On the occasion of Valentine’s day last week, our entire workplace was caught in a discussion about a remark made by a colleague who said that financial planning is the most romantic thing for a couple to do together.
The discussion turned serious when another colleague narrated the example of a couple who wanted to create a financial plan, and in the process of creating one, got into an heated argument that threatened to show no signs of ending anytime soon. This discussion reminded me of another incident, where a couple started the process of collecting data and after 4 hours started blaming each other for increasing credit card bills. The worst thing that happened here was that they refused to agree on goals after this argument.

These two incidents led us to think, is financial planning actually romantic? And does it harm a couple more than help them?

I have seen that financial planning compels couples to tackle issues that may be present but are never spoken about. A couple may not ever discuss issues like “How do you plan to take care of your ageing parents?” or “What do you want to do after your retirement?” The financial planning process helps them to:

1. Become self-aware about their individual expectations

2. Understand their partner’s expectations

3. Arrive at a common conclusion/ decision on how they jointly envision their life ahead.

I once met a couple who were totally unaware about each other’s financial decisions or how those decisions were impacting them. There were a lot of shocks and surprises. “Oh, groceries are so expensive?” “You give the child pocket money?” “My laziness in not packing your lunch is costing so much?” They seemed to be rediscovering their partner all over again. It also appeared that they started respecting and appreciating each other much better after the exercise.

Some people might perceive that the absence of arguments and disagreements is the indication of a strong and healthy marriage. However, the absence may also be due to the fact that the couple never actually discuss the problems at hand. Disagreements on how money is managed go a long way in the way couples deal with each other and in some cases even value each other.

When two people are together in a union like marriage, it is important that they align their dreams and goals. Often couple do not do this prior to marriage. Hence, it becomes all the more important that they do it at least now that they are married.

It is always advisable for young couples to start financial planning before they get married. When two people plan to live together for a long time, it’s important that each of them understands their spouse’s perception about money.

Getting in touch with one’s deepest concerns, sharing it openly with the spouse, dreaming of a happy and secure future, looking forward to growing old together in each other’s arms – sounds so romantic.

Financial planning is one of the best things anybody could do. If you didn’t do it this Valentine’s Day, then do it now. After all the season of love doesn’t have to be restricted to one day,right?

Romancing with financial planning
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