping the irresponsible party, how do you separate the sin from the sinner?
Here are 5 Ways to keep your Lover from Ruining Your Finances:
- No Joint Bank Accounts: On the surface this seems selfish. You’ll get a whole lot of people who say you’re supposed share everything in a relationship.
I assure you, those people never got their credit jacked up due to the irresponsible behavior of a partner. Do not open a joint bank account. Keep them separate. This makes each individual responsible for their portion of the bills and prevents someone from hijacking the funds in your account when you never authorized them to. Sex doesn’t involve a calculator. Keep finances and love separate.
- Lose the Check Book: In today’s environment, why are you holding on to one of the worst inventions of the banking industry? It’s reckless, inaccurate, and Jurassic. You don’t need a check book. A debit card does everything that a checkbook can do and more. Plus it’s safer. If you don’t have a checkbook your lover can’t get all Mark Twain on you and start balling out like he’s King Tut.
- Never reveal financial information: Okay, there are some things you just can’t keep secret in a relationship. One of those things is salary information. You can’t plan a future together if you keep certain things hidden. Now with that being said, you don’t need to reveal everything. Your lover doesn’t need to know your bank passwords.
In fact, telling your lover your online banking password or your debit card pin number is in direct violation of bank policies (yes, I am one of those people that reads the Terms and Conditions on those book of forms when you open a banking account). So if your lover asks why you won’t give him or her your password, tell them that it’s in direct violation of your bank’s terms and conditions. I doubt that excuse will get you anywhere, but it’s valid. And if in the past you have given your lover your passwords and numbers, change them and stand firm on why they can’t have them. It protects you.
- Be honest about your financial disagreements: The truth hurts, but the truth is never wrong. If you don’t feel comfortable about revealing anything about your finances, tell your lover.
They may not be privi’ed to your passwords, but they do have a right to the truth. When it comes to money, it’s not about trust. It’s about fiscal responsibility.
- Keep a master bank account secret: The only lies that hurt are the ones that leave you with less than what the truth would’ve given you. Protecting yourself by establishing an unknown account is smart and it’s not wrong. It doesn’t hurt anyone.
It can only help you if you have this kind of situation happen. You may be forced to close your bank accounts for whatever reason. But if you have a backup, you can do so with a little more than a hiccup.