The place for love is included in the budget. Finance from a woman’s perspective
There are still a lot of women who feel confused or don’t understand the issue when it comes to financial planning. They think talking about finance with their spouse or partner is an unnecessary, boring act, which involves too many unhealthy emotions, and that it is better to leave any financial decisions up to them. They also think that daily life is full of sacrifice – work, children, household chores, etc., so when they finally have some time for their relationship, they prefer to focus on its romantic aspect and talk about an upcoming holiday, or at least a fancy dinner out for two. This is very important, don’t get me wrong, however… even those events have to be paid for.
Finance is a part of our lives whether you like it or not and financial ‘hygiene’ is as important as healthy teeth. If they become rotten you won’t be able to enjoy the delicious, mouthwatering variety of food in the world, and similarly if you don’t take care of your financial situation and planning, there might be even more trouble related to it.
Let me tell you a very short, true story from my own life:
Almost eight years ago, shortly before our wedding, by a small lake somewhere in a forest where we were going for a walk, my “soon to be” husband asked me: “Kasia, maybe we should just talk about finances and focus on their daily planning?”
I, a typical woman, reacted to it as being struck by lightning – “And where is the place for love?!” This topic seemed to me like a cold, technical thing, completely bereft of feelings. My patient and loving husband explained to me very slowly that it is all connected, almost like communicating vessels. “Did you know that a major factor of divorces are financial trouble?” he asked.
At the beginning I took his point with a pinch of salt, but later on it turned out that understanding finance is quite easy, and even interesting.
Andrzej (my husband), who has been dealing with financial education for many years, taught me – among other things – what financial statements are, how to control spending money and what emergency capital is. Thanks to these simple mechanisms we could plan our household budget better, and make sure we didn’t run out of cash in case of an emergency.
I started to get into it; after the next seminar of financial education, I reached for some books and asked my husband (who later wrote a book and created an online course as well as leading seminars) about everything in this topic. I learned how to plan, achieve goals and avoid difficulties.
Our common life started to have a better quality, not only in the financial sphere, but also in our marriage as a whole. It was very important for us to have this communication on a financial level, especially learning a lot about each other, and knowing what our spending patterns and issues are. It helped us to go through the ‘lean years’ when we weren’t especially well off but it also strengthened our bonds and relationship.
I think if we hadn’t clarified our (not ‘my’ or ‘his’) finances before, we might have not lasted in our marriage. But we managed to successfully control our money and the emotions connected to it, so that it doesn’t influence our marriage and other aspects of our lives.
Obviously, this also helped us in our financially flourishing times, as we could plan our spendings and not follow the impulsive buyer’s model.
When we moved to London five years ago, we decided to continue our activity, and this led Andrzej to create The Financial Manifesto project and me to become interested in financial coaching. All because I know (by my own example) that this knowledge can help remarkably, regardless of whether you have a family or not.
And it really is as the title says – the place for love is included in the budget – word for word…