It's February, and love is in the air. Whether your love is for your partner, your family, your pet, or all of the above, be sure to make time to express it this month and every month.
In 1992, Gary Chapman wrote a book entitled The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Since then, the term "love languages" has gathered traction and made its way into our everyday vernacular.
The 5 love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service. And the concepts behind them can be applied to money as well.
Love and Marriage
You may remember the Frank Sinatra song (later used as a theme song for Married...with Children) called "Love and Marriage." Some of the lyrics say "Love and marriage, they go together like a horse and carriage."
The same can be said for love and money. You've heard the term "hitched your wagon" to someone or something. When we are in partnership, we are connected. Whether you're "hitched" in the slang term for marriage or hitched in a myriad of other ways, when you enter into a relationship, your money is connected. You may have separate accounts or combined finances, but what one person does still affects the other.
And as we often hear, money can be a big source of discord. So, how do we find harmony with our love and our money?
Discovering Your Money Love Language and Your Partner's
It's helpful to discover our own money love language, as well as to discover and be respectful of our partner's.
Mint by Intuit (2021) created a great graphic to help you figure out your money love language.
Putting Money Love Language Into Action
Words of Affirmation: First and foremost, talk to your partner about money. Encourage and cheer on your partner in your combined financial journey.
Physical Touch: When you are discussing finances with your partner, show them you value their insights and appreciate their openness by holding hands, hugging, or rubbing their back.
Acts of Service: Do something nice for your partner that they'll appreciate, like making a budget for an upcoming expense or performing an action (like mowing the lawn) that you might typically pay someone else to do.
Quality Time: Set aside dedicated time to talk with your partner about your shared values and goals. Listen attentively, remove all external distractions, and take the time to be truly present with them.
Gifts: Remember, for this person, the monetary value of the gift is not as important as showing how well you know them. Think of something that truly represents your partner (big or small, expensive or inexpensive) and present it to them.
In The Five Love Languages, Chapman notes that we often show our partner the love language we'd like shown to us. For example, if your love language is quality time, you'll spend a lot of time with your partner.
But we have to remember to use our partner's love language as well. If your partner's love language is acts of service, they'll appreciate that you spent time with them, but they'll really love if you spent time cooking them a meal.
It's natural to use our own love language, but we have to step out of our box to use our partner's. It's the same with their money love language.
The Big Question
What can you do that will speak to your partner's love language? How can you apply this to your money talks and come to a spending/saving resolution that works for you both?
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Tune in on the last Tuesday of the month (2/23/21) for the Sweet Side of Finance. I'll be talking about another must-have recipe, which my newsletter subscribers already know about!