Valentine’s Day is meant to be about romance, but before you swoon over the red roses, it’s also a good time to remind yourself how important it is to safeguard your financial life.
Here are some bad habits, and we don’t mean buying plastic roses for your love, to dump right now:
Expecting your partner to look after you financially - Blessers and sugar daddies are not a good investment. Nothing is guaranteed. Even in a solid relationship where your partner brings in all the income, you could lose that person overnight, or end up divorced. How will that affect you financially?
Staying in a bad relationship because you can’t afford to get out - Talk to your financial adviser about putting together a plan that gives you an emergency fund if you need to leave quickly as well as how you can manage on your own in the future.
Being ignorant about policies - If your financial planning includes life cover in the event of your partner’s death, make sure the correct people are nominated as beneficiaries i.e you and/or your children. Check the details on an ongoing basis and to make sure that the policy is still valid and all premiums are up to date.
Handing over full responsibility for joint finances to your partner - You need to know what your relationship’s full financial status is if you are financially together as well as emotionally. You should know each other’s assets and debts if you could be held liable for the debt. On joint accounts make sure you are a joint signatory, especially bond or investment accounts. Don’t be scared to step up to knowing what your financial picture looks like.
Not knowing your financial status – You need to know where you stand when it comes to things like emergency savings, retirement savings, whether you are paying the lowest possible rate for the best insurance, bank costs, interest on credit cards. Save on an expensive night out by lighting some candles and sitting together to discuss your financial commitments and goals.
Break up with unfaithful service providers- Is your bank or insurance company still giving you the best possible deal and best rates? Do you always have to check that they are not over charging? Do you still need the life cover you are paying for? Find out if you are getting the best deal and dump the provider who doesn’t treat you the best they can. Just because you have put a lot of time in the relationship with them doesn’t meant they are looking after your interests.
Not consulting a certified financial planner - Work out together where you want to be in a year or two, and check if those dreams are financially secure by consulting a broker, it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with financial insecurity if things go bottoms up.
Not having a will - Where there’s a will there is certainty, especially if you have children. Draw one up and make sure that it is regularly updated as your circumstances change. Make sure your partner also has a valid and sensible will as you will have to deal with the repercussions if they didn’t have one. It’s a good idea to do it professionally so that there can’t be any disputes and make sure you update if your relationship status changes.
While love and romance are great to celebrate, they can just be commercial temptations that stop you seeing the wood for the trees. Enjoy, but from a point of financial empowerment.