19 February 2020
Renowned American jazz pianist, Willie “The Lion” Smith, once said, “ROMANCE without FINANCE is no good”.
Compatibility between romance and finance is akin to the compatibility between the heart and the brain. While the heart may run wild and wants the best, the brain needs to step in to make wise decisions. If the decisions of the heart may be made based on reel-life fantasy, it’s the brain that does the real-life processing to reach beneficial conclusions.
In the first of our 3-part Valentine’s Day series – #MattersOfHeartAndWallet, we tackle financial compatibility.
When it comes to our significant others, romantic gestures often overpower financial constraints. We often consider it alright to extend the budget a little when expressing our love. Alas! If only being romantic did not cost a fortune. It does not take long for matters of the heart to become the prime reason for the worries of the wallet.
Romantic and financial compatibility is equally essential, raising important questions that need to be asked to maintain a balance between the two. Let’s take a deeper dive into the interplay between these two concepts:
Of course, we’re well past the culturally male-dominated days where only one partner – the husband – generated income in the household, with the couple’s immense love for each other being sufficient to spend the rest of the life
With evolving cultures, economic progress, and inflation on the rise, priorities have significantly changed. Financial security has become essential to continue living happily. In today’s time, rather than the “head over heels” sentiment, perhaps financial soundness sustains love between people more.
A major factor behind arguments between couples is their finances. A lack of money and ever-increasing debts can lead to sustained stress between partners. At times, issues escalate to a greater extent, where relationship strife turns into reasons for divorce. A financially stable person far outweighs a broke selfless person when it comes to choosing a life partner.
Is one of you a spendthrift while the other a miser? It doesn’t have to be that extreme, but the point is – is there a considerable gap between how you and your partner spend money? Some believe in extravagance, after all, what’s the point of earning money in the first place?
Others prefer to only spend on ‘value’, and save for a rainy day.
There’s nothing inherently wrong or right with either approach. What is critical is ensuring there’s a minimal gap between both your styles. The further apart you are on this spectrum, the higher the chances of issues cropping up, since this would be an aspect you’d perceive on a daily basis.
Believe it or not, romance does flourish when each partner pulls their own weight. If you do not discuss contributions and finances with your partner, it may sprout seeds of resentment and disdain in your relationship. It is essential to be open in your discussions about money whether it is regarding saving it, spending it, earning it or investing it.
Even if one of the partners is not earning, it doesn’t mean that you should not have money discussions. The one who stays at home makes a greater contribution than the one who goes out to earn. Budgeting is the crux of many issues. Hence, participation and awareness of all parties are essential.
Couples who tend to hold open conversations about money have few to no incidents of hidden purchases. They become equally adept at planning and managing their finances.
Another crucial aspect to keep in mind is the use of credit. Credit and credit scores play an important part in day-to-day expenses. Credit can be hard to source if your partner has a poor credit score despite yours being considerably high. Simply gaining an understanding of the credit score of both yourself and your partner can help you tackle future credit urgencies. In other words, financially aligned couples tend to have easy access to affordable credit.
Discuss and align bill payments, credit card repayments and other such things which can impact your ability to apply for credit with banks and other financial institutions.
This potential issue, fortunately, is being addressed well with the rise of instant loan apps like EarlySalary, which offer quick personal loans right from your smartphone, and don’t rely solely on credit scores for assessing borrower credibility.
You can certainly enjoy romance while staying in financial sync with your partner. On a lighter note, perhaps a bottle of fine wine can be enjoyed while you finalize your budget? Are the best kind of dates the ones where you tackle taxes with your better half?
In the next post in this series, we’ll take a closer look at what it means for your partner to be a freeloader and its implications on your relationship.