Romance and the economy

Today is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year. But truth be told, a crappy economy can be a big romance killer. In fact, money in general is one of the leading causes of family disagreements—and divorces. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Want to give your honey the best Valentine ever? (OK, maybe not the best, but the most practical?) Give them your promise that you’ll do whatever it takes to get out of debt—together. Read on for some tips on staying in love while spending less.


I admit it. I used to come home with a new pair of shoes, dispose of the box and receipts like they were a dead body, and casually start wearing them as if they’d been in the closet forever—all to make my boyfriend think I was low-maintenance. Of course, it didn’t work long. Mostly because he’s not blind—or stupid. But not all debts are as visible as a new pair of heels.

Many debts deepen because the partner who overspends handles their own checkbook and bills (or worse, they handle the finances for both people in the relationship). As they sink further in debt, they fear their partner’s reaction and hide the problem. Because they don’t ask for help, the debt accumulates. In the worst case scenario, they hide the unpaid mortgage bills and eventually the foreclosure notice—but then it’s too late.

So what’s the solution? Start talking! When you’re open about money, you strip away the guilt, fear and anger—so you can worry about fixing your finances, not a strained relationship.

Work together

There are some things that are just too difficult to suffer through alone. Take exercise. No matter how good my intentions (and how many extra pounds I have to burn), I just can’t stick to a workout plan myself. There are too many good excuses out there. But when I make plans to go for a jog with a friend, I can’t bring myself to let her down. It’s motivating knowing someone is rooting for me—and that I need to be strong for them.

It’s the same thing when you’re trying to get out of debt. Rather than avoid your problems, work on them together. Two heads are better than when one when brainstorming ways to budget. And because a strict budget can be hard to stick to, you’ll be there to keep each other in line. Maybe come up with a reward plan—for instance, if you can cut out shopping trips and restaurants for a month, you’ll treat yourselves to a date night. It will be good for your wallet and your love life.

Ask for help

There are plenty of reasons why relationships don’t work out. People disagree about values, religion and politics—and sometimes they’re just plain incompatible. But money doesn’t necessarily have to be one of those reasons. Sure, if someone is just plain irresponsible—with everything, not just spending—chances are they won’t change. But if they’re otherwise a decent human being? There’s still hope. Like cigarettes and nail biting, spending is a habit that can be broken. At DebtStoppers, we can show you how.

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