Valentine’s Day is all about love. If you are recently separated you might think this excludes you. However, you don’t need a partner to share your love. Tell your kids, your parents, your friends that love them. You could even take some time to love and nurture your personal finances.

Sounds a little crazy. Well, it’s not really.

Here is how to show your personal finances you love them this Valentine’s Day.

Be attentive to your personal budget

Hopefully you care enough for your money to have a personal budget. If you don’t, or you have one but have been neglecting it of late, now is the time to show it some love.

We recommend the ASIC MoneySmart Budget Template, which is a detailed yet user-friendly budget spreadsheet to save online or to your computer in Excel.

Life is constantly changing so your financial incomings and outgoings will fluctuate. Go through your current budget calculations and ensure everything is up-to-date. During the process, you might find some ways to cut-back on spending, which is the kind of attention your budget likes the best!

Nurture your savings

Savings are the live-blood of your relationship with your money. Whether you put aside $20 a week or are a super-saver, nurturing your nest egg is extremely important.

Consider how much you are saving, if anything at all. If you are not saving then START NOW. There will be a least one way you can cut back on household costs and use the money to save on a regular basis. The common example is your daily take-away coffee. However, think about cancelling unused memberships and unneeded insurances or finding a better deal.

If you are already saving. Push yourself a little and increase the amount. Or shop around to ensure you getting the highest interest rate possible. If not, move your money. Nurturing your savings will help them grow and you will love them more than ever.

Be gentle with your bank cards

We all know that respect and kindness is the key to any healthy relationship, and this includes the one you have with your bank cards.

If you own a credit card. What is your relationship with it? Are you conscience of you spending habits? Do you diligently pay of its debt so it is not a liability? If you and your credit card don’t work well together, then breakup with it. Not using credit cards can create healthier spending habits where you save and spend instead.

Debit cards also need some tender-loving care. With PayWave and ApplePay making spending faster than the blink of an eye, impulse buys are easier than ever. We recommend that you create a routine to check your debit card transactions on a weekly basis. It will make you aware of your spending habits and help you treat your cards more gently at the checkouts.

Work on your relationship with money to make it better

It is common knowledge that if you want a relationship to be successful, you have to work at it. And this is certainly true with money.

How long do you spend working on your personal finances? And when we say personal finances, we mean:

  • Your budget
  • Your savings
  • Your debt
  • Your superannuation
  • Your tax

If you are not 100% sure your money is working for you in each of the above areas, then you are neglecting your relationship with your personal finances.

However, don’t panic as there are lots of resources available to help you learn, including some brilliant personal finance books and apps. Get working on your relationship with money to make it even better.

Confront and talk about your debt

The dreaded debt can be the hardest aspect of your personal finances. Debt, if not managed properly, has the capacity to bring everything crashing down. For this reason, if your debt is worrying you and you don’t have regular payments in place, we advise you to confront and talk about your debt.

This might mean reaching out to a family member for support. Alternatively, you can speak to a debt expert and discuss your options to manage your debt more effectively.

Like with any relationship, opening up the conversation and finding solutions to problems is key. Overwhelming debt can be detrimental, not only to your personal finance situation, but also to your mental well-being.

Consider the future and what it means for you and your finances

Part of being in a relationship involves working towards a future together. Are you both on the same page? Do you have similar goals? Are you able to work as a team to make them happen?

As a separated parent, you may only look as far forward as getting your finances on track over the next year. Or you might have bigger plans, such saving for a home deposit, starting a business or working towards an investment.

Whatever your financial goals are, you need to ensure you are on-track to achieve them. It’s not always easy to do this and you might need the support of a financial expert who will help you manage your expectations.

Knowing what your future holds in terms of money will give you peace of mind and allow your relationship with your personal finances to blossom.

Posted by Belinda Eldridge
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