Dating somebody who is financially illiterate can be a deal-breaker in the ensuing days of your relationship.
Dating somebody can be fun, exciting, and a way to find the right match. All those candle-light dinners, movie watching, the evening concerts, and what not with your partner but just when you felt things were moving in the right direction.
You deserved all the applause for the decisions made and something serious strikes you found out your date was with somebody who has no control over financial habits.
Maybe they blow out the money in gambling, gaming, investing in aggressive risky ventures, and are addicted to gadgets. Initially, it turns out that rejecting somebody based on financial habits is selfish and inhumane. Giving the benefit of doubt to your partner is the first thing that comes to your mind.
Do you really think that can happen every time you see your partner spends lavishly and loses control of the money? Do financial deal-breakers exist within a relationship? And can it be ignored?
Let’s explore and find out if you are financially compatible.
Before The Storm Comes The Calm
The crux of the debate is not setting standards on the amount of money or the worth of a person’s assets. The pain point is the nature of a person’s habit with respect to financial matters.
Firstly, unless and until you don’t succeed in understanding the financial habits of your partner you can never be serious about anything related to money.
Do they spend mindlessly on everything according to their whims and fancies? Or are they refusing to spend even on the basics?
Do they boast about their investments, narrating stories on how they managed to strike gold in the market? That they follow every bit of trending financial news instantly and have the information on their fingertips?
Or are they expressionless and turn pale when you mention retirement plans? Does the word ‘savings’ put them off wondering if matters or necessary for a relationship?
You Need To Be Informed About Financial Incompatibility
The above-mentioned symptoms point towards your partner’s financial incompatibility. It need not be only money, but around the prospects of planning for your future in a rapidly changing world and economy. The underlying problem is not money but the approach towards it. Differing in views is the actual incompatibility.
Opposites always attract but it does not apply for the priorities. If you are somebody who pays attention to savings, a conservative investor, it shows how you prioritize planning for the future, and well-reasoned, logical decisions based on instinct and data. In contrast, if your partner is concerned about only the present moment without paying heed to the future and the bank balance is prone to constant emptying then the relationship is all but over.
According to a study, more than 55 percent of Americans find a partner suitable for a relationship if he or she is well-informed and has the ability to have strong budgeting and saving strategy. 21 percent preferred the money management trait of those who are punctual in clearing debt, and 18 % who bargain and are prudent. Further, 45 percent of respondents said they managed the finances together.
The character traits that display opposite habits, visions, and practices in managing lives and are poles apart are a sheer waste of time.
Early Detection of Red Flags In A Relationship
It is not fair to judge a relationship based on the financial habits but a relationship red flag is actually the priorities of your partner.
If you are successful in spotting the red flag, it’s better to call off the relationship for your own good before it emerges as a bigger problem in your life.
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, almost three-quarters of Americans are experiencing financial stress at some point of the time in their lives, and nearly a quarter are experiencing extreme financial stress.
The problem becomes more evident when couples cross 40 and are facing various financial obligations such as children, mortgage, retirement savings, college savings, health bills, and possibly other related debts. Unknown financial conflicts that can arise between couples are the salary hikes and incomes due to promotions. The financial compatibility of your partner that was ignored because of the small amount of money involved can now raise alarms leading to regular arguments as the stakes are higher.
The imbalance That Impacts The Meaning Of A Relationship
The cat and mouse game between couples in a relationship can prove dearer for financial well-being.
About 47 percent of the survey respondents in the above-mentioned study said they had a saver/spender imbalance, with one partner being a saver and the other a spender. In short, 1 in 2 couples admitted to having different saving and spending habits.
If you have concerns about the retirement plans, debts, or the cash in the joint account, and your partner turns blind on your worries and continues to overspend, the tension can aggravate into an unhealthy relationship and an end to it is inevitable.
Nevertheless, your partner can win brownie points too. For instance, the spender may silence the saver and ask him to stay cool while the saver may advise the spender on the seriousness of refraining from overspending.
Financial Secrecy Is A Big Let Down In A Relationship
The imbalance is one of the reasons why some couples refuse to disclose financial transactions from one another. About 6 percent of the survey respondents said their partners are unaware of the ‘secret’ credit card or bank account they have been using. Adding more credence to the data is another report that shows 7.2 million Americans, comprising 4.4 million men and 2.8 million women, maintain a secret bank account or credit card that their spouse has no clue.
The number is shocking because credit cards are the landmines of debt and its secrecy can be dangerous not just for the relationship but can attract legal actions too for non-payment of debts.
Financial Incompatibility Means Divorce
Major reasons for a couple to go for divorce are:
- Basic incompatibility
- Money-related conflicts
Couples often find it hard to cope with the financial loss as it forms the basis of deciding how one’s life will shape up in the future. It might sound too materialistic to pinpoint your partner on money matters but it is too important to be ignored. Some decisions cannot be taken on emotional grounds and financial incompatibility can never fit in that category as it demands logic and practicality.
Is It Fine To Have A Financial Deal-Breaker?
The question is relevant if you are just dating or very early in a relationship. Financial deal-breakers will not hold any significance if the relationship has matured.
Financial stress is high as you age so a financial deal-breaker is something that holds good at the start of a relationship. The discussion focused on savings and spending on a daily basis and hence at the personal level deal-breaker factors relating to investment methods can be considered.
Incompatibility In The Investing Space
Investing is an option that depends entirely on the individual’s choice and preference. People either decide to have a long-term investment or they might bet their investments on market behavior.
For example, if one partner plays it safe by investing in treasury bills and bonds and is completely against market volatility irrespective of the timeline or age. They focus on wealth preservation over accumulation.
A moderate investor is ready for risks and experiments and prefers volatility, alternative asset classes with growth-oriented investments. They are game for larger stocks and decide to hold it back for years before they can sell it off for the maximum.
Moderate investors can have a tough time connecting with a risk-averse partner but the contrasting approach should never be a deal-breaker. The agenda on either side is to safeguard money and not to spend. This might well be a perfect example that explains opposites getting attracted to a healthy and secure relationship.
Both strive towards creating joint financial goals and plans in harmony. Each of them complimenting and advising each other’s motives is a great balancing act.
A Search For A Healthy Relationship
Relationships are hard to be defined and a perfect match is when both people are on the same wavelength. It is slightly easier if finance is a deciding factor where two individuals share the same vision, views, values, and habits in investing styles.
Well, it is a tough task finding a mate who has similar ideas about investing and budgeting. But nothing to be worried about. You and your partner’s financial thinking need to be within each other’s range.
Agreed, your partner can no more join hands in finances and it is time to part ways. It is only one side of the story because you have to move on in life. Your bills are going to be generated monthly and daily expenses will still mean the same. Over a period of time, your usual expenses can get to your head and mushroom into a bigger problem. Plan B sometimes saves you in the toughest situations and so consider having a payment app that is handy for the bills allows you to divert the focus on larger financial issues.
By Karthick V.