“Be open to regular conversations with your partner about financial planning.”
A lot of people will say that money doesn’t matter in a relationship; however, these are the people who are in dire need of a healthy dose of realism. Financial matters affect the way we go about our everyday lives, and so there is no questioning the fact that money does matter in a relationship. It greatly affects the dynamics of a partnership between two people. Money has the power to either expand or stifle the mobility of a couple, and that undoubtedly affects the chemistry between the people involved. There is also no denying that financial troubles can heavily weigh on a person’s emotions; and in the matters of a relationship, emotional debt can rise just as fast as financial debt.
The thing about financial troubles is that they have to be addressed at the earliest signs of existence. It wouldn’t be wise for couples to just sweep them under a rug in the hopes that their love will eventually overpower whatever financial problems they are going through. It never works like that. Like a malignant tumor, if left untreated, it can create deep and heavy complications that will be practically impossible to recover from.
While there is no pure formula for finding success in a relationship, there are some common practices that healthy couples share in order to improve their chances. The best kinds of couples have very healthy outlooks when it comes to tackling financial issues. They are very productive because they maintain open communication with each other about finances, and they never just sweep their problems under the rug. They are principled people and they see the value in proper planning and preparation when it comes to finances. They know that if they are going to commit to each other in a long-term relationship, then they are going to have to discuss the matter of shared finances as well.
If you are feeling lost about how to go about tackling finances with your partner, then here are a few quick hitters to help get you on your feet.
1. Be open to regular conversations with your partner about financial planning
A lot of times, when we see our partner struggling with their personal finances, we think that it is our personal duty to compensate for what they lack. This is a most common trend especially among couples who love each other very much. They are willing to sacrifice parts of themselves to make up for whatever their partner lacks. However, the problem with this method of financial relief is that it isn’t sustainable especially when neither of you are open to discussing it. There is a financial imbalance taking place here, and this financial imbalance can potentially open up the possibility of emotional imbalance in the relationship as well.
That’s why both of you should be very open to talking to each other when it comes to talking about money and finances. It would help if you actually schedule regular times out of the year to discuss where you are financially and whether there are any adjustments that you need to be making. This way, you are both taking your financial issues head on as a couple, and you are tackling it as a team. Through this open communication, neither of you has to feel indebted to the other because you are both consenting to a shared game plan when it comes to money management.
2. Keep an eye on the future when dealing with your current finances.
As you are early in your relationship, you can be tempted to splurge financially. You may want to spoil each other with lavish gifts and various luxuries to further enhance your romantic experience. However, you should start ridding yourself of that mindset if you want to establish a sense of future financial security. You can’t afford to be irresponsible now and expect to have a comfortable lifestyle in the future. You should be tackling your finances with the philosophy that your current financial value is directly correlated to what expectations you have for your future lifestyles with each other.
Make a plan and agreement early on. List down your personal goals and dreams you have for each other as far as finances go, and tailor a financial game plan that revolves around those goals. You have to be living and working for a purpose, and you can’t just play things by ear
3. Evaluate your priorities in spending.
Engagement rings. Wedding expenses. Down payments for luxurious apartments in upscale neighborhoods. The expenses can pile up rapidly and extraordinarily. That is why early on in a relationship, you should both be willing to discuss your priorities financially. Do you really need an expensive engagement ring? How important is it for you to have a 3-bedroom apartment with a loft? Do you need to have 2 separate cars? These are questions that you need to discuss early on so that you are prepared for them financially should the moment come. Just remember to take note that you should really be prioritizing the essentials and the things that you value the dearest in life.
4. Don’t get too attached to your high expectations.
Not everyone is going to end up like Mark Zuckerberg. Not everyone is going to get to win the lottery. We all have to be realistic and acknowledge the fact that our financial dreams may be beyond our reach, and we must adjust our lifestyles accordingly. If we persist in living in constant delusions about our bank account situations, then we are only digging a hole for ourselves… deeper and deeper. Learn to let go of your very specific goals if you fail to meet them, and adjust.
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