Renowned American children’s author Dr Seuss is quoted as saying: “You know you are in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
If you have that special someone in your life in this season of love, this quote will probably have you smiling from ear to ear, feeling like your whole physical being is disappearing into an ethereal cloud of happiness, romance and ‘forevers’.
Or it may have you hyperventilating in an unreasonable panic because you are too realistic to accept absolute perfection. Whichever the case, if this February 14th finds you courting or committed, it will most likely require you to make some money decisions. For some, thinking about money can be anxiety-inducing and figuring out how to balance money and love, to achieve shared financial well-being, seems far-fetched.
We know that love can be expensive, but it does not have to hurt your pocket. As an institution invested in educating our Members and the public, the VM Group has collated some key tips for how you can be financially prepared for the important stages of your love life.
The First Date
It’s not uncommon for new couples to want to make the best impression in the early stages of a relationship and may even feel pressured to roll out the red carpet to a fine dining experience. However, it is important to be yourself on your first date and to set an appropriate expectation of what you can afford for future dates.
The key is to ensure you have budgeted for the occasion before scheduling the date and to be prepared; select restaurants or entertainment locations where you are already comfortable, so you will not be surprised by the bill.
Date Nights & Special Occasions
As the relationship progresses, you will likely be spending even more time together. Be open about your financial position, but do not ignore the value of having regular dates and celebrating your special occasions. Budgeting your monthly expenses will have you ahead of the game in deciding what you can or cannot afford to do that month.
Understanding your partner’s personality will also help you to be creative in selecting your activities. Also, do not be afraid to take advantage of gift cards, coupons and the discount platforms now available to you, such as Gustazos or Brawta Living, which often offer affordable deals to restaurants, spas and hotels.
Planning to pop the big question? This is quite likely the most nerve-racking experience of your life but knowing your partner’s expectations can help you narrow down your budget. Shop around for the best prices when selecting a ring, then put in place a savings plan with your financial institution that will have you creating the romantic experience that you can afford.
VMBS offers the VM iSave suite of saving options, which can help you prepare for the most important decision of your life.
Having a Wedding
Start saving now. If you are in a committed relationship with clear intentions of getting married someday, it is a good idea to start saving way in advance. ‘Every mickle mek a muckle’ is a favorite Jamaican saying that rings true in this case, so putting aside an amount that is comfortable for your budget can make a big difference.
It is also not unusual to have your family and friends give you money instead of gifts for your big day. You and your spouse can set up a joint bank account for this purpose, which can offset your wedding cost and help you start your marriage debt-free.
Our VMBS Bridal Registry Account is the perfect option for prospective newlyweds.
Buying a Home Together
To say purchasing a home, the largest single purchase you are likely to make together, is a big step would be an understatement. It is a bold move that is a direct reflection of your union and promise to grow together, but without proper preparation, it can seem like an impossible goal.
Think carefully about your purchase and consult with a professional to help you prepare your finances. VM iSave for Home is the ideal savings account to help you start on the financial journey to your own home. Additionally, through our 1st Home Mortgage, which offers customized financing of up 97 per cent, you and your partner can fulfil your dreams.
Raising a Child Together
Raising children will most likely be your most expensive, (but rewarding) venture yet. Food, clothes, daycare, education, medical bills… it will feel like a never-ending cycle of spending but being financially prepared for these expenses will put you ahead of the curve and help you provide the best possible environment for the great loves of your life.
Our VM iSave and Save2Grow accounts can help parents plan for the life and educational needs of their children.
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