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Dancing Through Love and Money: My Guide for a Harmonious Partnership.

This month I wanted to share some reflections on the grand ballroom of life, love, and money, which has been my husband and I's journey. 


We have discovered that the beautiful dance between love and money is like a continuous waltz, where finding the right rhythm is an ongoing journey.

Piggy bank

Let me share a personal guide that has kept us in sync and ensured that our love and money tango is just right.


Set the right beat:


Is money the root of all evil? Hell, NO!


It's not about loving or despising money; it's about finding the right groove. Instead of seeing money as the ultimate evil, we see it for the possibilities it brings - security, opportunity, and the ability to make a positive impact. This shared mindset has set the stage for a dance that has lasted quite well.

No, money is not the root of all evil

As a financial educator, I know that attitudes to money affect people's relationships with money and with others. 


So, the lens I like to look at things through is "Is the glass half full or half empty?" 

Applying this to money, our approach as a couple has been that money is a tool that can either build or destroy, depending on how we use it. So instead of seeing money as the ultimate evil, we see it for what it can be - the security, the opportunity, and the ability to positively impact our lives and the lives of others.


Values Matter


Our values play a crucial role in shaping our life trajectories and how we finance them. Even when we share similar goals, such as envisioning retirement, our interpretations can vary significantly. It's important to acknowledge and discuss these differences to ensure mutual understanding and alignment for the future.


Consider your personal beliefs and values regarding finances. If you have children, factors like whether one parent plans to stay at home may influence your financial decisions. Are you both committed to advancing your careers or pursuing other passions or do you aspire to retire early and explore the world?


Conflicts often arise when partners' values are not in harmony.


For instance, if one partner enjoys spending while the other prioritises saving for future freedom, disagreements may arise. It's essential to communicate openly, honestly, and without judgement, endeavouring to understand each other's perspectives.

Effective communication is key to resolving differences and fostering mutual respect. By empathising with each other's viewpoints, we can navigate financial decisions together, ensuring that our values guide us toward shared goals and aspirations.


Our dance routine: Communication:


Our relationship is like a dance routine - literally! Money is one of the steps. Open, honest communication is our secret sauce. We share our financial goals, fears, and dreams. 


Practising active listening and making decisions together has kept our dance floor harmonious. It has also built trust and creativity because we are always thinking about what move can improve the flow.

Couple talking about money and finances

We discuss the seemingly silliest details and have done so from the beginning, which has set the pace for how we will continue. So, we talk about practically everything; nothing is off the table. 


Just a reminder: It's not about having the same financial background or income level; it's about respectfully finding common ground and aligning your financial visions.


Our unique Tempo:


Being a couple of colour has meant that our dance has had unique rhythms. 


From international influences to cultural shocks - (making a new country our home), societal expectations and personal aspirations have all had to blend into our routine. We have had to rely on each other to get our jive right. Creating a shared financial vision was a lifesaver for us. We started making every decision through the lens of that vision and goal setting, lifestyle choices, and so on became so much easier to navigate. 


If you have a unique dynamic, it helps to discuss your ancestral financial history, explore avenues for building wealth, and acknowledge any inherited challenges. This will strengthen your bond as a couple and create a united front against financial obstacles.


Choreograph financial Knowledge:


Financial literacy has become our superpower. When we first moved to the UK, we were astonished to discover research showing disparities in wealth and access to financial education, particularly in black communities. This struck a chord with us and we became very intentional about seeking out financial education and investment advice, eventually setting up MoneyMatiX to address this issue. 


Make it your mission to educate yourself and find the support you need, individually and as a couple, to break this cycle. 


Contemplating Debt Dynamics


The question of whether a person without debt should assume their partner's debt is a matter of personal perspective. However, consider a different scenario: if the debt-free individual suddenly received a substantial inheritance or won the lottery, would their partner anticipate sharing the windfall?


When we choose to intertwine our lives and finances, debt should be approached similarly to shared wealth – especially if both partners are committed to a long-term relationship. Combining finances signifies a deep level of commitment; therefore, it's crucial to be fully invested in the partnership.


If one struggles with financial management, embracing positive financial habits from their partner can be transformative. Growing together as a couple, adopting sound financial practices, and securing a stable future are paramount goals that can be achieved collaboratively. By doing so, couples can steer clear of debt and build a solid financial foundation for the journey ahead.


"Financial literacy is your passport to freedom; it allows you to dance on your terms." Tynah Matembe


Family Waltz: Children and Money


Having children added new steps to our rhythm. We now had other people who were completely dependent on our moves. We learned that providing a secure financial foundation for our family was an act of love. From my financial literacy-obsessed point of view, it is the most important gift I can give my children.


Teaching children about money, instilling the values of financial responsibility, and engaging them in age-appropriate financial discussions will help your family from day one and guide them to a healthy relationship with money later in life. Check out the Youth Money Camps as a starting point for your child's financial education.


"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverb


Date nights with our money:


Just as our relationship needs care, so does our money. 


Financial self-care means understanding our goals, creating a budget, and tracking our spending habits. It's about prioritising financial well-being as an act of self-love. Planning for the future is the tune that will last through any financial season. In our case, we have a money date night each week that we have come to thoroughly enjoy. At first, I thought it was overkill, but looking back on our early meetings, it is a testament to how far we have come and how much we have achieved. Give it a try and let me know what you think.


Strategic Retirement Preparation


As you gaze ahead into your shared future, consider the concept of "equalising your estate" – aiming for a balance of assets and income in each partner's name.

If one partner possesses a significantly larger pension fund, it may be beneficial to bolster the other partner's pension to a comparable level. Disparities in retirement income can lead to unfavourable tax implications. For instance, if one partner receives substantial pension income while the other relies solely on the state pension, the latter may not even reach their tax-free allowance. Equalising retirement income as a couple can optimise tax efficiency.


However, a potential hurdle arises when the partner with the larger pension pot is also the higher earner, resulting in higher tax payments in the present. This underscores the importance of open communication in joint decision-making processes.


By proactively addressing these financial considerations and communicating effectively, couples can strategically plan for retirement, ensuring a balanced and tax-efficient distribution of resources for their shared future.


My Useful additional resources 


The Money Advice Service (now part of MoneyHelper) is a site packed with useful articles to help you facilitate a conversation with your partner about money.  This article gives you lots of pointers for how to talk to your partner about money.  You Can read HERE


Relate (The Relationship People) is an extremely useful organisation designed to help you forge better relationships with people.  This organisation offers advice on relationship and money management. This is a really useful ‘relationship audit’ tool kit for better understanding your relationship on the site which I often recommend to people.  You can carry it out HERE  - 


The Citizens Advice: is known for offering free, reliable advice on legal and money issues, including how couples can manage their finances.  Check out there ‘debt and money’ section of their website, its packed with really useful advice and take-aways:  You can read their money articles HERE


The StepChange Debt Charity provides advice on how couples can deal with debt together, which can be a significant part of financial discussions in relationships.  Building a budget can help you and your partner understand where your money goes each month. Once you know who’ll pay for what, put the cost for each bill and living expense into a budgeting form. It'll also show how much money you have left over once all your living expenses are covered.  This is a really useful budgeting tool to give you guidance on how to prepare a joint budget.  You can use it HERE


Don't forget the ‘Media Sites’ - they are packed with good articles about relationships and finance.   A lot of the media sites contain useful articles about relationships and money.  For example, one good recent article was published on FORBES, you can read it HERE



Overcoming challenges together:


Financial challenges are part of every story; in a relationship, they will test the strength of your connection. Facing challenges as a team will strengthen your bond. Remember to seek professional advice when needed and maintain open communication to guide you through a major financial storm.


Finally, Embrace your unique rhythms, cultural nuances, and shared financial goals to make your relationship even more special. 


Make it a celebration of love and financial harmony. Here's to dancing through life's financial tango with the one you love.


May your love and money dance be as memorable as ours!


I cover a host of other money areas and topics in my ‘Grow Your Money’ Podcast which is available now to listen on all good platforms like Spotify.  You can catch the latest episode  HERE.

Let's work together to shape a generation prepared for financial success. 

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