June 13, 2024

Tips for love and finance in 2024

By Teri Williams

The new year brings new beginnings, which is a great time to focus on love and finances. Whether it’s self-love, romantic love or the love of our children, love has an impact on our money. Better to be intentional about the mixture of the two, rather than put our head in the sand and pretend as though they are completely separate. In fact, if our love and finances are not aligned, it could be disastrous! In 2024, here are some tips on how to have a more successful year:

Self-love and finances

There are many psychological studies about the importance of loving yourself. Self-love is needed to achieve true happiness. With all the divisiveness happening in 2024, self-love is even more important. However, self-love and particularly self-care can also impact your wallet. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you pay yourself first? Whether you have a job or are self-employed, do you put aside money in an emergency savings account, retirement account or even a vacation savings account before you spend money on your wants or even other people’s needs? Self-love requires you to put yourself first before you can help others.
  1. Are you an emotional spender? As you go through the ups and downs of life, do you soothe your emotions by shopping? Although many of us are familiar with “retail therapy” because we’re depressed, we can also “manic shop” when we experience success. Getting a new job or contract, experiencing a new romantic relationship or celebrating the holidays, including Valentine’s Day, can send us into overdrive. Being able to control these moments of emotional spending can help us stay within our budget.

Romantic love and finances

Whether you are seeking a relationship or currently in one, romance cannot exist without finance! The number one issue that impacts romantic relationships is money. Many of us were raised on the fairy tale that we will meet our soul mate and live happily ever after. Well, the high cost of living today – whether it’s housing or transportation – can impact our happily ever after. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What financial resources are you bringing to your relationship?  The high cost of housing can require multiple sources of income and even multiple job earners. It’s possible that we will see a reduction in interest rates by the Federal Reserve in 2024, which could make home loans more affordable. However, housing costs – whether rent or mortgage – are still high! It has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to find a partner to fill a hole in your finances, help pay your financial obligations or help achieve a higher financial status if you’re not bringing resources to the table. To achieve a more simpatico relationship, get your personal financial house in order.
  1. What’s the financial status or requirement of your potential or current partner? Sometimes love is blinding, and we forget to ask some basic questions, like what’s your employment status? What’s your credit score? How much debt do you have? How much savings? It’s important to have a clear understanding of the whole person, particularly their money, as you navigate romantic relationships. Money can no longer be a taboo subject.
 Teri Williams, president of OneUnited Bank, speaks on ways to show your love and save money at the same time. 
Credit: Courtesy photo

Parental love and finances

Let’s face it, having children costs money…lots of money! There’s housing, food, clothing and then there’s college tuition and/or helping our children achieve financial independence. While being a parent is joyful, it can also be financially stressful. Here’s some questions to ask yourself in 2024:

  1. What insurance do you need to protect your loved ones? We all expect to live a long and happy life. However, life can throw us a curve ball when we least expect it. We can experience health issues or unexpected financial issues such as litigation that can impact our livelihood. There are insurance policies that can protect us against life events including health insurance, life insurance and even umbrella insurance in case we’re sued. Make sure you have the right insurance coverage to meet the needs of your loved ones.
  1. Are you modeling good financial behavior? Our children are more likely to do what we do rather than what we say. How we spend, save and share our money provides the best role model for them. In the old days, children would see their parents writing checks to pay bills at the kitchen table. They also taught home economics in school. In 2024, most of our financial activity happens online, which is less visible, and schools no longer teach financial literacy. So today, look around your house to assess the financial messages you’re sending to your children. As a simple approach, consider adding a financial goal as a note on the refrigerator. Remember, your children are watching.

We all wish for love, happiness and prosperity in 2024. To achieve it, we need to embrace the relationship between love and finances. To be in love is a powerful thing. To be in love and simpatico with our finances is even more powerful. Happy new year!

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