The Money, Honey: Five Characteristics Of A Healthy Relationship … With Your Money

By Steve Repak, CFP® ~

It is not healthy to love something that can’t love you back, and money is one of those things. Money also can’t buy you love, but it can give you choices. And just as the following five characteristics are needed for a strong and healthy relationship, they can also be applied for a strong and healthy relationship with your money.

1. Honesty
The foundation of a strong healthy relationship is one that is built on trust and honesty. That same type of honesty is needed with your money. Debt is one of those issues that people are not honest with themselves about. Debt is bad but people try to justify having debt because others have it.  The same goes with not putting enough money into savings, or towards retirement.  Don’t allow other peoples’ actions or should I say inactions keep you from being honest when it comes to your money. Being honest is the ability to admit when you are wrong.

Remember: Just as honesty is the best policy when you are in a relationship with a person, being honest with how you are handling your money is the first step towards making healthy decisions with your finances.

2. Sacrifice
There probably isn’t one thing that you wouldn’t give for the person you love. A healthy relationship requires give and take and there are many times you have to give things up in the name of love. Some of the smallest sacrifices can really add up especially when you make them for that special person in your life. Some of the smallest sacrifices with money also can add up.  Your $4.00 a day coffee habit doesn’t seem like much but over a month it adds up to $120.

Remember: Find other small sacrifices you can make when it comes to your spending and it might not seem much to you now but they definitely can add up for a big surprise later.

3. Time

Spending quality time with your partner does not mean sitting in front of a TV. That doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking hour with them either. Quality can often be better than quantity.  How much time do you spend on your finances? Are you spending any quality time with your money?  You should make a date with your finances at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be a long time, maybe just 30 minutes. Use that time to review your current financial situation, refine your spending plan, make adjustments to your retirement plan, or maybe read some articles about money management.

Remember: Spending time on your finances is the only way to know where you want to be and if you are on the right track to get there.

4. Commitment
When the going gets tough do you get going? A committed relationship is one that is not only strong through the good times but more importantly it’s strong during times of crisis and uncertainty. When times are bad during a relationship it is very easy to give up and throw in the towel. There will be times you feel the same about your finances. You think there is no hope and it would be easier to just give up. By staying positive, flexible, and committed, there isn’t anything you can’t do.

Remember: Just as a strong and healthy relationship won’t happen overnight, neither will that happen with your finances. Keep an eye on long-term prize.

5. Balance
A relationship will not last if you are always giving or always taking. There has to be a balance.  Finances work along the same concept. Save, save, save will lead to resentment while spend, spend, spend will lead you to the poorhouse. There is nothing wrong with spending some money on the people you love or the things you like to do.

Remember: Extremes seldom work so make sure you incorporate a little balance into your relationship and your finances. You will greatly improve your odds of success.

A strong and healthy relationship does not always come easy, but with a little work it is absolutely within reach as long as you are honest, you are willing to make sacrifices, you devote some quality time together, you remain committed, and finally, there is a little give and take.  Anything worth having is worth working for and that goes for a healthy relationship with the one you love or a healthy relationship with your money!

About the Author:

Steve Repak, CFP® is the author of “Dollars & Uncommon Sense: Basic Training for Your Money.” For more information, please visit,


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