It’s Valentine’s Day and for many couples, a time of romance, fun and gifts. But what if the gift from your loved one is way out of line with what you’d spend or can afford? Read on for some tips that might help you talk all things with your loved one.
For many couples Valentine’s Day is a much-loved tradition. A time for romance and fun, indulgence and surprise treats. Are you a big spender or more of a ‘I’m not buying into all that fuss’ kind of couple? Or maybe you and your partner don’t actually see eye to eye on how much to spend...
1 Accept that money isn’t always about money
Most of us think the decisions we make about money in our relationships are guided by logic. So why can’t our partners be equally logical in their financial decision-making?
That’s a classic delusion, says researcher Dr John Gottman, who has spent 40 years studying the factors that make relationships last.
According to Dr Gottman, the most influential factor guiding our relationship with money is our ‘money map’ – the childhood, teenage and adult experiences that shaped our beliefs about money.
If you grew up in a family that struggled to put meals on the table, for example, spending money on expensive food and drink might be a way to make yourself feel more stable and secure.
Dr Gottman believes it’s important for couples to work to understand what money really means to each person in the relationship.
The American Psychological Association (APA) says that good conversation-starters include:
- What did your parents teach you about money?
- What are your financial goals?
- What are your fears about money?
2 Build wealth together
When you’re talking about money with your partner, it’s easy to get caught up in the here and now – the extravagant gift for Valentine’s Day, or the café lunches you have every day.
But what about your finances long-term?
Couples who stay together tend to end up wealthier than single people. That’s because of the economies of scale of living together and, in some cases, having a double income.
So, to make the most of your money, plan your finances together and set shared goals for the future.
3 Schedule money dates to take the pain out of decision-making
One way to become more united on the money front, says the APA, is to schedule regular money dates to discuss finances.
Set a regular time each month to sit down together to pay the bills, discuss your expenses and review your savings plan.
And make it fun! Reward yourself with an activity you both enjoy afterwards, like watching a movie or going for a bike ride.