The Financial Perks of Being In An Equal Relationship
Life is a lot easier with a partner who is on board to split all of life’s responsibilities
People hate to admit their privilege. It’s a hard pill to swallow. To have to admit that some aspects of your life have given you an easier path than others. But ignoring or denying that you have had an easier time in your life just based on your skin colour, social class or gender isn’t going to help anything. The reality is that understanding and appreciating others challenges is the only way you can truly learn.
One privilege that a lot of us who voice our financial successes forget to mention is the perk of being in a relationship or having a partner who can help to support and supplement our incomes.
Having a partner that can help support or reduce financial stressors in our day-to-day lives can make money seem less tricky and more manageable. Because money can be tricky — especially if you have to navigate your many financial goals alone. But that's just me pointing out the already obvious reasoning behind you reading a financial blog — because it's not always the straightforward textbook answer you're looking for. I mean, DUH MUCH? Our finances are complex and unique to each and every one of us.
But on the real — in just two short weeks, my husband and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary hiking in the beautiful Albertan mountains. We won't be doing anything luxury, like buying one another gifts or celebrating with an expensive dinner out. Luckily, we'll already be in the town we were married to attend another wedding.
We aren't a young married couple that spends money just to spend money. Although I'm not sure many young married couples are that way these days. Pretty sure we're all just trying to survive the financial burdens that society puts on us like maybe homeownership, potentially raising a family and sometimes pretending we are capable of navigating through the world of saving.
My husband and I realized something when our baby was born two months ago
Life is a lot easier with a significant other who is on board to split all of lives responsibilities. I mean, we started to discuss how much we respect single parents, individuals who buy property on their own, couples who have partners that are unsupportive and really all single people in general. Until having to take care of another human being, we had forgotten how much of an advantage and privilege it is to be in a relationship with someone who is on your team.
Now, before I write another paragraph that makes it seem like I'm bragging or raving about how much better my life is because I have a partner, that's not where I'm going. But where I am going is down the path that many people who are in relationships need to remember when it comes to their financial situation.
Having a partner is extremely advantageous for your finances — IF you consider one another equals
The amount of parenting forums I've entered (yes, willingly) in the past two months is unprecedented. Like, no one should spend that much time browsing Baby Centre threads just for the hell of it. But hey, I had a lot of time while breastfeeding at 3:00 AM so I chose my readings purely based on what would keep me awake, informed about newborn doo-doo, and entertained. Yes, now that I'm a mom I use the term "doo-doo" in my blog posts. It's super profesh.
I read an obscene amount of content where people in committed relationships were questioning whether others had a significant other who was disinterested in providing as much support to their partner as they'd hoped. The primary reason for their lack of support was because they felt they were contributing financially, so all other areas of life were off the table.
First of all, I'll point out the obvious by saying that no one person in a relationship is responsible for one area of livelihood. If you are the provider while your significant other is on parental leave — I'm assuming you made that decision as a team. Therefore, holding something over the other person you agreed to partner up with is not fair. I mean, common sense you would think. But many of the comments replying to these threads were in similar situations, and it broke my heart.
Equality in a relationship that includes a financial partnership (or any partnership) is important
When two people come together to make money moves, financial obligations become more fun (I swear), and less overwhelming. You can focus on the interests and goals that are important to both of you, and use the benefits of an additional income to accomplish those goals in half the time.
Many people who openly discuss their incomes online forget to mention that their successes financially wouldn't be possible if it weren't for their partner. Whether they earn a second income or not — you are at an advantage in ways that others are not. So, for those of you feeling inadequate because you're not where you want to be and struggle to understand how others that are your age are already there — don't. If you don't have the privilege of a relationship, your financial game might take a little bit more finessing than others.
For those of you who are in a relationship and feel as though you don't have a significant other who is on the same page as you financially, consider trying to make money a new shared interest by trying a few fun strategies that might change their outlook on budgeting, saving or preparing for your future.
How can you use being in a relationship to your financial advantage?
Live on one income
I know, I know. Who the hell wants to live on one 40k salary when you could live on two? Well, I'll tell you who. The person who wants to save 40k in one year to benefit a large financial goal. If you can live modestly and somehow scrape by on one income for two individuals, you might as well try!
Work perks benefit everyone
Rather than pay for healthcare coverage through two salaries, go for the family option. Remember to do your research first (obvi), regarding who has better coverage and which one is more affordable because sometimes it's still cheaper to do your own. However, it's definitely worth a shot.
Tax season, honey
Joint tax returns can be great for relationships in which one partner earns a higher income and the other earns a more modest amount. Not only that, but you'll only have to file one return. So, that's like, the biggest benefit of them all.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Being in an equal financial relationship is like having a built-in accountability buddy. Not only can you keep each other on track with your financial goals and budget, but you can also boost rewards points on a joint credit card at an accelerated rate if you work as a team to chalk them up.
But listen — I know not every single one of you is in a relationship. Or maybe you are but are soon to be out of one. Because hey, it happens! Don't worry. There are also financial benefits to being on your own.
How can you use being single to your financial advantage?
No trying to change anyone
It's impossible to be in a successful partnership if the person you have chosen doesn't have similar interests or hobbies. If you're in love with the idea of building wealth and focusing on your financial future, you can focus on doing this without having to worry about appeasing anyone else or trying to convince them that no-name brand Fruit Loops taste the exact same as real Fruit Loops. Don't @ me.
You're the only one who can create debt
When you're single as a pringle and not ready to mingle because you don't need no man, no one else can come home one day and tell you that they bought a new car without informing you first. And oh, by the way — this debt is your debt, this debt is my debt, no wait that's your debt, oh wait it's my debt. Please tell me you get my Friends reference.
Being single can afford you the opportunity to control what large purchases you made. It can also help you to focus on paying off your credit card bills and student loan payments only.
No matter where you're at in your financial life, the sooner you focus on how you can benefit from your significant other or your independent self, the sooner you'll be able to get down to business with your money.
What are some financial perks you've found whether it be from being in a relationship or being single? Let me know in the comments!