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Money is considered one of the leading reasons cited for divorce, just behind infidelity. Lovers, spouses, and even lifelong partners have called it quits because of financial problems. Sometimes, it’s because one person is overly dependent on their partner’s salary. Other times, it’s because neither side can agree on what to use their money for.
First, let’s explain what it means to be “financially ready”. People often misunderstand this as someone who is incredibly rich or invested in money. Here’s a harsh reality check: not every millionaire is going to be stable, and there are many examples of rich people who’ve lost all their cash.
So, what does it take for someone to be financially ready? In essence, you should be someone who can manage their money and their expenses well. You don’t need a high-paying job to be financially ready, although a good salary never hurts. Rather, you should be mindful of what you earn and how you use it. To help paint the picture, here are some key traits of financially ready people.
A financially ready person is someone confident and secure in the money they have. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t mean that someone has a gigantic budget. Instead, it’s the idea that they know they can pay and protect their money well. Think of a person who is given $50 to make a fancy meal and, however shocking it may seem, they use their money wisely to do so.
Here’s a perfect example of a financially secure person: create a grocery list of everything you need and want to buy for the week. Consider every single detail in your list, from the snack aisle to the food pantry. Now, look at your weekly savings or salary. Does that grocery list feel like something you can buy and manage?
Financially ready people are aware of how much they can afford and what they don’t need. While they can spend some extra dough on luxuries like a nice massage or a tasty sundae, they won’t do so if it’s going to hurt their budget. In other words, they can manage their cash because they have the discipline to know when they can have fun and when they should be serious.
A financially ready person is someone who has a keen eye for how much things cost. You might think that having a keen eye means finding the cheapest possible deals. In a way, you’re right; someone who is mindful of their money can know what is the best price or cost for what they want.
However, having a keen eye also means knowing if it’s worth investing in or not. Being stingy or overprotective with your cash might sound noble until you realize how bad things can be. Imagine someone who sticks with a second-hand car that constantly breaks down or needs repairs. They insist that they don’t need a better car because they don’t want to spend the extra money. Compared to that, a person who does buy a good car and takes proper care of it shows a lot more awareness for getting the most out of the dollar.
For instance, look at Warren Buffett. He’s the richest man in the world and has billions to his name. At the same time, he owns a simple sedan and eats breakfast at McDonald’s. Even if he can afford a Lamborghini and a Michelin Star meal, he chooses to live with what he needs instead of what he wants. It’s that kind of keen eye that you’ll want, the kind that can tell if a person cares more about living well rather than living rich.
Some people might have a lot of cash but they also like to be stubborn with their bills. They refuse anything less than what they know, even if it’s a bad investment. For example, an investor who puts all their money into buying Apple shares might get some cash. However, if they don’t give up or sell when it matters, their Apple shares might end up being less valuable than when they were bought.
Again, look to Warren Buffett as a good example. Though he may be tight-fisted with his cash, Warren’s willing to spend the right amount of money for what he believes is a good deal. He made his name for making surprising investments based on companies that he felt were of high-quality service, not of popularity.
In that same vein, someone who is flexible with their spending habits is willing to go the extra if it means well. For instance, you may not need health insurance ever in your life. You might be one of the lucky few to never get sick at any point. That said, a flexible spender is someone willing to do so just in case. They know they can change the terms of their plan, but that it’ll pay off in the long run. Plus, they’re also willing to spend a little extra to treat their loved ones well.
Lastly, a financially ready person is someone who has plans for the future. In all of the previous traits, you’ll notice that each example leans towards living a happy and stable life. If you want to be financially ready, you need a plan for what you’ll do with your money. It’s not just about what purchase you need to make for next month; instead, think much longer and dedicate yourself to a goal you want to achieve.
For example, if you’re looking for love, being financially ready doesn’t just mean having enough cash for your dates. You might be the kind of romantic who wants to settle down one day and live happily ever after. You might also be the kind of romantic who wants to build a safe and stable future with that special person. One financial goal you can have is to make that future possible. Think of investing in funds for buying a house or sharing expenses.
It’s that kind of forward-thinking that tells others about what you want. In this case, it shows that you want to be in love, and you’re willing to make the effort to find it.
Now that you know how a financially ready person is, you might be wondering whether or not you are one. Being financially ready to enter any relationship, especially marriage requires a lot of openness and trust. Here are six telltale signs that you and your current or would-be partner are ready to go to the next level.
One of the biggest reasons why marriages can fail from money issues is the lack of trust. There are many instances when cheating or unhappy couples seem to lie to one another about their spending habits. This event connects to stories of infidelity, where partners found out about the affair because of odd or out-of-place expenses.
If you and your partner are open about your money, both in spending and earning, it’s a good sign for a relationship. Being financially responsible also means being open about the money you earn and what you use it for. Whether you have personal hobbies, like cosplaying, or long-term goals, like stock investment, your partner should know what you use your cash for. That kind of trust shows a level of understanding and care that you won’t find in anyone else.
Any relationship you enter will never be a one-sided deal. The key to true happiness in both a loving and a financial relationship is when both sides get what they want. That’s why you have to remember that true love happens when compromise is met.
If you want to make a sincere connection, you must be ready to know where to stand your ground and where to compromise. A financially ready person knows which lines they are willing to cross if it means keeping a relationship.
For example, you might not have planned for kids at first, but if you’re willing to bear the financial weight of parenthood, that’s a good sign. If not, you have to make that clear to your partner. Only by learning where you both stand can you find happiness, whether it’s with each other or with other people.
If you look at all the couples in the United States, you’ll find that about 75% share a bank account. Whether it’s to pay bills or to spend on personal dates, these accounts are part of the package deal when you commit to somebody. So, if you want to enter into a relationship, you must be willing to share their expenses.
To clarify, however, it’s not to say that you should be the sole bearer. A true relationship happens when you and your partner work together to cover the costs. Otherwise, having only one person manage all that money makes it feel imbalanced and unfair. It’s the difference between having a sponsor and having a loving partner, so remember that difference.
If you meet someone whom you’d like to be with, check your emergency funds. You may find it surprising that over 70% of Americans don’t have one at all. If you’re one of these people, it’s time for you to start building one.
An emergency fund is a backup budget that you can use to pay off important and unexpected problems. Think of serious emergencies and scenarios where a lot of money might be needed, like a car crash or an operation. If you have an emergency fund, you can help yourself or your loved ones when things get dire.
For relationships, an emergency fund is proof that you are prepared to deal with all kinds of problems. Too many couples break up or get into fights because they’ve been hit with sudden unexpected costs, like pet health problems or housing damages. If you want to show your partner that you are ready, you need to have some kind of backup funds for these problems. Do this, and you’ll always have a safe bet when handling a crisis of any kind.
Many couples like to spend tons of cash on their dates, whether it’s a quick trip to the mall or a getaway vacation to the Bahamas. Whatever dating plan you have, it’s important to remember that you can’t always spend your money like a maniac. A financially ready person is both understanding and accepting of the times when you just can’t afford what you want.
If you want to show that you are financially ready, you have to know when and where to spend for fun. Sometimes, you might have outstanding bills or upcoming payments that need immediate attention. While it’s tempting to brush them off for a fun hotel night, don’t lose sight of what you need. If your partner loves you, they will understand why you can’t always spend.
The same goes for you, too. If your partner can’t afford to dish out the cash for a getaway or a nice weekend, don’t be so hasty in losing your temper. Look at their reasons and see why they believe it would be too problematic. While you can treat them once in a while, remember that they might also want to show their financial independence. If priorities in their life mean no date night, be respectful and adjust. You could also recommend cheaper dates to enjoy time together, like a stay-at-home movie or a nice homemade dinner.
Studies show that one of the biggest concerns for newlyweds is debt and overdue payments. It’s a problem whether you are walking down the aisle or signing a document for a lifetime partnership. Debts and unpaid expenses can be a nightmare, and the best way to be financially ready is to have no undue payments.
Look at what expenses or loans you still need to cover now. Are there outstanding bills for your student debt or your rental fees? If so, do what you can to pay them off, or explain to your partner how you’re handling it. Remember, love is a partnership, not an excuse to foist all your problems on someone else. Only by showing that you are capable of taking care of yourself can you be ready to step up and share a life of love with someone else.
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