The honeymoon period of a relationship. It’s all sunshine and rainbows, right? Everything is fun, fresh and exciting. You want to spend every minute of your time with your person and you just can’t ever see anything ever going wrong between the two of you.
Ok, as corny and unrealistic as that might sound, I’m sure there’s a lot of you out there realising that you really do love this honeymoon period. It’s important to remember, though, that this honeymoon period is not just fun and games. This is probably THE most important time for you to be learning some seriously important money lessons.
In celebration of my six-month anniversary with my boyfriend (it’s not like we can go out anywhere to celebrate anyway), let me recap to you the three most important money lessons that I’ve learnt in this new relationship.
1. Establish Your Financial Independence
It is way too easy to get yourself caught up in the windswept fairytale romance and forget that, hang on a sec, you actually have your own money, your own life and your own goals?!
Do not forget this.
My 2020 savings goals involved setting myself up with a larger share portfolio and saving 30k to put towards a house deposit. It could have been so easy for me to completely abandon these goals, and instead, invest my time, money and effort into my new relationship. Fortunately, my Mum instilled in me the money mantra “a man is not a plan” from a very young age, and so I’ve been able to stay focussed on making sure I still hit my independent financial goals.
In a new relationship, you never want to be completely reliant on the other person. Too often, one partner relies too heavily on the other, and this can mean losing your financial independence which can subsequently have a negative effect on your relationship. For now, keep your bank accounts separate, keep focussing on your individual money goals and keep working your ass off to smash your goals.
2. Make Sure Your Money Values Align
It can be easy to ignore all of the important, big issues in the first six months of a relationship because you’re both so focussed on having fun and living in the moment. However, it’s actually super important for you guys to be having these money conversations early on before you get too invested. Make sure you’re open about your money goals, and make any expectations you have very clear.
Now is the time to be open about the fact that you want to buy a house sometime in the near future and to establish whether or not your partner wants the same thing. Now is the time to find out if your partner is down to save, and then spend, all of their money to go on your dream round the world trip with you. Now is the time to find out if your partner would rather eat two minute noodles every night than take you out for date night dinners (not for me, thanks).
If your money values don’t align, then it’s probably time to get the hell out of there. Relationships are all about compromise, and if you guys can’t work out how to compromise so that your financial goals align, then that’s going to cause serious issues later on.
3. Pay Your Fair Share
Honestly, I hate nothing more than people who completely rely on their partner to pay for EVERYTHING. I know the stereotype is that girls are the main culprits here BUT this lesson needs to be learnt by absolutely everybody (cue Vanessa Amorosi).
One time, for example, my friend went on a date with a guy who begged her for weeks to go out with him and then conveniently left his wallet at home when it was time to pay for their meals. Safe to say their honeymoon period did not last very long.
For some stupid reason, society tells us all to be strong and independent, but then also tells us that our partners should be buying us dinner/drinks/flowers/presents and everything else in between. Let me establish the truth here. New relationships set the precedent for how the rest of your relationship is going to go, and if you want an equal partnership, then you need to establish an equal and supportive relationship.
Now, I’m not saying that you should be stingy about this and ask your partner to transfer you the $4 you just spent buying coffee for them. Relationships aren’t about counting dollars and making sure that you are always on an equal slate. They are about supporting each other and establishing equality between the two of you.
How Do I Do This With My Partner?
My boyfriend and I both earn a pretty similar amount of money but, for me, it is still really important to ensure that he doesn’t feel as if he has to pay for everything. So, we make it a point to make sure that we take it in turns paying for most things including meals, dates and groceries etc but we don’t get caught up in which one of us is spending a few more dollars than the other one.
The main thing that we want to establish is that we both feel financially comfortable in this relationship, and it’s a lesson that I strongly recommend everyone learns.
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The Stingy Bitch
Based in Sydney, Australia.
Created in 2020.
This site and all of it’s contents are provided for entertainment purposes only and do not constitute personal financial advice. All products that are mentioned are general product advice only, not personal product advice. Not all options are presented and my opinions are subject to change. All content and posts have been prepared as a general summary only and is not intended to be financial advice with respect to any particular matter. This post should not be relied on with respect to any particular matter. If you have questions about any aspect of the content or this site or otherwise require personal financial advice, you ought to seek financial advice. The author disclaims liability to any person who relies on this post.
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