Valentine’s Day is only a few days away and I can’t think of a better feeling than when you are in a wonderful relationship with your one true love….your money. Of course I am kidding because it is not a smart idea to love something that can’t love you back, and money is one of those things that can’t love you back. Money can’t buy love, happiness or good health, but money can give you choices and just as the following 5 traits are needed if you want to maintain a wonderful relationship with your true love, those same traits can also be applied to your money.
The foundation of a strong healthy relationship is one that is built on trust and honesty. That same type of honesty is needed with your money. Debt is one of those issues that people are not honest with themselves about. Debt is bad but people try to justify having debt because others have it. The same goes with not putting enough money into savings, or towards retirement. Don’t allow other peoples’ actions or should I say inactions keep you from being honest when it comes to your money. Being honest is the ability to admit when you are wrong. Just as honesty is the best policy when you are in a relationship with a person, being honest with how you are handling your money is the first step towards making healthy decisions with your finances.
When the going gets tough do you get going? A committed relationship is one that is not only strong through the good times but more importantly it’s strong during times of crisis and uncertainty. When times are bad during a relationship it is very easy to give up and throw in the towel. There will be times you feel the same about your finances. You think there is no hope and it would be easier to just give up. By staying positive, flexible, and committed, there isn’t anything you can’t do. Just as a wonderful relationship won’t happen overnight, neither will your finances.
There probably isn’t one thing that you wouldn’t give up for the person you love. Relationships requires give and take and there are many times you have sacrifice in the name of love. Some of the smallest sacrifices can really add up especially when you make them for that special person in your life. Some of the smallest sacrifices with money also can add up. Instead of going out to eat every day for lunch, consider packing your lunch at least every other day. If you can save $25 dollars a week, that comes up to $100 for the month! Find other small sacrifices you can make when it comes to your spending and it might not seem much to you now but it can definitely add up for a big surprise later.
You can tell what is truly important to you just by where you spend your time. How much time do you spend on your finances? Are you spending any quality time with your money? You should make a date with your finances at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be a long time, maybe just 30 minutes. Use that time to review your current financial situation, refine your budget, make adjustments to your short-term and long-term goals, or maybe read some articles about money management. Spending time on your finances is the only way to know where you want to be and if you are on the right track to get there.
A relationship will not last if you are always giving or always taking. There has to be a balance. Finances work along the same concept. Save, save, save will lead to resentment while spend, spend, spend will lead you to poverty. There is nothing wrong with spending some money on the people you love or the things you like to do. Extremes seldom work so make sure you incorporate a little balance into your relationship and your finances. You will greatly improve your odds of success.
A wonderful relationship won’t come easy, but with a little work it is absolutely within reach as long as you are honest, you are committed, you are willing to make sacrifices, you can devote some time together and finally if you incorporate a little balance in your life.
Steve Repak, CFP®, is a Professional Speaker and the Author of Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money