Friday, August 22, 2008

On the Money: Relationship Test

I was watching CNBC's new show, On the Money, hosted by Carmen Ulrich, author of Generation Debt. When I saw it for the first time, I thought, "Oh no, not another Susie Orman." But Carmen, as she likes to be called, seems a little better, and she has a good financial compatibility test here:

A 33 year old Texan woman called into Carmen's show. She said her boyfriend of one year initiated a breakup after she wanted a prenup. Carmen told her that love trumps money, and a real partnership also included a financial merger. The woman replied that she was generally a trusting person, but not with her money. I didn't catch any real resolution, but I loved the idea of women demanding prenups--it's a good indicator of gender parity and how far we've come from the all-too-common scenario of men demanding their fiancees sign a prenup the night before the wedding (off the top of my head, without fact-checking, I read somewhere that Barry Bonds and Larry Ellison did this. As a result, Barry Bonds changed pre-nup law in the entire state of California, making it harder to enforce them).

In other news, Muhammad Yunus, "banker to the world's poor," says he has a 98-99% payback success on his "sub sub sub subprime" micro-loans, without lawyers or insurance. In smaller environments, such as villages, people with nothing can be more trustworthy than people with money. The problem with a large place like Texas is it's too difficult for the 33 year old woman to get an accurate measure of her boyfriend's trustworthiness and integrity. She is behaving rationally, especially after only one year. My suggestion would have been to get back together with him, but on two conditions: one, ask him to wait for another year before proposing; and two, ask to see his monthly bills and bank statements to get an idea of his spending habits. Yes, she'd be a financial narc, but if a prenup is out of the question, how else is she going to allay her fears?

1 comment:

Slovebunny said...

Oh good idea. If he isn't willing enough to show how he spends or what he has finically then how is that she is suppose to trust him.
Of course when I got married there was no need for anything. Steve and I were both way young and poor!
Hello college students. I was telling someone the other day when we filed our first income tax statement together we had income of $6,800. Yea the good ol' days...NOT!