General Insurance Article - Put the finance into romance this Valentines Day

Aon has said that with Valentine's Day looming, romance is inevitably front of mind for the UK's couples. But - at the risk of pouring cold water on young love – and with money matters in the top three reasons for divorce, should today's couples be thinking about putting the finance into romance?

 Karina Klimaszewski, partner at Aon, said: “While no-one is going to turn down red roses and chocolates, too often it's financial matters - and differences - that cause break-ups. Compatibility is all important in a relationship and that can extend to views on running your finances if one of you is more naturally a saver and the other a spender.
 “It might pay dividends in the long term to have a frank discussion on these matters to gain an understanding before a relationship progresses. Aside from the day-to-day, people will often talk about family, political beliefs or religion, as well as about their dreams, career ambitions and travel goals. But if money – and attitudes to it - are discussed, it’s usually at a superficial level.”
 Karina Klimaszewski continued: “Research shows that we develop attitudes to money by the age of seven and that these stay with us for our lifetime. You might be someone who gets a dopamine rush from spending, whereas your partner has an aversion to waste. Neither of these are wrong, it is who we are. Ideally, we should enjoy the act of spending money on ourselves and loved ones when we can, but also develop the habit to save.
 “Understanding if your partner’s natural behaviour is different to yours is key to taking the stress out of relationship finances. They say opposites attract and, if you recognise it, it can still be a match made in financial heaven.”
 It might pay to choose the right moment, but initially we would suggest asking yourselves these key questions:
 - Do you spend your wages as soon as you get them, or do you worry about going below your safety limit?
 - What are your ‘must-haves’ for the next week. How do these compare to your partner?
 - Why are the ‘must-haves’ important to each of you?
 When you have the answers, you can work together to identify three things you can do to achieve those ‘must-haves.’
 Karina Klimaszewski said: “We have worked with organisations and their employees, offering a suite of behavioural-based education tools aimed at building financial confidence and helping employees understand their attitudes to money – which, of course, is important whatever your relationship status.
 “But the emphasis is as much on the emotional side as the financial side – how do you feel about spending or saving? The aim is to get everyone to a minimum level of confidence in order that they can take more targeted financial actions when needed. Who knows, this Valentine’s Day, a few frank questions over a candle-lit dinner might just make life a lot less stressful.”

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