I know you cherish that one witty conversation with your partner that started it all, the physical attraction that have pulled you together amidst a crowd of strangers, and who would forget the butterflies in the stomach kilig during those first dates? You were both head over heels, couldn’t stop texting or calling each other. You were inseparable. And then all of a sudden, waking up in the morning you decide he/she is your match. You like the same books. You share the same passion. You play the same sports. You might feel like you’ve found your soulmate, the perfect one. No one knows if he/she is “the one”, but have you asked yourself, “Are we financially matched to last the day-to-day realities of life?
If you’re off playing the field and you’re ultimately focused on building a lifetime partnership with your current object of affection, you better make sure that money won’t be something that can break the two of you apart. As early as possible, look for signs that say you and your partner are indeed financially compatible. If not, then both of you may just be wasting your time investing in a relationship that clearly wouldn’t work after marriage, or even just before it. Think about the engaged period and all the associated finances. Yeah, I know you’re clearly getting it.
So, are you financially compatible? Here are some of the tell-tale signs you should look out for.
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1. Your financial goals coincide with each other.
You knew very well since your physics days that an object wouldn’t get anywhere if the direction of the force that you applied to it is opposite each other. Same with your finances, it wouldn’t get the two of you anywhere if you have different priorities. If your partner wants to buy a car first before marriage and you want that wedding ring placed on your finger before riding out on a nice ride, then well, issues arise. Unless the both of you can afford the two things at once.
Try talking to your partner to sort things out. Compromise and commit to your goals. It can’t change in a snap as the financial goals of mature couples aren’t short-term. They’re long-term and need careful financial planning. Now, if by this reading you are in your late twenties, in a relationship and is clueless what your and your partner’s financial goals are, get busy and start planning.
2. Money talks aren’t awkward.
Take some clues from your casual everyday communication. If the subject is swaying towards the money matters, does your partner change the topic? Or does he or she avoid eye contact and gets shifty? If you’re both mature enough and you both are serious enough to have a future together, you should be comfortable in talking about money with your partner. It should be an interesting and fun conversation because you’re visualizing the dream together. But of course, heated arguments aren’t totally avoidable. For money talks to work, you and your partner should have tolerance for each other’s’ attitude towards money and this brings us to the next sign.
3. You compliment each other’s approach to finances.
If one is a spender, the other should be a saver. Not all the time though for the saver may get fed up. You switch roles at some point, depending on the situation. If you think your partner may be overspending, casually point it out. Not sarcastically of course. Remind him or her of the bigger future and your financial baby steps. Be calm if your partner is not and work it out.
4. Joint accounts don’t scare you.
If you have no problem with joint accounts, then it’s a sign that you trust your partner that he or she will take good care of your own money as you do. This is a mutual decision and terms may exist. You may be depositing equal amounts of money every time. You may choose to have an OR account rather an AND account. It’s all entirely up to the both of you.
Plus, joint accounts are helpful if the both of you are planning to go abroad. They may help prove your relationship and can be essential in getting a couple visa.
5. You don’t have any secret bank accounts.
So, you’re open to your partner about your income, your expenses, and your accounting sheets, but you carefully placed a make-shift account especially for you. It’s your secret ME-only bank account. If you’re good with credit and debit, you could actually go away with it. But, isn’t that like keeping something from your partner?
If you’re really open to your partner, then you should be able to speak to him or her if you need more money for the unplanned expenses. He or she would understand. If you’re keeping it as an emergency account all for yourself, then you may still have some doubts in your relationship. You could always have a separate personal bank account that your partner knows of.
This is a Valentine’s Day special article by Aiza Coronado, a financial literacy advocate and a writer who doubles as a test engineer during the weekdays. She has this philosophy of having a “happy present, happy future” when it comes to finances. That way, she doesn’t miss a lot on life while building her financial track. Try stepping into her boots and see how she does it in her blog: LoveisaMutt.
The views & opinions expressed in this special guest post are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of MoneyMax.ph as a whole.
With a goal to help Filipinos lead healthier financial lives, Moneymax regularly publishes tips and tricks on personal finance and lifestyle, among many other topics. For more finance-related news and articles, follow Moneymax on Linkedin.