Sometimes few people enter our lives to teach us something or make us understand what we really want. I have been dating for several years and I never had any clue of the kind of guy that I want to date. I had a rough idea. Only a few months, I realised what are my non-negotiables are. Yes, one of them has do it with money.
Before you label me as shallow, let me explain. I am not ignoring values like honesty, trust, respect, friendship etc. Otherwise, how will we bond in the first place if we our core values don’t align.
One of the three non-negotiable quality in a partner is having the same money values. Same money values means having same outlook towards money and money habits. How much he exactly earns will come much later.
If someone earns Rs. 5 lakhs a month, but has a ton of bad debt (pending credit card dues, EMIs on phone), that someone does not figure in my list.
Money tends to be the nmber one reason for divorce or fights between couples. I don’t want fight over money issues. We would rather discuss it. Staying with another person is hard enough. I don’t want to make it harder. We have our goals to focus on and having someone with compatible money habits will make it easier to navigate testing times.
For me, financial compatibility also means that we love spending money on related areas. For e.g., books, retreats and other things that can help us to flourish. This means buying more assets than liabilities. To understand about assets and liabilities, you can read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad and Poor Dad.
Earlier, I used to think that I can help my partner develop good money habits and that it should not be one of my non-negotiables. However, in the current stage, I think otherwise. If the person is mature enough to earn and commit, bad good money habits is not something to be ignored.
Just like a lot of things in life, our family and environment plays a vital role in the formation of our money habits. A compatible money mindset is not just about money, it is more about the ways we were raised. And childhood is a very important phase because the things that we learn in our formative years stays with us lifelong.
And in the formation of a partnership, money plays an important role. As it forms a fundamental aspect of who I am, and my life going forward, I would like to share my life with someone who supports me and has the same money values. The nuances of money management can be taught, but an altogether opposite outlook on money will be too hard for me to take.
E.g., I love saving money. I find delaying my short term joys for long term goals very meaningful. On the other hand, there are people who don’t believe in the concept of saving and think it is useless to save for the future. They will tell that future is uncertain and they may not live till 60 or the next ten years. Both the mindsets have not developed in isolation. It is a product of the environment. Hence, it will be very difficult for me to team up with such a person.
Money is not just meant to pay our bills and buying liabilities to show other people and maintain status quo. Having money is freedom, the freedom to have time to do things we want and spend time with people we actually care. Money gives the opportunity to serve more and have a bigger impact. Money is having the power to say ‘fuck off‘ to people who don’t deserve us.