Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

I’m on holidays for the next two weeks, so we’re re-running the most read editions of Carrick on Money from 2018. This particular newsletter looks at how to address personal finances when entering a new relationship.

Being financially smart is a plus in the dating scene. My wife and I just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary, so I can’t tell you this first-hand. But I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts by young adults in the past couple of years that stress the importance of money-related issues in starting new relationships.

Part of this is about partners being in sync on their broad financial goals, and in their attitudes toward saving and spending. But the biggest emphasis seems to be on debt or the risk of getting serious about someone who is heavily indebted. They call it sexually transmitted debt, which means becoming responsible for money borrowed by someone else.

Story continues below advertisement

I'm impressed at this level of concern about debt, but I think it needs some refining. Having debt as a young adult can be normal and of no great concern if it was racked up through student loans to finance a promising career. This kind of debt is easily conquerable over time. What you want to be cautious about is junk debt – credit card balances and loans built up buying junk. In expensive housing markets, it's hard enough to afford a house without having junk debt to pay off.

If you google “debt and dating,” you’ll quickly get a sense of how big of a deal your finances are when you’re single and trying to meet someone. A recent U.S. survey found that one in five people had decided not to date someone because that person had debt. Fear of STD, I guess.

Subscribe to Carrick on Money

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.

Today’s featured financial tool

Wondering what the best age is for you to start your Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits? We have a new online calculator that can help you with this decision. You’ll also find answers to your questions about how CPP benefits are calculated, and how to begin receiving your pension (for Globe Unlimited subscribers).

Follow me on Instagram

The bizarre, amazing and infuriating side of personal finance. My Instagram page is called PF World and you can find me at rcarrick.

Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Avoid investing disaster with these five rules

A smart list of rules from money manager and investing columnist Barry Ritholz. I really like rule No. 1 – avoid new products. Rule No. 5 is vital.

You, your kids and the housing market

Some level-headed advice from a financial planner on helping adult children buy a house.

Story continues below advertisement

Her year of going broke

A gutsy, honest account of a woman who tried to spend her way back to health and happiness after major surgery and found her finances undergoing a crisis of their own. Profanity alert.

How to crack a tough rental market

Toronto has a vacancy rate around 1 per cent, which means it’s brutal to find an affordable rental. Check out 27-year-old Huy Do’s brilliant way of finding a new place to live. Further on tough rental markets: Here’s a New York apartment of 68 square feet that rents for US$950 per month.

Ask Rob

The question: “I’m an international student studying in Canada for the past six years and expecting to stay for the next four years. I’m in a good financial position, with enough income to live happily with my wife and two kids. I’ve been paying an average monthly rent of about $1,500 and this year we started thinking about buying a house for the purpose of investment. We’re kind of lost and do not know what to choose – renting or buying.”

The answer: "Readers of this newsletter will not be shocked to see me voting for renting here. Four years is too short a time frame for investing in real estate, especially in expensive markets like those in and around Toronto and Vancouver. Renting means you're just paying for accommodation and have no need to follow the housing market's ups and downs."

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

Featured video

Investor advocate Marian Passmore talks about the Osgoode Investor Protection Clinic, which helps people who believe their investments have been mishandled and can’t afford a lawyer.

Story continues below advertisement

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories

More Carrick and money coverage

For more money stories, follow me on Twitter and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter.

Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies