The other day, my boyfriend and I were getting ready for work and chatting about couple stuff, like grocery shopping and our bank accounts.
In the midst of our conversation, J said something that made me realize just how few people know how credit cards actually work. He told me that he was under the impression that if he made the minimum payment on his balance, he wouldn't have to pay interest.
Now, he is far from out of the ordinary in this respect. There were actually quite a few things that came as a surprise to me about credit cards as I have learned and read more about them, and I've been a card holder for years.
After explaining to J that you still have to pay interest on the balance on your card regardless of whether you make the minimum payment, I began to consider how lucky I am that J still pays off his credit cards every month, so that he doesn't incur interest and stays ahead of the game. He hates debt, like myself, and we use our credit cards as tools to get ahead, so not much damage was done due to his lack of knowledge.
I then began to consider what wold be a financial deal breaker for me. I have never had to deal with a situation financially with J that forced me to make a tough decision, but if I were put in a precarious position that way, what would make me walk away?
J has always been a good saver; his parents are frugal so he ended up embracing some of that frugality. He also makes a decent wage and we work together to keep our expenses at bay. I've been spoiled by never having to worry about his spending habits.
I think a big deal breaker for me would be "bad" debt for him, if he all of a sudden starting sacrificing a secure financial future for us for the sake of stuff.
It's not because I want to be filthy rich and expect him to never spend a dime. No. But if he all of a sudden got a knack for spending a bunch of money on stuff he didn't need, falling into a bunch of credit card debt as a grown man, I would troubled by his priorities; especially as he gets older and we near the time in our lives where we get married, buy a house and have kids - all expensive ventures.
To me, it wouldn't be the actually money that broke the deal, but rather a lack of respect for our lives together and what we are trying to build.
Luckily, I highly doubt J will get to that point and I think this has been a great learning experience for him.
What would be your deal breaker?