Protecting your relationship is as much important as it is difficult these days. Ever thought of debt being the culprit trying to meddle in or hurt your relationship with a loved one? Never say never – finances and money play a key role in any relationship. Excessive debt can surely make it an unhealthy and unhappy one, that’s for sure. Since it is the ‘month of love’ why not start making it a priority to protect your relationship from that ‘other partner’ also known as debt?
There are five key factors to make sure your relationship is protected from debt, the unwanted relationship wrecker:
- Have an open book policy – communicate about financial/spending habits
Open communication about finances or you and your partner’s money situation should not be left for ‘later in the relationship’ or ‘after the honeymoon shenanigans are over’. Times have changed and talking about money from the start in your relationship is not a taboo subject anymore. Ask questions and fish out about your partner’s spending habits, thoughts about finance and current saving methods. Make it a regular healthy, and not intrusive or offensive, discussion point. By learning from each other you grow, brainstorm and conquer financial woes or worries TOGETHER.
2. Proper considerations about financial (short-term and long-term) goals
Find your common ground when it comes to financial fundamentals and goals. Put your individual or combined plans on the table and negotiate/consider certain terms or conditions. It is indeed healthy to know where and what the going forward is when making financial decisions. And, keeping in mind those short-term (a holiday/Valentine’s Breakaway weekend, for example) or long-term (retirement options, for example) plans you BOTH have or still need to consider as well.
3. Pinpoint the debt(s) that is (/are) causing the most damage in your relationship
It might so happen that you are feeling the financial strain of debt already. What unsecured debts do you currently have that are causing stress in your relationship? Try to pay off your debt bit by bit, and why not start with your highest interest rated debt that you (or your partner) have (/has)? Does the word CREDIT CARD come to mind or ring a bell? Perhaps you and your partner have not one but two or three of these. Do your research well, get the assistance you need and think in the line of consolidating your debt.
4. Find sustainable and suitable solutions to FIX YOUR DEBT together
Teamwork is crucial when it comes to fixing your debt situation. If you already worked on a budget, and various solutions (paying off debt bit by bit, for example) together as a couple but none have worked so far, Debt Review or Counselling is an option to consider.
Do note – you should never wait until a summons is handed to you. If you see that you are going to fall, or are falling behind with payments, rather do thorough research and consider a Debt Counselling solution. During the process of Debt Counselling the court can declare you over-indebted, and a registered debt counsellor will then assist you to take a look at other necessary details. For example, if it will be a single or joint application that you need to do, or how to restructure a new budget according to your needs. Remember: Debt Review is NOT a payment holiday BUT if you want to protect your assets (a car/house) and rehabilitate yourself out of debt, it can indeed be a sustainable and suitable solution for you and/or your partner.
5. Continue to keep your relationship strong through tough financial times
It’s true – you learn from experience. So, continue an improved fight for your relationship. But, this time with the right partner by your side. Don’t let the ‘other partner’ – in other words – debt, ever try to intervene again. Stay true to yourself and your relationship –focus on open communication, good financial habits and know that even tough times do pass.
Protect your relationship from debt. When it comes to your partner – be quick to listen, slow to react and make financially savvy choices TOGETHER. You BOTH deserve it and definitely won’t regret it.