It’s the time we celebrate love and relationships! It’s true, we can and should celebrate relationships everyday, but it sure is nice to have a day dedicated to just that! And at Hui, it gives us an excuse to think more intentionally about relationships and money!
How we act around money in relationships is based on the way we developed our own beliefs starting at a young age – it’s our financial history. Much of it is related to our personal experiences: how our own families talked about (or did not talk about) money, how they handled money, and who handled the money. Our relationship with money is also impacted by how our family members responded to their role in money management, religious beliefs related to having and giving money, and whether there was a traumatic event related to money, or the lack of money, (like going to through the Great Depression or losing a lot of money through a business deal). All of these and so many more experiences can impact how we see money.
It is important to take note of what has contributed to your beliefs about money, particularly when entering a new relationship or transitioning to having a more serious relationship. Long-term relationships will undoubtedly face challenges involving money, from the small and seemingly not-that-big-of-a-deal challenges, like buying gifts for one another, to larger and seemingly very-big-deal challenges, like how to finance a new home or save towards children’s college fund. It is important to have in mind what each person is bringing into the relationship. Then, it is key to think about what values and beliefs were created based on individual life experiences. For example, I might have had experiences where both of my parents split and handled the finances together, while my spouse had experiences where one parent was “in charge” of the finances. From this experience, I may believe that both spouses are responsible for handling the finances in a marriage, while my spouse believes that one person should be assigned to this task. Identifying the experiences will help identify those beliefs and values – some of which may be similar to your partner while others may be dissimilar. We all have a collection of similar and dissimilar value systems – THAT IS OKAY – what’s important is to identify them, highlight those values that are similar, and continuously work toward a balanced integration of dissimilar, but important values and healthy money habits! This is especially important when dealing with matters of heart…and money.
So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, take a moment to think about your own financial history. What experiences did you have growing up? Who handled the finances in your home? How have these experiences led to certain beliefs or values? What areas do you and your partner agree on and not agree on? How can you work together to remain focused on your shared values?