The month of love is officially here and with Valentine’s Day being just around the corner, it would be fair-minded of you to take a look at relationships from a financial point of view for a change…
If you look at marriage for example, research via Statistics South Africa (STATS SA) highlights that four in ten divorces were marriages that lasted fewer than ten years.
What do you personally think is the main factor for couples to part ways or experience strain in relationships? And, what can YOU do to avoid going the break-up route (whether you are married or not) – especially if you consider the financial aspects and implications involved?
It is important to bear in mind that a relationship is not a one-sided investment, and focus should be placed on you and your partner’s emotional, physical, psychological (mental), as well as financial needs.
As an adviser in the debt related field, Carla Oberholzer from DebtSafe, takes a look at the financial aspect when it comes to relationships and, therefore, shares five recommendations that can help fix or prevent debt to mess around with your relationship:
1. ‘Sexually Transmitted DEBT’ – say what?
Before thinking of entering or exiting a relationship, be aware of what ‘Sexually Transmitted Debt’ entails. In a case where debt obligations were usually taken care of together, if you or your partner departs/ends the relationship, your financial agreements can take their toll.
You or your ex can be left with extra financial burdens, for example, the flat’s rent (full amount) or servicing his/her/your new car’s payments.
Yes, your partner’s debt may amount to R30 000, but what about your daily takeaway meals and shopping sprees?
2. Acknowledge financial issues on both sides
No need for playing victim if you think that your partner’s debt is more than yours. What destructive, little debt-filled habits does your partner keep up with? Yes, your partner’s debt may amount to R30 000, but what about your daily takeaway meals and shopping sprees?
Ever thought about that? No matter how big or small – admit that you and your better half may both have a problem or current habit that leads to financial strain and that needs improvement.
3. Communication can help you get on the same page
By now you are aware of each of your weaknesses or current ‘financial leaks’, so what is the purpose of acknowledgement without proper two-way communication?
Speak to your significant other in a positive manner and outline a goal or plan on how you are going to tackle your debt problem(s). Have regular discussions and stay on the same page.
Not only is communication a good idea but to do something about it TOGETHER can make your relationship so much stronger.
4. Working together can be the key to avoid a departure
Not only is communication a good idea but to do something about it TOGETHER can make your relationship so much stronger. You should not only communicate, but also, work on your shortcomings and vice versa. Try to implement daily routines that will encourage your partner to tackle the load and that can show him or her that you are both in this together no matter what.
5. “It’s too late” – How to fix the mess debt has left your relationship with
Don’t let debt be the reason to give up on your relationship. If you and your partner have followed the first four recommendations, and you continue to feel stuck in a messy situation, get assistance NOW. It is never too late to go and speak to your banker, a financial planner or in serious scenarios (where you want to avoid losing a house or car), a debt counsellor.
Don’t let DEBT be the reason ‘to part you and your love’s ways’. Be aware of and try the above tips to fix your financial situation for an improved relationship and a debt-free tomorrow.