Cupid’s day of love-fueled giving is right around the corner, and if you are like many partners, you may be struggling to come up with the perfect couple’s gift this year.
While chocolate and teddy bears are acceptable go-to presents, why not consider giving something this year that will scientifically make your relationship stronger?
According to Bankrate journalist Karen Haywood Queen, the cost of being in a relationship is a tangible bottom line. “What do you get when you fall in love? A guy or gal who could easily bust your budget, that’s what,” she quipped.
Not only does the cost of dating and maintaining a relationship quickly add up monetarily, but numerous studies throughout the years have reinforced the theory that concerns and disagreements over money are among the most detrimental issues to a happy, healthy relationship.
However, there is hope. And in this hope can be the best gift you ever give yourself and your partner.
Financial Literacy Begins With The Self
Dave Ramsey has famously commented in many lectures during his Financial Peace University class, “Give feedback, criticism and encouragement. Work on the budget together! ‘But what if my spouse won’t get on board with me?’ many of you wonder. It is tough, but with patience and kindness, your spouse will eventually see the light (don’t beat them over the head with the need for a budget, and please don’t subject your spouse to a lecture of ‘Dave says…’).”
No matter what your financial goals are, knowing your credit is always a key component. Get your free credit score from Quizzle.
Step One: Come To Terms With Yourself And Your Partner
By accepting that finances are often fodder for unrest in relationships, you can work on eliminating your personal triggers and those of your significant other. That first step is always the most difficult, but communication and mutual respect are essential to making relationships work.
Step Two: Go Back To The Basics
Financial literacy is much like any other academic endeavor; you have to adequately build the foundation in order to build up. If you or your spouse don’t understand the function of credit or how to build a budget, you can’t expect to have immediate financial success when you combine your assets and start planning for the long term.
Step Three: Straighten Out Your Credit
Consumer advocate and credit educator Katie Bushor explained, “If your credit is less than ideal or if you don’t even know your credit score, you can’t truly draft a financial plan that will succeed.”
“First stop: your credit report. You can access your credit score through free financial tools like the one from Quizzle, and each credit bureau is required to provide you with a free credit report annually – all you have to do is request it,” Bushor elaborated.
Remember, your credit is a reflection of who you are financially. It illustrates to lenders, financial institutes and potential employers the type of person you are and how you are likely to weigh risks/rewards in the future.
Who needs good credit? Did you know even millionaires need to keep up with their credit report?
Step Four: Build Your Budget
The next part of this stellar Valentine’s gift keeps on giving. It requires maintenance and communication, but it also has huge potential to help your relationship strengthen over the months and years to come.
Building a budget involves outlining your goals, taking an inventory of what you have going in and out, and being flexible by adjusting along the way.
Step Five: Bask In The Relationship-Saving Gift Of Financial Freedom
It may sound corny, but honestly working on financials together is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your partner.
Money problems can lead to so many different obstacles in a relationship, and financial freedom can open avenues that were previously unavailable to you both as a couple. Embrace the simple truth that money talk can make or break your relationship and you have the power to bestow the building blocks to your partner.