Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is debt a deal breaker?

I was reading some article by the Non-conformist rambler about things he would like to know before he says I do. #4 was the significant other’s credit history. Amen somebody!

I know here in Nigeria, credit checks are not exactly the norm afterall borrowing isn’t in our culture, mortgage repayments are way too high for the middle man, and credit cards are luxuries bigz boyz and galz flash around not a necessity. Do banks still give credit card? I know Ecobank was totally stung by their credit card product which hit the market 3 yrs ago with hoards of untraceable people nowing them oodles of money. Other banks learnt from their mistakes.

Well, I will have you know that it should be a big deal to you. Especially the ladies! I remember an ex- colleague of mine in the bank who was booked solid with loans. Cause he was a staff he had easy access to loans but he had cunningly organised them and now had repayments which required more than the maximum allowed [40% of his monthly income]. Was it to his advantage? No. cause on the 25th when salaries were paid, all his repayments swing in automatically and he is left with barely 10k to his name for the next 30days. By next week, he is borrowing money from the rest of the team..me included. I told him jokingly but seriously that he was a liability/risk to any woman that agreed to marry him at this point. He didn’t talk to me for a while. Well....was just saying it as it is.
I hear so many stories of gals who married some top grade banker who drives some flashy car around, holidays at the Bahamas but is always cash strapped.. and I think of my colleague in the bank and I shake my head. ‘all that glitters isn’t gold baby’

But really, Gals, is it that hard? Why don’t we check our guys credit history? Some of us don’t even bother asking ‘Can we really afford all this?’, do you have a loan?, what is your income? Dependants? We act like its taboo and encourage the guys to treat it like some taboo topic too.
I’m too cautious with finances to allow myself get hitched with a spendthrift, or someone who lives above his means; I tell you that marriage is headed for the rocks. I have savings put away with my plans for it written in flaming red. Whenever I get so low that I am contemplating touching it, I don’t sleep well at night. I have to evaluate and re-evaluate on whether that expenditure is urgent, can be put on the pending list and even if I make a withdrawal, I am making a promise to my myself and bank account to pay it back@ so so time and in so so way.

I know I am sounding like some fudgy dodgy Silas Manner but it isn’t really that bad. I do know how and when to splurge on myself. Infact I can be spontaneous about it too BUT the key is to always pay it back and for me that’s what makes the difference between being a foolish constantly broke ass and maturity. It’s not pride, but I find borrowing money irksome if not immature.
I can do the shoes, purse, books, jewelry but draw the line at money. Don’t know why. It just is. Maybe cause I know with physical articles, they stare me there in the face reminding me of their owners and reminding me to return it, but money like spirit[sic]gets spent and you forget from whence it came.
I once borrowed N2k from my roommate in the University and totally forgot to pay her back. She was a shy quiet one who just refused to ask me meanwhile I knew she was sorta broke and generously shared my provisions and cooks while I generously forgot I was the cause of her poverty. I did finally pay back[cant recall what made me remember] but felt such remorse. Since then if I ever have to borrow money I only ask my more noisy friends. The ones who don’t mind waking you up in the middle of the night to ask for their money back. Of course the thot of such haranguing makes me pay back asap.

I digress, but the main theme is keeping our finances black and making sure our significant has good money habits.
p.s.  I read ‘Confessions of a shopaholic’ and I broke out in hives at her antics. Can I be friends with someone like her? Yeah. But she’d probably hate my smug self.
What do you think? Do you have good money habits? Is bad money habits a deal breaker for you?
p.s.s. I think I can even stand infidelity compared to a husband who is irresponsible with money....ok. I dont want any abeg oo.


  1. I am currently working on my money habits but I always avoid being in debt...

  2. You know that's one reason why Naija is good. Most of the time, you have to cut your coat according to your size. Abroad, it's a different story. You can get almost anything on credit. If unfortunately, you lose your source of income, all those creditors start calling and before you know it, you're bankcrupt to the last penny because they'll take every single asset in your name. Not easy at all.

    Meanwhile, abeg don't even compare an unfaithful partner with one with money problems. The latter is 100times worse.

  3. Oh oh oh I loved this post! So true (and I better start saving money like you lols.. well I'm not an extravagant person but money has been erm... tight. And yes, it is best to ask honest questions about finance with intended spouses.. cannot stand the thought of someone living above his means and plunging me in debt in the process. Cheers!



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