Category Archives: Relationships

Money and Relationships…3, 2, 1

And here we go. Date the guy with the nice home instead of the nice car. That’s my advice.

Growing up, my father said my grandmother would say that a man should have a place to put his family. Simply put, if you want a family, then you should have a home for them. It doesn’t have to be a mini McMansion, but it can’t be a cracker jack box.

Will the real estate holder, please stand up? I have actually known some men to prefer a fancy set of wheels as opposed to owning their own piece of property. I get it. Cars mean freedom and to some that they had arrived at adulthood. However, from my experience it’s the guys with the homes that tend to stay in longer, better relationships. Maybe, being a home owner is something to aspire to.

Vanity hates loneliness.  I used to work with a guy that drove a pretty swanky BMW. The sticker price was between $40,000-$50,000. He lived in a one-bedroom apartment in a sketchy neighborhood. He was more concerned with looking good and cool gadgets than his net worth. The few relationships he had were terrible. However, he would be willing to stay in miserable relationships just not to be alone.

Well, one day he lost his job. The car payment was around $500 per month. And unemployment checks weren’t covering it. No savings to speak of. If he had a home, he could have tapped an equity line of credit until times got better or even rented out a room. But those were not options. So what did he do instead. He asked his mother to make his car payments for him.

Safe to say the woman he was seeing at the time didn’t stick around too much longer afterward. Last, I heard or saw of him he had paid off the car after about 7 years, was moving into a bigger apartment in another part of town, and his relationship status was single. And his hobby was…drumroll please…playing video games.

I did suggest to him to enroll in school or some other function that may help him increase his marketability in the employment world. Sadly, he declined.

Homes equal leverage.   A car is a depreciating asset. It usually does not retain its original value, and continues to steadily decrease as the years go by. In contrast, a home is an appreciating asset that increases in value over time. In a 7-year time period, you could build up equity and your home could appreciate in value at the same time.

Let’s say you build $20,000 of equity and your home appreciates 2% a year for a 14% increase in value. If your purchase price was $150,000, then your home is now worth $171,000. For a total equity of $41,000 that you can tap for home repairs, remodeling, etc. That is leverage. You can use this equity to your advantage. What do you get back from paying rent? Zero.

Rent check or car payment. Now that we know what to look for in a guy. Let’s see where the guy without a plan to acquire property could potentially end up without assets of any kind or of substantial worth.

Without his mother paying his car payment, the car may have been repossessed. This ruins your credit, you have no vehicle, can’t get to work, you may lose your job, cashes out retirement account to eat and live, and now you can’t buy a home because you have bad credit and no job.

You may end up living off the side of a freeway off ramp or at the ripe old age of 70 asking customers paper or plastic. Not that there is anything wrong with having a job, but if I have to utter this statement I want it to be my choice and not because I have to.

Working in your golden years to still put food on the table is not how I or anyone should have to spend their retirement. You always want to have the option not to have to work. Or worse yet, from the peanuts you are making, you may be only able to afford Alpo.

Pay on what you own. Paying the mortgage is better than paying for a car. Even though at the end of your loan terms you own an asset, the home can go up in value, house your family, and be used for leverage. Your car can only be used for the latter and for a minimal amount at best.

And so there you have it folks.  If you plan to date, find a partner that understands the value of money and doesn’t just know the price of everything. If you know how to spend, then you should also know how to save.