Tuesday, December 12

Money, Before And After The Relationship

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The Importance of Money Before and After

Great, you are finally in a place in your life where everything has fallen into place.  You might be feeling secure and committed to the consideration of remaining with your partner for a lifetime.  All the years of dating and time spent searching for a compatible person to love could be over.  You feel secure and appreciate having found the partner that is willing to work on a future together.  The common advice for any couple in this situation is to make sure you really know the person you are with.  Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.   A lot of people are full of shame and don’t reveal the truth about their financial situation, due to mass amounts of debt.   The fear of revealing such a shameful financial circumstance can lead to hesitation and withholding of information. The truth will eventually be revealed and this can cause tension in a relationship as well.  I have known couples in love, discuss their debt, andhad one immediately retreat back to singlehood.  Unfortunately this can be a deal breaker for some.  Dealing with a partner with debt can trigger insecure emotions.   This leads to the question when is a good time to discuss your financial situation with the person you are dating.   For most it’s after the word love is involved.  Some brave people share immediately but take the chance of frightening potential life partners away. 

For those fortunate people who have found partners that are debtless and compatible, congratulations.  However, the novelty and excitement of finding love will eventually wear off.  The question comes up, “What’s the next step?”  In society we tend to go to this question immediately after the ecstatic feelings wear off.   It’s typical that we have this societal ‘norms’ question.   The answer to this next step question tends to be to find a home together.  Nesting is apparently inbred.  When we think of settling down, falling in love, and growing up, creating a home comes to mind.   The decision to give up the single life and trade it in for the opportunity to plunge into the life of companionship and mortgage is a big one.   The concept of this home ownership on your own might be impossible.  However, with the combination of salaries, you might experience the feeling of having the dream home possibility.  Your next dream could come true.  However, you know the saying ‘Be careful what you wish for’.  This can be the frightening portion of your relationship.   Visiting your bank and combining finances is a big step whether you are married or common law.  This can sometimes alter that dream of owning a home together, and for some cases can end a relationship.  However, if both you and your partner are in good financial standing the real estate nesting dream can become a reality. 

After the established home life appears does not mean there is no room for worry.   We all know that nothing in life is set in stone.  Change is constant and some desired.  I will try to focus on the positive changes that could be encountered that cause strain on relationships.  Sometimes we desire improvement, and simply more in life.   Once we make financial claim on our homes we are always looking for room to make improvements.   Some people go with the decision of a new kitchen or bathroom décor; and, some go to more extremes and would like an addition of a swimming pool in the backyard for those summer months with family and friends.   Home improvements can be a huge strain on a relationship with things such as monetary resources.  The more motivated and optimistic couples consider doing such things on their own and can be in for huge awakenings.  DIY can turn into a disaster financially and emotionally.  Time expectations, skills and experience are all things to consider and some couples simply do not work well together in these situations under the best of conditions.  Perhaps enrolling taking dancing classes together would be a more beneficial change.   

Many partners who ventured in the home renovation world have not returned the same.   I have known loving couples to split up after such costly decisions were made and finished.   Some marriages have been fortunate and have been saved with the help of marriage counselors.   Costly split ups have lead couples with the desire to terminate their ‘dream home’ idea immediately.   Knowing from experience it can be an extreme challenge having to share living arrangements with your ex partner.  A good real estate agent is usually a good choice and homes stagers can make a huge difference.   In these stressful situations you want to have the best resources for selling your home quickly and for a great price.  After the relationship, and idea of a happy home, has been broken, new living arrangements for both partners is beneficial.   The emotional pain and stress makes it even more motivating to sell your house or condo as soon as possible for the highest price potential.   To prevent The War of the Roses movie situation it’s healthier to put pride and finances aside and move on.  This could alleviate a lot of stress and help you to discover the real importance of a healthy relationship.

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