Romance & Finance on Chat Savvy: Member Journeys
Who said that money conversations must be cold, boring and stressful?
In this episode of Chat Savvy, we share a heart-warming financial journey
of a couple. A unique story from our very own Credit Savvy member in the
hopes of inspiring young and new couples, especially as we approach
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If you have your very own story to share, you can do so via any of the
Host: Stacey Chew & Zaid Javed
Producer: Josh Butt
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STACEY: From the Credit Savvy team, hello and welcome to Chat Savvy. We’re here to help you take control of your credit life and empower you in your financial journeys one episode at a time.
ZAID: Hello hello, I’m Zaid Javed.
STACEY: Hey guys, I’m Stacey Chew from team Credit Savvy.
ZAID: And on the show today we bring you a true story about romance and finance.
STACEY: Yeah so two very exciting topics that need to be to be discussed. This story actually came from one of our Credit Savvy members, she’s written in to share with us her personal experience with love and finance.
ZAID: Oooo.. we love a good story.
STACEY: Yeah who doesn’t? Let’s dive right into it hey?
ZAID: Yes let’s do it! To protect the identity of this member we’ll call her Rachel.
STACEY: OK so this is what Rachel sent in.
“My partner Mitchell and I began dating four years ago. We’ve always been an active couple. We enjoyed our hikes and surfing and whilst getting to know each other we avoided the subject of finances early on in the relationship. We went through the normal stuff like who would pay for the coffees or meals on dates but had never discussed about money apart from this.
As months passed we moved into the awkward transition stage where we were conflicted about how to introduce money into our conversations because the topic was not naturally introduced in our past dates. Taking the next step and bringing it into our conversations felt random and strange. At the same time, the longer we held off and waited the more awkward it had become -”
ZAID: You know what, that sounds pretty normal to not dive right into the hard questions that early on in the relationship. You wouldn’t really want to be too full on.
STACEY: Mmm yeah no I agree. Okay, so Rachel then says:
“Reflecting on our first year, my mistake was avoiding all financial conversations. I guess I was afraid that it would kill the romance.”
STACEY: “At the time, Mitchell had a stable full-time job and I was working part-time at a café whilst studying in uni. I was a little insecure about taking home less than he was.”
ZAID: Yeah can very much relate to that.
STACEY: I was at a point in my life where I was transitioning jobs and had miscalculated my pay and overspent.
We’ve all been there Rachel.
ZAID: Yeah…you’re not alone. You’re not alone Rachel.
STACEY: “It was too late when I realised and remember looking at my bank account with very little left for the month, feeling silly. I knew that I had to lean on Mitch to help fund our dates or not go out at all.”
ZAID: Oh Gosh…
STACEY: “We were driving in the car one day and I just asked, “Hey, do you have money?”
ZAID: Firstly, love how abrupt you are Rachel.
STACEY: “So there was an awkward pause -”
ZAID: Was there?
STACEY: “And then he burst out laughing. He finally responded with “yes, I guess so, I own some money.” And then proceeded with saying “this is one of the most amusing ways of starting a money conversation and that I had made his week”. I’m glad this was amusing to him.
Now looking back, I would tell my younger self that there was absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. His warmth and transparency about this made me realise that there is no reason to have cold discussions about finance within your romantic relationship.”
ZAID: Mmm gosh I think I am also obsessed with Mitch over here. I agree fully with this. I think a lot of people in new relationships just don’t know how to talk about and navigate the topic of finance early on because of how it may come across to the other party. However, what I do think it’s that money should be smoothly integrated into day-to-day chats. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic or full-on conversation. I think it could very much be an easy conversation. It’s just kinda how you put it in the conversation.
STACEY: How would you introduce this topic to someone new you’re seeing?
ZAID: Yeah um, I suppose that I at least think of it a lot easier. I think it’s as simple as kind of normalising the conversation of finance and thinking of it as what you would about talking about their hobbies, places they have visited or even discussing their future plans. Like I know when I go on dates, I probably wouldn’t do it from the get-go but I will bring up that conversation quite early on.
STACEY: Wow, would you?
ZAID: Yeah I think I would and I have done it a few times and I think those are the relationships that are a bit more successful as well. Um, once you have a level of – I think – comfort in conversation it becomes natural to start talking about financials. I recommend probably starting small such as discussing how they would save for a holiday, their ideas on renting vs buying a new home and then maybe gradually lead it into bigger conversations such as their credit scores and things like that.
STACEY: Yeah, no I agree, you know, I also think it’s important to remember that there are no right or wrong answers to this subject and in a relationship, you know, there should be no expectations to be on the same page about money every day. Right? Because this can be an emotional subject for some, but you know, it is okay to think differently.
ZAID: Yeah exactly and when you talk through things with your partner, then you start to build a better bond and a deeper connection with them and you kinda work as a team about it as well. It becomes easier to make decisions in the future and also understand each other’s life goals and then eventually respect and support each other.
I personally at least think I would love to have that transparency around financials with a long-term partner if I’ve got that intention because ideally, I’d be wanting to save up for a home and if they’re not on the same page or their financials aren’t going to be at the same point as mine would be, it honestly would be a deal breaker for me at least.
ZAID: Yeah I definitely think so like if they’ve got like a bad credit score, it’ll take years for them to fix that up and how would that impact my life you know? So having that early on just ensures that you both are on the same page.
STACEY: I guess the one thing we can take away from Rachel’s story is to not be afraid of introducing finance into romance. Um, it is better to have conversations early and regularly because the reality of it is that, you know, it plays a really big part in relationships and can make or break couples.
ZAID: Yeah exactly, and I 100% agree with you on that Stacey and I think the other takeaway is to keep in mind that judgements should not be a part of the money conversation. If that makes sense? I think you want to be the most open and truest to your partner and having those big conversations is important and it shouldn’t come with judgement either. The ultimate aim for all of these conversations is to understand your partner’s long-term goals and what their values are.
STACEY: When you have had those conversations with the people you were seeing, how did they receive those kinds of questions or how did they react when you asked about their finances?
ZAID: Honestly, not half bad. I am relatively young, so I probably don’t have the best experience or as much experience as others would have. But I definitely do think that it’s been pretty positive conversations like their reactions have almost been similar to what Mitch has with Rachel where they like I wouldn’t say they kind of brush it off but it’s more like, I put so much pressure into thinking they’re gonna have a negative reaction or I assume judgement whereas it’s been very welcomed.
Honestly, that’s how I would do it if I were swapping places with the partner like if they had that conversation with me, I would honestly like them more about it. Just because I’m like this person is switched on. They know what they want.
STACEY: Yeah yeah, and I guess that you know it helps to further solidify the relationship and future together as well.
ZAID: Yeah exactly. Correct, I agree with that.
STACEY: Well, this brings us to the end of this episode.
STACEY: We hoped you learnt a thing or two about navigating the romance and finance topics. And big shout-outs to Rachel for sharing her story with us.
ZAID: Yes yes thank you, Rachel!
STACEY: Has someone else had a different experience from Zaid, myself and Rachel? If you have, we want to hear about it.
ZAID: For more information, take a look at our show notes.
STACEY: Bye for now.
ZAID: Bye, bye, byeeee!