They say Money Can’t Buy You Love, but as Financial Life Planners, we know that while talking about money is not typically a conversation for Valentine’s Day, it can certainly enhance your romantic relationships.
In the long run it can also improve your financial wellbeing….
A recent survey of 2000 British adults revealed that one in five say most arguments with their romantic partner are about money whilst one in three say financial disagreements are the biggest threat to their marriage.
What we often find during our Financial Life Planning is that many couples have conflicting belief systems when it comes to money and that this tends to lead to those recurring arguments which may be triggered by different things, but which ultimately circle back to the same old row.
In one case, our Financial Life Planner came across a couple where the husband had experienced the loss of the family home due to a failed business during his childhood. For him, his deep-seated belief was that the wolf was always at the door. It was important to him to have enough savings to see the family through what he believed would be inevitable hard times to come at some point. His wife, meanwhile, had grown up in a single parent household because her father had died at a young age. Money was always tight, but there was a more overwhelming feeling for her that ‘tomorrow is promised to nobody.’ She did not want to save because she wanted her young family to enjoy every penny they made just in case one of them wasn’t around to enjoy it tomorrow.
As always, it’s never our job to tell people what is right and what is wrong, but the simple act of enabling a conversation which revealed these deeply held beliefs and the reasons behind them was enough to help this couple to open up a conversation which allowed them to understand each other’s fears and needs. We then helped them to put together a long term plan which allowed budget for times to be enjoyed in the here and now, balanced with ensuring financial security in the optimistic scenario that everyone lives to a ripe old age.
It may not be a conversation for the dinner table on Valentine’s Day itself, but why not find time to simply tell each other your ‘money stories’ as to how money has affected you as a child, adult and which money proverbs resonate with you today? It can be a remarkably powerful way to bring you closer together.