Show Yourself Love This Valentine's Day

We are in the season of commitment, Valentine's Day is just around the corner. This day is all about making a commitment to another person, at least in theory. And from this day, we can learn something about commitment, accountability, and about love for ourselves and others – three things we need to keep on track with a plan regarding our personal finances.

So as flowers and chocolates fly off shelves and restaurants and movie theaters fill, let your finances reflect the love and ambition you have for yourself. And also, what better way is there to show your love and commitment to your significant other, or your family members, than to get your financial affairs in order.

Why not do Valentine's differently, and use the celebration of love as a motivator to love yourself more by improving your financial life.  Rita Cool, a certified financial planner at Alexander Forbes  shares tips on how you can do it:

Expecting your partner to look after you financially 
- Blessers and sugar daddies are not a good investment. Nothing is guaranteed. Even in a solid relationship where your partner brings in all the income, you could lose that person overnight, or end up divorced. How will that affect you financially?

Staying in a bad relationship because you can’t afford to get out. 
Talk to your financial adviser about putting together a plan that gives you an emergency fund if you need to leave quickly as well as how you can manage on your own in the future.

Being ignorant about policies.
If your financial planning includes life cover in the event of your partner’s death, make sure the correct people are nominated as beneficiaries i.e you and/or your children. Check the details on an ongoing basis and to make sure that the policy is still valid and all premiums are up to date.

Handing over full responsibility for joint finances to your partner

You need to know what your relationship’s full financial status is if you are financially together as well as emotionally. You should know each other’s assets and debts if you could be held liable for the debt. On joint accounts make sure you are a joint signatory, especially bond or investment accounts. Don’t be scared to step up to knowing what your financial picture looks like.


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Not knowing your financial status
You need to know where you stand when it comes to things like emergency savings, retirement savings, whether you are paying the lowest possible rate for the best insurance, bank costs, interest on credit cards. Save on an expensive night out by lighting some candles and sitting together to discuss your financial commitments and goals.

Break up with unfaithful service providers
Is your bank or insurance company still giving you the best possible deal and best rates? Do you always have to check that they are not over charging? Do you still need the life cover you are paying for? Find out if you are getting the best deal and dump the provider who doesn’t treat you the best they can. Just because you have put a lot of time in the relationship with them doesn’t meant they are looking after your interests.

Not consulting a certified financial planner 
Work out together where you want to be in a year or two, and check if those dreams are financially secure by consulting a broker, it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with financial insecurity if things go bottoms up.

Not having a will
Where there’s a will there is certainty, especially if you have children. Draw one up and make sure that it is regularly updated as your circumstances change. Make sure your partner also has a valid and sensible will as you will have to deal with the repercussions if they didn’t have one. It’s a good idea to do it professionally so that there can’t be any disputes and make sure you update if your relationship status changes.

While love and romance are great to celebrate, they can just be commercial temptations that stop you seeing the wood for the trees. Enjoy, but this Valentine’s Day and every day, be intentional about staying empowered financially.