Happy Valentine’s Day! This is a day to express love and affection for that special someone in your life – be it your spouse, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, or even a secret crush! Many will send flowers, cards and candy, exchange gifts, go to dinner and other fun outings all to show your honey that you care.
Ask a financial advisor like me, and I’ll tell you nothing says “I love you” more than working together as a couple to reach your financial goals! Sound romantic? Probably not, but over time, it can lay a great foundation for your relationship with benefits of trust and financial stability.
Money is one of the touchiest subjects when it comes to couples. Some argue constantly about money while others completely avoid the subject. Neither is healthy. In fact, money is one of the main reasons couples choose to end their relationships. Arguing won’t get you anywhere, and avoiding the subject may make things worse, so let’s open those lines of communication!
Ok all you lovebirds out there, here are a few tips for couples looking to connect on a financial level:
- Air your financial laundry. Receiving a surprise bouquet of roses is great but finding out about your mate’s financial woes too far into the relationship is not a great surprise at all. If you are seriously committed and looking to spend your life with someone, it makes sense to have a serious conversation about your finances. Share things like your debt (ex. college loans, credit cards, average monthly bills, etc.) income, existing accounts and any financial goals you would like to achieve.
- Develop a debt elimination strategy. If you discover that one or both of you have debt to eliminate, work together on a plan to pay off the debt. For example, identify areas where you can cut back on expenses and put those extra dollars toward paying off credit cards, loans etc.
- Identify a specific day and time to talk about finances. Since money talk can sometimes be emotional, don’t just spring it on your partner. Agree on a date and time to sit down at least once a month to discuss where you are with financial goals. Admit any mistakes made and celebrate the progress.
- Don’t keep financial secrets. Keeping financial secrets from your mate such as past due bills, major purchases or secret accounts can potentially have a negative impact on your relationship and brings trust and accountability into question. The goal is to feel comfortable communicating with your partner about your finances even if your position is not the best. Remember, you’re in this together.
- Get your credit scores check- ed. It’s a good idea for you and your partner to see where you are credit wise, especially if you are looking to make big purchases like a home or auto. Knowing where you stand in the credit game can help determine whose name may need to go on a loan (or not), how to achieve the best interest rates, etc. If both of your credit scores need work, you may decide to hold off on major money moves while taking time to get your scores up – TOGETHER!
- Make an appointment with a financial advisor. No matter what your financial position may be, it is always good for you and your mate to sit down with a financial advisor. The person you select should be a joint decision, and meetings should be attended by both parties. Your financial advisor should be impartial and not take sides. Remember, the goal is for you to grow financially together.
See? That wasn’t so bad. A great part of successful relationships means putting in the work. Good luck and don’t forget to celebrate love today and always!
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*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/- SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.