All you need is love”. A bold claim made by The Beatles back in the ‘60s, yet it’s a message that still resonates with many. Whether you agree with the Fab Four or not, one thing is for certain: there are many ways finances impact love and relationships.
Love and money aren’t two things we tend to associate with one another. While, of course, love is a thing that can’t be bought, money influences any romantic relationship (new or old) in some way or another.
It seems an obvious point to make, but finance is usually the last thing on your mind when those butterflies begin to flutter. However, when it comes to building and maintaining a lasting relationship, money matters can make or break a couple.
Let’s be clear, this is by no means a negative thing; couples can spend happy and harmonious lives together with or without being well-off. Seeing the effect money has is all just part of the journey.
So, how do finances impact love and relationships?
From the first date, you may think it’s far too early for money matters to arise but, even if you don’t realise it, they’re hard at work.
“Let’s split the bill”
Dating can be expensive. Meals, drinks, cinema tickets, day trips; it all adds up, especially after a few meetups. The good news is that dating doesn’t have to break the bank. Rather than trying to steer clear of going on dates altogether or avoiding paying your share when you do, you just need to get creative.
There are plenty of things to do where you don’t have to spend much in order to have a great time together. Country walks, museum trips, picnics in the park, coffee dates and free music or local events are all great ideas for low-cost dates. Anyway, what’s the only thing that makes the difference between a good and a bad date? The company.
On the same page?
The ‘dating phase’ is a crucial time for any potential pair, as you take time to learn about each other’s values, personalities and aspirations. Compatibility is a complex thing, and finances can form part of daters’ decision-making.
For example, if two people have conflicting attitudes to money, it could cause problems further down the line. Although most people wouldn’t write someone off for not having a lot of money, flashy or reckless spending, or a lack of money goals can be dealbreakers for some.
Everyone is different and wants different things from a partner. However, even early on, it’s clear that finances impact love and relationships.
You’ve been ‘official’ for a while, met each other’s parents… the works! Everything is going great – so, what’s next? It’s time to get serious and finances have an even bigger part to play.
Co-habiting bliss isn’t a set formula, it’s about what works for you as a couple. Surprisingly, managing money together doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split.
Moving in together is a big step for any relationship, so it’s useful to sit down and have a serious conversation about your financial situations. Once you live together, a money problem becomes a problem shared. So, talking about finances beforehand will help you put a fair plan in place for rent, bills, etc., that works for you both.
Financial infidelity is a term that was coined to describe excessive spending or the accumulation of debt without your partner’s knowledge. It will rarely stay hidden forever, so the best thing to do is be open with your other half about any money problems you’re having as soon as possible.
Happily Ever After
Once you’re sure you’ve found the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with, everything starts clicking into place. (Although, that doesn’t mean that the pennies will start taking care of themselves.)
The Big Steps
As relationships progress, partners begin talking about the next stages of their lives together. These can include buying a house, getting married and maybe children, too. Obviously, not everyone has the same priorities; big business plans, early retirement or worldwide travel are often high on couples’ agendas.
Whatever dream you share, it’s likely you’ll need money to fund it. Therefore, choosing to save for the future is a smart move to make, and the sooner you get started, the better. There are many savings options out there to save for the long-term, such as a tax-exempt Stocks and Shares ISA.
Life is unpredictable by nature. You never know what lies ahead and it’s not always plain sailing. There are endless reasons families can find their financial balance under threat, and money problems can put a strain on even the strongest of couples.
Unexpected house repairs, redundancies and illness can all catch you by surprise. Savvy pairs know that there are ways to protect themselves from money woes. Insurance products can provide valuable financial support when your circumstances change. For instance, if you become unwell or injured, meaning you can’t work, having an Income Protection plan means you can stay on top of the bills.
Overall, money has a huge part to play in all aspects of our lives, so it’s not surprising that finances impact love and relationships. Honesty, clear communication and some clever planning will help couples to manage their joint finances successfully.