Tax season is officially over, which means it’s time to close out of those Excel spreadsheets, pour a glass of bubbly, and toast not having to interact with the IRS for another year. For many, tax season is synonymous with apprehension and anxiety about digging up the previous year’s financial trail and putting it under the microscope.
Despite all of our “leaning in” and professional gains, many women don’t have a very clear picture of who they are in relation to money. How much you spend, where you spend it, and how that represents your priorities and values are easy matters to gloss over as long as you’re getting by financially. But — just like emotional baggage, glossing over your financial baggage will only come back to haunt you at the most inopportune time — such as when you’re ready to get serious with a great guy.
Brass “Tax” of Love
Like it or not, money plays a critical role in relationships: a recent survey in Self magazine (in conjunction with Today.com) found that 70 percent of women and 63 percent of men thought being honest about money is as important to the health of a relationship as monogamy. And a 2009 study by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University found that couples who had finance-related disagreements once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month.
As I recently told one of my readers who wrote in asking when it’s appropriate have “the money talk,” and as these surveys indicate, establishing open lines of communication with your partner about money is imperative to the success of the relationship. But how can you be honest about finances with another person if you haven’t established a habit of being honest with yourself?
Think of it this way: understanding your own values, needs, and priorities is fundamental for emotional intimacy, right? How we behave financially is an extension of those values. And the clearer you are about your behavior in this arena, the easier time you’ll have determining your compatibility with another.
Are you aware of your own values when it comes to finances? Let me know in the comments!
Your friend in love,