Debt aversion does not equal gold-digging

Remember that time I dumped a guy because he was $50K in the hole? Well, that post got a lot of interesting comments and eventually the word gold-digger started getting thrown around.

It actually caused enough sensation and Jessica form Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses also got sucked into the mess. Pretty soon I’m sure there will be blogrolls with categories like “PF blogs”, “Investing blogs” and “Gold-digging blogs” and there will be me and Jessica, writing all like IDGAF.

I’ll admit I find it somewhat ironic that as soon as I bail on a relationship with a guy that has at $30,000 car loan + $20,000 of student loans, I’m a gold-digging hypocrite. I feel very strongly about who’s responsible for what financially in a relationship so the accusation felt misplaced. I hate to point out the obvious here, but how come no one ever mentioned…

Debt-aversion and gold digging are not the same thing.

Gold-digger: A person that seeks out a wealthy partner in order to be provided for financially and profit substantially from the other person’s wealth in the form of money and gifts.

Debt-averse: A person that doesn’t like debt. If they’re in debt, they want to get out of it. If they’re out of debt, they don’t want to get back into it. They are certainly not at all interested in paying off someone else’s debts.

Not wanting to pay off someone else’s car loan does not a gold-digger make.

Let’s be real here guys:

If I took out a $30,000 car loan, you guys would have my head.

Seriously. I wouldn’t even be able to contain the amount of negative comments that would get. It actually would probably be severe enough of a personal finance crime that another blogger would devote an entire post to the reckless consumerist culture of the millenial generation and tag my article as a leading example. I would immediately become the social pariah of the PF blogosphere and people would take my financial advice even less seriously than they do now. Of course I could be wise about it and choose a less than $30,000 car using Canada ;) But if my date does it I should just look past it and love him for his personality because being broke together is “romantic”?

You guys…


Come on, guys.

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  1. Makes me think of that stupid pop song that says “As long as you love me we could be homeless, we could be starving, we could be broke” (or something close to that). Um, no thanks. I’ll stick with being unloved and well fed, TYVM. I truly don’t see a connection between avoiding debt and being a gold digger.

    Debt wouldn’t be as much of a dealbreaker for me because I still have student loan debt and a year or so left to pay off my car. However, I would view a bunch of credit card debt totally differently and would avoid a serious relationship with someone who was entrenched in a lifestyle of taking on new debt and/or overspending. Either people truly don’t get it or we’re all gold diggers for looking out for ourselves!

  2. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what you said. If your financial beliefs don’t line up, then why force it?

  3. So, any time a woman puts financial parameters on a relationship she’s a gold-digger? Give me a flippin’ break.

  4. You are free to make your own choices. Do not listen to the crowd.

  5. It’s not about the debt, folks, it’s about dissimilar values.

    You write a PF blog and you’re obviously very concerned about PF. This guy didn’t seem to be, so you broke it off. Doesn’t make you a gold-digger!

    I’m a homebody and would never date a partier. How is that any different??

  6. I really don’t get how someone could get “gold-digger” from your posts. You don’t like debt, you work hard not to have debt, that’s something that’s important to you. Someone who is carrying a $15k credit card bill and not working on paying it off doesn’t share the same values. It’s like if you love cats and have 2 cats, you wouldn’t keep dating someone who hated cats or was deathly allergic. It’s the same thing!

  7. Maybe it’s shallow but far from gold digger status.

    • Shallow? wtf?

      • Remember when you were heavy in debt? What if a guy dumped you back then, when he found out? Sounds awfully shallow….

        • Are you kidding me? The most I’ve ever owed is $21,000 — all of which was for school, and more than half of it is already gone and it’s only been just over a year (and only 7 months since the first payment was due!).

          As other commenters have pointed out, the debt represents an irreconcilable differences in attitudes towards money. It’s not shallow. Anyone that takes out a $30,000 car loan when they’re still carrying five-figures of student loan debt in their late 20’s has fundamentally poor money-management skills and priorities. I don’t have the time or patience to remedy anyone else’s bad financial habits, nor am I in the mood to risk my income, net worth or credit score to do this. It’s not shallow. Entering a long-term relationship with someone that can’t manage money is financially irresponsible for yourself. Imagining otherwise is just wishful thinking, and the accusation that it’s “shallow” is as rude and misdirected (and as incorrect) as calling it “gold-digging”.

  8. People came to the gold-digger conclusion? That’s bogus! Financially responsible individual seeks financially responsible individual.

  9. Umm no. Just no. You get in a relationship with that person, you fall in love, you get married, and suddenly his debt becomes your debt. It’s not shallow or gold digging, it’s self preservation. Obviously the type of debt matters in this situation, but no one needs a $30,000 car if they’ve still got student loans to pay on. I’m with ya!

    • Exactly! Who does that anyway? Oh I’m $20K in the hole from school I think what I need right now is a new vehicle???

      • Not just a new vehicle, a NICE new vehicle! There are plenty of brand new cars to be had out there for 20k or less.

        • exactly what I was thinking! I was test driving some cars a few weeks back and they were luxury brands but they were used so even they were below $30K. You can get a really nice car for less than $30,000! I don’t know what this guy was thinking!

      • To be honest, with my new mindset and my own pain caused by my debt, I would be really turned off by someone with any car loan, let alone a $30k one. I’d definitely say “see ya.” I’ve struggled with my own debt, I’m not going to deal with someone else’s.

  10. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the debt was probably more of a symptom than the actual problem. If the dude spent $30K on a depreciating asset or is having trouble paying off student loans b/c he is living beyond his means, then you probably have a lot more differences in your lifestyles than just the fact that he’s got some debt. If your priorities aren’t in line, it can make it hard to work as a team. Better to find that out before you’re hopelessly in love.

  11. Just because you don’t want a partner with a mountain load of debt, doesn’t automatically mean you want one with a mountain load of money. I think labeling you a golddigger is an easy way to dismiss your opinion and not examine the “omg being broke together is so romantic and full of sunshine and rainbows” trope.

    And! It’s also important to look at WHY that person has that much debt and what they’re doing to get rid of it. If they don’t think having $50K of debt is a problem, THAT IS A PROBLEM.

    • “If they don’t think having $50K of debt is a problem, THAT IS A PROBLEM.”

      Agree x 10000. Which was obviously the biggest factor in this equation because he obviously didn’t think his $20K in student debt was problem when he went to go get $30K more of car loan debt =\

  12. mycanuckbuck says:

    Can I just say – love the graphics? :) Calling you a gold digger doesn’t make any sense at all – there’s a huge difference between going after someone for their money – and avoiding someone who has no financial sense!

  13. It’s totally the opposite of gold-digging if you think about, because there is no gold to be dug. If anything the person who is in debt would try to be digging for my gold, and that ain’t happenin’! :)

  14. I told my now husband soon after we starting dating about my monster debt and said that he could chose to run for the hills since hell I wanted to run for the hills…far away from my debt. Lucky for me, he didn’t run and he saw me work my ass off to pay it off. I never asked him to help me and he recently gave a couple grand to the cause because I am so close to the finish line and he wanted to contribute. I say that he wants bragging rights ;)

  15. Life is all about “choice” and no matter what anyone says or thinks you only live once and I sure as hell am not going to the grave worrying about what someone else thinks about decisions about my OWN life. Do what feels right to you, and keep smiling. Mr.CBB

  16. Definitely not a gold-digger type situation to me. My ex left me with very bad credit. No debt, as it was all paid off, but very very bad credit. I informed my partner of it in the very early stages of our relationship, and we talked about money. His ex took him for money, furniture, etc. Money was VERY important for us to talk about.

    He still had student loans when we got together, as well as a mortgage, but I knew he was paying his student loans and paying his debt.

    Now we are living together and have a car payment together as his student loans are all paid off, and I am still working on rebuilding my damaged credit so my name can go on that car loan. Trusting your partner financially is crucial to making the relationship work, especially if you’ve already been burned, or have debt of your own.

    It’s simply smart to talk about finances, and decide what’s best for you. I feel if you cannot agree on money-matters with your partner, your relationship will be a rocky path.

  17. I think I just had this conversation with Jeremy (Modest Money) – you two think alike.

    There is definitely a difference between debt aversion and gold digging. If you’re early enough in the relationship that you’re still finding things out about each other, it’s perfectly legitimate to be turned off by debt.

    Debt sucks.

  18. I love this! Girl there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to take on someone else’s debt. I would do the same thing….a man has got to have his shit together! End of story :)

  19. I agree. Why would anyone accuse you of gold digging? That’s stupid. Gold digging is seeking money. You want NOT debt. What you are is the opposite of a debt seeker, some imaginary person who would seek a partner with debt. The operative word being imaginary–the idea of marrying someone with a $30k car loan makes me ill, even though I have my own debt. Besides, why would you be a gold digger? You make plenty of money on your own and don’t need a man to support you. People are so dumb sometimes.

  20. I totally agree with you. It doesn’t make you a gold digger at all! Clearly the two of you didn’t have similar values in life which is an important issue. Whoever called you a gold digger is cray cray. lol

  21. That little girl in the video just made my life. Great post! I’m gonna share all over the world.

  22. When I met my husband, he didn’t have a lot of money…bu more importantly, he didn’t have a lot of debt either. I would have had a really hard time getting serious with someone who didn’t have their finances in order somewhat. Call me shallow. Call me a gold digger. I don’t really care.

  23. Several years ago, I did not marry the woman I was engaged to because she had way too much debt. However, her debt was mostly comprised of credit cards and other “spending” type loans. I viewed her excessive debt as irresponsible and that’s what bothered me the most.

    I don’t think student loans and vehicles fall onto that category. Most students cannot pay for college on their own and if they don’t have wealthy parents, they won’t receive any assistance. The alternative? – student loans.

    Also, rates are so low right now, it’s the perfect time to borrow. I just financed a vehicle at 2.4%. With a brokerage account returning 25% this year, I’d rather not withdraw any funds.

  24. I don’t think your a gold digger!
    Seeking financial compatibility is not a sin.

  25. Your posts make me smile. I think there is a difference between knowing good debt and bad debt. Dating a guy who’s in the hole $50,000 from car loans and credit card debt is bad. Dating a guy who’s in the hole for $50,000 from education loans could be a different story. I’m pretty sure education debt accrued before marriage still says separate if you were to divorce, while education debt after marriage would be shared all the way.

  26. mochiandmacarons says:

    Money in a relationship matters, because you both have to be on the same page about decisions on how money is spent.

    It is not necessarily how much money each other makes, that makes money the #1 topic in a relationship, it is how you decide to pay for things, what you want to do collectively with your money (e.g. save 50% each for a home in the future, together).

    Saying that money matters, doesn’t necessarily mean anyone has to be filthy rich.

    I do agree that there is a difference between gold-digging and debt-aversion.

    Gold-digging for me, is someone who actively seeks out to be taken care of, and to NOT work.

    Debt-aversion is someone who doesn’t want to be with someone in a heavy amount of debt, or otherwise, avoids debt like the plague themselves.

    With that in mind, you are a bit of a hypocrite as you aren’t really an extremist in terms of debt aversion (which is what people think of, especially with such a strong word like ‘aversion’), but it is better than being in debt denial and not even trying to make a dent in it.

    Perhaps debt aversion is not the word to describe yourself. Something else, a new word has to be invented! Maybe debt fearful? Debt shy? Hmm.. Need to ponder on this. :)

  27. mochiandmacarons says:

    I forgot to mention that I was $60K in the hole, but BF didn’t run away screaming.

    He saw I was responsible, I took care of MY debts and didn’t ask him for anything. I was honest about what I owed, and he knew it.

    He stayed with me because he saw that I was independent. 18 months later, I’m out of $60K in debt, and 6 years later, $200K in the black. ;)

    I’d like to think he bet on the right horse.

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