In addition to the flowers, the chocolate, and the good champagne, remember these lasting financial planning ways to say I Love You every day to your dearest Valentine:
Follow the Golden Rule
Be as honest and accountable to your mate as you would like them to be with you about spending decisions and preferences.
Be Generous in Spirit
Everyone needs some money for which they are not accountable. Don’t crowd your partner on agreed upon spending freedoms.
Keep good records–or if you are not the record-keeper, cooperate with the person who does do the record-keeping.
Instead of judging, pigeon-holing, or assuming you know what’s going on, be ready to learn. Why does your partner have the financial views and habits that they do? What in your personal history would it be helpful for your partner to understand?
Take a United Stand
Money issues with the children, with the in-laws, and with your friends all go better when you agree to have a united front. Figure out your differences and compromises in private. Support each other in public.
Your future standard of living depends in large part how much you save today. Agree on how much you will save. Set it up for automatic implementation. Take joint pride in progress.
Agree on the timing and content of regular “state of our finances” conversations. Be careful to neither hog decision-making or, for whatever reason, refuse to engage. Find the middle ground where you are both aware of and contributing to important financial decisions.
Be There For Each Other
Career upheavals, investment mistakes, spending whoops, and scary medical expenses, both of your own and in the extended family–we all have them. Face them together, as a team.
Keep it fun and forward moving. Celebrate the small successes and the big accomplishments. Affirm. Celebrate. Enjoy. Succeed.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Originally published: February 12, 2014