Money is so complicated. It’s hard to distinguish needs and wants, and harder still to figure out how to spend less than you earn. This is so true regardless of marital status, but your relationship with money changes when you associate it with your relationship with another person.
In fact, money is the number one thing married couples argue about. I know that money issues for me have come up while dating, and have shaped my relationships in the past. A few years ago, I was dating someone who made a lot more money than I did, and he was the kind of person who liked to throw his money around. He liked to show off. He had a flashy car, fancy clothes, and he enjoyed taking me to expensive places. I was not making much money at the time, and I felt a little like his charity project.
One of the last nails in the coffin that was our relationship happened (in all places) in a gorgeous Tuscan village at dinner time. He made some comment about how I wasn’t thankful enough that he was footing the bill for this trip, and that conversation ended in tears. I wanted to leave, but realized I didn’t have enough money to get a plane ticket back myself, and was stuck on this trip for the next several days. I know that sounds like #firstworldproblems but I was miserable. I’d never felt more alone than I did halfway around the world, spending time with someone who was mean to me.
When I got back home, I thought, never again will I be in that situation. I took a long hard look at my finances and realized that there were several things I needed to do while I was still single. Money allows you the freedom of choosing the way you spend your time. Paying the “change your ticket” fee is far better than spending time with someone who quite clearly thinks you’re taking advantage of them.
If you follow these ten things to do with your money while you are single, you’ll be well ahead of your peers, and much more able to talk to your spouse about money without being defensive.