Love and money
Dominique Layt, Suncorp Head of Stores and Specialty Banking Delivery
7 February 2018
Let’s be honest, talking about your finances doesn’t exactly ignite romance in a relationship. But when it comes to love and money it’s an important conversation to have, and with the global day of love and romance just around the corner, now could be the perfect time to kickstart the conversation.
Unfortunately, money is still a taboo topic for many people – Suncorp research shows a quarter of Australians find it hard to talk about money for fear of judgement and embarrassment.
So, what can you do to get the conversation going? Well, to take the pressure off why not try shifting the focus from spreadsheet figures to a broader discussion about your life goals as a couple? Do you dream of travelling, home ownership, kids, retirement? Have fun dreaming about your future together, and then write your goals down.
If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you’re probably all too aware of your different money personalities – perhaps one of you is prone to spur-of-the-moment spending and the other is a saver. Try changing the conversation to dig a little deeper and understand where these values come from. Understanding your financial compatibility is key to a successful relationship and building wealth as a couple.
For example, the saver in the relationship may want the options that come with financial freedom, like the opportunity to start your own business or switch to part-time work. The spender may have certain expectations for the sort of lifestyle they wish to lead to enjoy life today.
To find the right balance, it can help to weigh up these expectations against your list of goals. You may decide the goal of home ownership is more important than eating out several times a week. Or you may decide you’d rather delay retirement if it means you can enjoy yearly overseas holidays in the meantime.
If you can agree on what matters to you, it becomes much easier to develop a plan and set money aside; after all, it’s fuelling your future together.
When you bring the conversation back to your shared goals and the kind of life you want to lead, talking about money can be a lot more fun. Perhaps even a little bit romantic.
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