Knowing financial intimacy, its impact on relationships

Unlocking the Power of Financial Intimacy
Representational image. Photo: IANS

New Delhi: As the world is yet to be fully awake from the trance of St. Valentine's Day celebration, a pertinent issue that must be discussed by young and older couples is Financial Intimacy. Financial intimacy is the level of comfort, trust, and transparency between partners regarding money matters.

As per Richa Hora, an internationally certified relationship coach and founder of Metaanoi, "Open and honest conversations about each other lays a good foundation for any healthy relationship and this includes financial honesty as well."

Because it has an impact on someone's happiness, stability, and general well-being, financial intimacy is important. Financial intimacy between partners increases the likelihood that they will cooperate and make wise decisions towards shared objectives. Long term, this may result in a partnership that is healthier and more stable.

According to a recent ETWealth survey, only 30 per cent of Indians have confidence in their partners' financial judgement. According to 26 per cent of the respondents, financial disputes arose as a result of their partner hiding financial problems. The secrets of financial intimacy between couples will be revealed in this article, which will also touch on many elements of it.

The following are the best ways to consolidate your finances in a relationship:

Communication and Trust: Building Blocks of Financial Intimacy

The foundation of financial intimacy is communication and trust. Almost 55 per cents of the respondents to a recent online survey stated that they have frequent fights over money with their life partners. Therefore, partners must be open and honest about their finances, which creates a strong bond between them. This involves discussing their financial goals, spending habits, debts, and other financial issues that may impact the relationship. Partners can build trust and avoid misunderstandings by being transparent about their finances.

Money Management and Shared Goals: A Path to Financial Intimacy

As a couple, setting and achieving shared financial goals is essential for developing financial intimacy. This involves making a budget, tracking expenses, and saving for the future. Having shared financial goals helps partners work together towards a common purpose and provides a sense of accomplishment. When both partners are committed to managing their money effectively, it can strengthen the relationship and create a solid foundation for the future.

Joint vs. Separate Finances: What Works Best for You

Whether to have joint or separate finances is a decision each couple must make based on their circumstances. Both approaches have pros and cons, and making an informed decision that works best for the relationship is essential. Suppose a couple wants to take a personal loan; it's necessary to decide if it will be a joint loan or if each partner will take a separate loan. It's crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each approach and choose what works best for the relationship. As per the report, about 43 percent of couples who are married, in a civil partnership, or living together have joint assets.

Overcoming Challenges in Financial Intimacy

Like any aspect of a relationship, financial intimacy comes with its own set of challenges. Couples may need help with debt management, different spending habits, and money. To overcome these challenges, it's essential to be transparent, open, and honest about money matters. Financial infidelity is a threat in relationships where couples start hiding their finances. As per the report, more than 75 per cent of the couples who reported financial infidelity stated it had harmed their relationships. 10 per cent said that financial transgressions also led to divorce. Couples can improve their financial intimacy by implementing the following tips: creating a budget, setting joint financial goals, seeking professional advice, and regularly reviewing progress.

The Role of Coaching in Financial Intimacy

Financial coaching can be crucial in resolving financial disagreements and developing financial intimacy. Couples can get the support and guidance they need to overcome economic challenges and improve their financial intimacy by working with a coach. Hora guides, "If money is often the source of arguments in the relationship, it's time to come together and find a way to openly discuss your pain points on finances even if your partner is not happy about it. Avoiding concerns and sources of friction will not let both partners be in peace and will only complicate things further."

Additionally, according to a survey conducted by the Financial Planning Association, approximately 71 per cent of couples who received financial planning advice reported an improvement in their relationship. Moreover, the survey found that couples who received financial planning advice were more likely to work together towards their financial goals, as well as communicate openly about their finances, and feel more secure about their future.

The Future: Planning Together

Planning for the future is an essential aspect of financial intimacy. This includes retirement planning, inheritance planning, and estate planning. When partners plan together, they can ensure they are both on the same page and working towards common goals. Couples can ensure they are on the same page by regularly discussing and planning for their financial futures. They feel confident about their financial futures and experience a more robust and secure relationship.

Financial intimacy is a critical element in relationships, and it's worth the effort to work on it. By communicating openly, setting shared financial goals, and making informed decisions about their finances, couples can strengthen their bond and build a secure future together. Actionable steps couples can take to improve their financial intimacy include:

» Setting joint financial goals

» Creating a budget

» Opening joint accounts

» Being transparent

» Seeking professional advice

» Avoiding money secrets

» Regularly reviewing progress

With commitment and effort, financial intimacy can lead to a more fulfilling and secure relationship.

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