Did Valentine’s Day Not Go as Expected for You?

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

Love is in the air.. Did Valentine’s Day not go as expected for you? Let me guess… You got her a dozen roses, a box of chocolates, and a big stuffed teddy bear, all on your credit card that you have no intention of paying off any time soon. 

Well, guess what?  The roses die, the chocolates get eaten and digested, and the teddy bear gets thrown in a closet…(not to mention if you put it on credit… that lasts longer sometimes than the roses) Plus that’s some high school stuff right there and believe me, I would know. I’ve taught high school for the past decade, and I finally vowed to take February 14th off every year for the rest of my career. High schoolers are the worst. They’re running around, making out in between periods and showing off their roses and huge stuffed animals all while sharing their chocolates with their BFFs. You could do better than that. Maybe you should prove that you’re actually thinking about the future with her. 

Did you know that a large percentage of relationships end because of… credit goes to.. financial stress?  In fact it is the second leading cause of divorce behind infidelity.  If you want your marriage  and love to last forever, then you shouldn’t only be focused on the present. For Valentine’s Day, showing love in other ways may be a lasting strategy.  Although it may not sound as romantic, you could add to your gifts and undying love by making  a contribution to her Roth IRA. Or do you have kids? Make a contribution to that 529 plan. In any case, a serious conversation has to occur, and you need to be in agreement with goals for the future.

It’s probably one of the hardest conversations you’ll ever have, and often times seems taboo, but finding a way to get on the same page now will avoid financial stress from building and eventually boiling over. Do you even know where her paycheck goes? Does she know where your paycheck goes? Do you know how much debt she has? Does she know how much debt you have? Do you have a plan for getting out of debt? It’s time to sit down and go over your finances together. 

If you’re not ready to share all the details, each of you should start by answering these questions:

  • How do you think couples should manage their finances?
  • How do you you talk about credit management?
  • What are your short-term financial goals?
  • What are your long-term financial goals?

Next, agree on a vision for your future by asking:

  • What are our action items to achieve our financial goals?
  • How much money are we willing to allocate each month to getting out of debt?
  • Are there any expenses NOT covering the essentials of food, clothing, shelter, and transportation that we could eliminate?
  • If we have a surplus each month, where should that money go? (Think: pay off debt, retirement account, kids college fund, or travel fund, etc.)

Finally, try to set some ground rules for your finances moving forward that could include the following suggestions:

  • If an item costs more than $500 (or insert another amount here) agree to discuss it together before purchasing.
  • Revisit the discussion every six months to check your financial progress and adjust allocated funds if need be.
  • If a life-changing event occur (i.e. the positive events such as expecting a child or buying a house, or conversely the negative events such as job loss or the car being totalled) take some deep breaths ro regulate yourself and then reopen the finance discussion to prepare accordingly.
  • Make an appointment with a NEST Financial Planner so you can meet your goals even faster. 

Life is beautiful when you have someone to share it with. Don’t become a statistic and lose your partner as a result of financial stress. Have a conversation sooner than later to get on the same page so maybe by next year on Valentine’s Day you can celebrate a money milestone instead of wasting funds on those high school gifts. 🙂

This article is brought to you in part by the wizard behind the scenes with 23 years of experience, Dan Dillard. Of course with his workshop of helpers including some handy hi-tech sourcing.
If you’re finding it challenging to stay on top of all the changes, connect with our financial planning professionals by scheduling a no-obligation call. At NEST Financial, we can help make crypto not quite so cryptic.

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DISCLAIMER: We are legally obligated to remind you that the information and opinions shared in this article are for educational purposes only. These are not financial planning or investment advice. For guidance about your unique goals, drop us a line at info@nestfinancial.net