I work in an office beside a counselling centre. It’s particularly busy post-Christmas. I remarked to one of the counsellors that, “My mother told me married couples normally only fight over 3 things; kids, sex and money. Of the three, money was the most divisive.” He nodded in agreement.
Decades ago you met a spouse perhaps through the introduction of a co-worker or friend or at a bar. Attraction was important but not the only thing. A nice vehicle represented responsibility, living on your own-independence and a home? Ka-ching-equity. Throw in a pension plan, compatibility and a discussion on family and you were headed towards Holy Matrimony.
Contrast that with the challenges of finding your significant other today in a credit-fueled society. The latest smartphone likely has a multi-year contract, a new vehicle often a negative equity situation and student loans? They can’t shovel the money off the truck fast enough. Throw in a couple of maxed-out credit cards, an impulsive nature and you have what truly constitutes heavy baggage.
It’s easy to fall behind because the landscape of buy today and pay tomorrow opportunities has increased exponentially. It’s also harder to climb up and out when facing rising living costs and wage stagnation.
And yet, there are many succeeding but it mostly takes 2 pay cheques to do it. Sure, it’s tough but it never was easy nor accomplished overnight or without sacrifice.
And the keys to wealth? Haven’t changed at all. Save money, pay down debt and invest in things with the potential to appreciate.
Best to have the money conversation well-in advance of making a long-term commitment.
Murray Callaghan is a Certified Financial Planner with 15 years’ industry experience. He partners with external portfolio managers and insurance providers. Reach him at 250.286.9968 or visit his website at www.crwealthmanagement.ca.