Valentine’s Day is the most important day all year, when it comes to your financial life. You didn’t’ misread that. Assuming you have a significant other with which you share a financial life, Valentine’s Day is your opportunity to right your financial wrongs. Obviously, this warrants more of an explanation.
Think through any given year. Thanksgiving leads to the average person reassessing their thankfulness and generosity. Easter and Christmas tends to impact our spiritual sensibilities. New Years Day has us thinking that we can kick old habits, and replace them with new healthy habits. And then there’s Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is your chance to demonstrate your love and your commitment to your partner. Not with flowers, jewelry, or delicious wine, although delicious wine helps, but with your long term commitment to your relationship. Flowers can’t do this.
Let’s digress for a moment. Is there anything better than being in perfect harmony with your significant other? Think about a time when you and your partner were on the exact same page. I’m not talking about something superficial, like where to go to dinner. I’m talking about your compete agreement on something important. Maybe it was your agreement to have children. Maybe it was your decision to accept a new job. Or maybe it was a decision to get married, in the first place. Do you know what’s even better than all of those things? Financial harmony with your significant other. One of the leading causes of both marital stress and divorce is financial disagreement. If left untreated, financial discord within a relationship will destroy the relationship. Flowers can’t fix this.
Valentine’s Day is your opportunity to bring permanent stability to your household finances, as an unselfish act of love. What builds a relationship? Honesty is certainly a good start. Vulnerability helps the cause. And accountability is always a good choice. I’m suggesting that you employe all three of these things in one fell swoop, by bringing up money on the one day that you wouldn’t think to bring up money: Valentine’s Day.
We all have financial failings. Whether you spend too much dining out everyday for lunch, or you are taking unnecessary risks with your investments, your financial challenges are hindering your relationship. You may not think they are, but they are. The question is: why? Because you know that you aren’t making the best decisions for your family unit, yet you are willfully acting in absolute disregard of your financial future. This isn’t cool. This isn’t honest. And this isn’t loving. What if on Valentine’s Day you said something to this effect? I got to thinking what would better our relationship. My thoughts turned immediately to what I could do better to improve my habits for the benefit of our relationship. At times, I haven’t shown the financial leadership that is needed to bring our family security. This will change.
At first glance, there’s nothing less romantic than money. But upon closer examination, being in financial harmony with your partner is the ultimate in romance. There is romance in finance.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.