How important are your relationships to your finances?

We are all in relationships with people in one way or the other. Be it friendships, family, or romantic. These relationships have an impact on both our finances and our financial outlook.

Since we are still in the month of love, I would be focusing mostly on romantic relationships, but these concepts can be applied to any type of relationship.

When you are in a relationship with someone else, you are automatically in a partnership and what this means is that your decisions affect them and vice-versa.

After making your financial plans and goals, it is almost useless if your partner doesn’t align with these goals. This may mean adjusting your plans to fit their or something along those lines. It can be very tempting to ignore talking about money with your partner for a variety of reasons; it may feel awkward, your beliefs don’t align, or you both have different spending habits.

Despite all these reasons, it is very important to discuss money in your relationship because a partner who doesn’t align with your values on money can ruin your whole financial situation. Find time to discuss your outlooks on money, send each other financial education material, create budgets together and keep track of expenses together. Doing this overtime reveals very important things/attitudes about money. And knowing all these things would help you tweak and adjust to get the absolute best from your relationship.

There are many things that you should be aware of about your partner’s finances. I’ll just point out a few of them;

  1. Know each other’s debts
    Not knowing the level of debt your partner is in is a recipe for disaster because, in the situation where they cannot pay off their debt, you will be the next in line to be responsible for paying it off. So it’s very important to be aware of your partner’s current and future debts.
  2. Know your partner’s views and values about money
    People have different views and beliefs when it comes to money, and knowing where your partner stands is an important piece of information to have. Some people don’t believe in being rich, some don’t believe in saving money, some don’t see the point in investing.
    These are all important conversations to have to see how compatible both of you are.
  3. Discuss your money stories from childhood to date
    We all have something that occurred which shaped how we view money. Those things were turning points in our lives. It may surprise you the extent to which habits that you have today were shaped by childhood experiences.

Here are some things you can start doing together as a couple to further understand each other financially.

  1. Assess your current financial situation together
  2. Make financial goals together
  3. Create a budget together
  4. Track expenses together

There’s no shortage of studies showing that disagreements over managing money and the ongoing stress over challenging financial situations can lead to relationships ending. It’s such a common problem that you likely know someone (or many people) who’ve been in this position. And you may have faced (or are facing) difficult financial circumstances with someone you love too.

Having these difficult discussions would let you know what needs to be worked on and where changes need to be made.

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