Money and love might not go together quite like strawberries and chocolate or wine and cheese, but loved up couples can seriously benefit from tackling their financial demons before they head out for a romantic date this Valentine’s Day.
With that being said, approaching such a touchy subject can be a little awkward, so how do you successfully tackle such a sensitive and often (unnecessarily) stressful topic without offending your significant other?
To answer that question, Mozo reached out to a few financially-savvy experts who dug up some personal finance gold for couples addressing their money matters this Valentine’s Day.
A common yet severely underrated piece of advice for pretty much every aspect of your relationship, keeping communication clear and guilt-free is key to your financial success as a couple, according to personal finance coach at My Debt Epiphany, Choncé Maddox.
“For most couples, communication is the underlying root of money issues in the relationship,” she said. “I'd recommend that couples try to work on improving communication and develop a strategy to solve your money woes as a team.”
Maddox also added that a little empathy goes a long way in your finance communications.
“Try practicing empathy in order to fully understand where the other person is coming from and realise that they've most likely had a different financial background and experiences.”
You know what makes credit card debt discussions that little bit more bearable?
Caramel macchiatos. Yes, that’s right organising a debt date or budget beers can spice up your finance conversation (in the right way). Just make sure you’re not blindsiding your partner with such a touchy subject.
“My husband and I made our first few finance dates fun by bringing my laptop to ice cream shops and coffee shops to discuss our budget and goals,” revealed Maddox.
This sentiment is echoed by Greg Mawer who founded Mawer Money. The idea is simple, he said: make your money discussions a little less monotonous and you might not dread them so much.
“Regular check ins are really important to see how you are tracking. It doesn't have to be a boring exercise. Crack a bottle of wine and have some fun while reviewing your finances!”
After the initial chat and once you’ve built a burly budget, Founder of Family Money Plan, Andrew Daniels believes it is important to exercise a high level of patience with both your partner and your finances.
“Things won’t turnaround overnight, but you can make a lot of progress when both people feel like they are involved in the process,” he said.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all!
Whatever you decide to do with your collective coinage, separating at least a small section of your finances for some guilt-free spending can be a great way to defuse any money stress, according to Daniels.
“For example, give each other a set amount every month that you can spend on yourselves without question. Call it play money, allowance or whatever you want,” he recommended.
“This helps keep the budget stay on course while at the same time gives each of you some freedom to spend on things that you want.”
Last, but by no means least, Aussies shouldn’t be ashamed to seek out that little extra bit of advice when it comes to their coupled-up finances. Mawer believes that by leaving your ego at the door and going to see an accountant or financial planner, you could reap serious monetary rewards.
“The last tip would be to seek advice,” he said. “Not everyone is Warren Buffet or David Koch so don't be afraid to ask an accountant or financial planner for help."
But we’re not the only experts around here. Leave us a comment below on how you and your special friend handle your finances along with any tips you can think of!