M: This is the lament of Julius, who recently got engaged. He discovered that his fiancée is a credit card whore. I know the word whore is objectionable and even nasty, but put together with the word credit, it means that the guy’s fiancée must really be a big spender to the point that she is a slave to her wants and not just her needs. If he describes her this way, then there is going to be an issue in their relationship when it comes to finances. Money matters matter in a relationship.

DJ: Love makes the world go round. But when money talks nasty, it can put the trip on a standstill. A study made by CreditCards.com revealed that 48 percent of guys and 57 percent of women say that debt is a turn-off. In fact, 54 percent of men and 70 percent of women say they’d break up with a partner over a secret credit card debt. Julius and his fiancée have to be on the same page when it comes to finances if they want a long lasting union. I suggest that they have a calm, relaxed discussion on this matter.

M: If a woman is gainfully employed, there is no reason why she should not use her hard-earned money to enjoy it by buying what she wants. I see no problem if she wants a designer bag if she can afford it. But to max out her credit card and not be able to pay the full amount on time, is a problem. My father always stressed the importance of savings and living within one’s means. I can imagine the guy’s fear when he found out that his fiancée is a big spender, especially if he is careful with his money.

DJ: People make mistakes. Maybe she borrowed too much, was irresponsible and is learning the lesson. Perhaps she was in a bind and used credit to better herself through education or by supporting a family member through school. It matters that he understands his fiancée’s attitude towards debt. How similar or different are they? Is she taking it lightly? Is she willing to go without luxuries and cut back where they can so they can pay the debt off? It is a red flag if she’s piling up more without the intention of living within her means.

M: If they’re both well-off, a pre-nuptial agreement would be a good idea. And even if they’re not, a pre-nup would still be a good idea. Since they just got engaged, what perfect way to introduce the topic of spending than to ask about her wedding plans and preparations. This is the test of true love, if you can go through it with your sanity and money intact—when your fiancee presents you a myriad of choices of color palettes for your wedding motif, prepares a guest list and wedding entourage which could rival a barangay fiesta, insists on a grand production wedding where your entire year’s worth of salary and savings for the past three years will be wiped out, and plans for a European honeymoon which, she says, can charged to her credit card so she can have more miles for your next holiday getaway. Incurring debt is not a life and death situation. But if her spending habits will give you a heart attack, better have her pay for your insurance premiums!

DJ: Should they decide to move forward, it’s a good practice to establish a general rule for spending. They can agree, for example, on a threshold amount when they can each spend without needing to report or consult one another. And they have to discuss it before the item is bought. Yes, Julius should not judge his fiancée on the sole basis of her past behavior. He’s got to pay more attention to her financial conduct. If it’s already manageable, then stay. If it’s life and debt, I suggest that he get rid of debt and choose life.