Financial Red Flags That Might Be Hurting Your Relationship
Talking about money to your partner and spouse is never an easy conversation to have, especially if you’re unsure what they think about it, or if you have limited knowledge of how to work with money.
Not all of us share the same philosophy about money, how we earn and spend it, or how we invest it. Unfortunately, the friction surrounding the topic of money and finances can lead to greater relationship issues such as so-called financial infidelity, where people hide their purchases from their partners.
Putting off this conversation can often do more harm than it does good, and research shows that roughly 64% of couples admit to being “financially incompatible” with their partners according to Bread Financial.
Interestingly enough, the same research survey from Bread Financial found that 45% of coupled adults admit to committing some form of financial infidelity in their relationships.
Allowing money troubles to interfere with your relationship and love life can have lasting effects on both you and your partner. It’s not always possible to immediately understand how everyone you meet works with money, and before pulling the cart in front of the horse, it’s always best to get a clear judgment before jumping to any conclusions.
Yet, oftentimes there are financial red flags that start to reveal themselves over time as the relationship progresses. And while you don’t want to feel like you’re telling another person what they can and shouldn’t do with their money, it’s often better to recognize these issues and share an open dialogue with your partner before it transforms into bigger problems.
Financial Red Flags
Here is a brief look at some of the financial red flags that might be hurting your relationship without you knowing it.
Your partner has ongoing financial troubles
Let’s face it, we all have financial troubles, and often these are carried with us for extended periods, only to be resolved when we seek advice or guidance.
Although money troubles can look different for everyone, from large amounts of debt to low credit scores, or even overspending, having money troubles are financial problems that can be resolved with the right help or talking to someone who has more knowledge on the subject matter.
On average, around two-thirds of all Americans use credit cards, with the average person having at least three credit cards according to CreditNinja.
Jumping from one financial pitfall to the next, without learning from past mistakes can no longer be seen as a coincidence, but rather an active decision to ignore what other people are saying, or find ways to address the issues.
Unfortunately, having money problems, and not being willing to do something to address these issues, or improve the situation can be an issue that can hurt you and your partner, and potentially others that may be involved.
A lack of financial prosperity
There’s no denying that not all of us are on the same life stage in our careers and financial prosperity. Often you’ll meet someone who recently started a new career, or who just got back into the job market after being laid off. Perhaps your spouse decides to go back to school and relies heavily on your income to sustain the household.
At some other time, there will be a point where you or your partner will reach a point where you can create healthy financial habits such as saving for a specific goal, putting some cash aside for retirement, or looking to travel or even start a business.
If you notice your partner is at a point in their life and career where they can save and invest their earnings, but lack the financial capability, consider talking about how they can save some of their money for retirement, or even put it into a savings account.
Be considerate of where they may be in their life, and seek guidance yourself, so that once you have the conversation, you are informed and can deliver actionable practices you both can use.
They tend to be irresponsible with money
Overspending isn’t hard these days, and a lot of the time we see ourselves spending more money than what we budgeted for. There are a lot of instances where we might have purchased something on the whim, without giving it much thought, or have used some of our savings to pay for other expenses – these do tend to happen to the majority of us.
Yet, there comes a point when you will need to address irresponsible spending with your partner, especially if it starts to have an impact on you or the household.
Ask yourself, does your partner spend their income on luxuries before paying for more important things such as rent, groceries, or utilities? Do they purchase items without thinking about the short-term financial repercussions they can have? Are they prone to run out of money early or during the month? Do they take out loans from you, and forget to pay you back?
Perhaps you notice them hiding their purchases from you after you’ve confronted them, or lack the ability to tell you about the purchases they have made.
These and other valuable questions will be a key indicator of how your partner works with their money, and whether they are simply being irresponsible and ignoring their financial responsibilities for their own greater good.
Ignoring their financial responsibilities
A lot of us have a financial responsibility of some kind, whether it’s paying off student loan debt, or even making monthly car installment payments. Every month we budget according to our financial needs, and ensure that our cash can last us until we receive our next paycheck.
In some instances, people tend to neglect their financial responsibilities, often relying on their significant others or partners to pay for their mistakes, or help them pay for things such as rent, utilities, and other important expenses.
Setting up a budget for your partner, or even for your household can help you see where your money is going and what it’s being spent on. If your partner deliberately ignores these efforts, and rather uses their money on less important purchases, it shows that they are unwilling to financially commit or improve on their actions.
Bringing up irresponsible financial behavior with your partner or spouse is never easy, and it can be an uncomfortable situation at first, but for the long-term well-being of your relationship, it’s important to voice your concerns and share guidance where possible.
Your partner is drowning in debt
Although we all wish to be debt free, a lot of partnered couples, even those that are married carry some form of debt. Research shows that 7 out of 10 Americans get married with some amount of debt, whether it’s a credit card or student loan debt.
Balancing your debt is not an easy task, and it requires you to be delicate with your income and spending habits. Making sure you don’t miss payments, and that you’re able to pay off your debt is a financial priority for many of us.
Yes, some of us may have more debt than others, and often we see our partners carrying debt into a relationship, but ignoring the importance of paying it off in time. Being in a debt-riddled relationship or marriage is more common than we may think, and some individuals may disregard their debt responsibilities, hoping their partners will help them repay it.
Understanding how your partner has accumulated their debt over time, and what they are doing to repay it will give you a clear indication of their financial responsibilities, and money know-how. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and often many people will hide their debt from their partners, or take out more debt due to irresponsible spending or money habits.
Ignores the importance of talking about money
Another red flag to look out for is whether your partner deliberately ignores having a conversation about money.
Often they might feel intimidated, even scared or unwilling to share money matters because they might be afraid of the outcomes, but if they’re not open to working through their financial troubles, you might find yourself having to deal with bigger issues down the line.
The “money talk” is never easy, and it can be an uncomfortable confrontation to have with your partner or spouse. If you’re unsure where they stand with money, then it’s best to ask or question them about it when you feel the time is right to do so.
If you notice they’re putting off the idea of setting up a budget for your household, or if you’re in a marriage where one person is unwilling to make financial compromises, you might want to address these issues sooner than later.
Not everyone might be open to discussing their money values, or even their income, so be patient with your partner and see how you can make the conversation less uncomfortable or awkward for them.
It’s best to think about how short-term solutions can help your relationship in the long term, but also ensure you help you build a financial future with someone else.
Being with someone committed to someone who is irresponsible with their money, or lacking the willingness to improve their financial situation can have a detrimental effect on your relationship, and your well-being.
Addressing money matters in a relationship isn’t easy, but the sooner you’re able to get on the same page about how you can make your money work for both of you, the more likely you are to share the same values and philosophy regarding your household finances.
When confronting your partner or spouse about their finances, ensure that they feel comfortable enough to share their opinions, and ask where you can assist them, if they require guidance. Instead of ignoring these issues, see how you can work together to overcome financial hardships and build a prosperous relationship.
The post Financial Red Flags That Might Be Hurting Your Relationship appeared first on Due.
2023 Acko Drive Awards All Set to Honour the Best From the Automotive World
The Acko Drive Awards is one of the most prestigious awards in the Indian automobile industry, recognising excellence of the best cars and bikes from 2022 as well as the manufactures taking top honours in the categories for Advertising, PR and Communications. The awards ceremony is set to declare winners in over 55 categories, honouring the best from the industry on March 29, 2023 in New Delhi.
This year’s event promises to be a thrilling one. With cars like the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Meridian, Citroën C3 and many others eyeing for the top prize, the two wheelers side sees tough competition between the Bajaj Pulsar P150, Honda CB 300F, Vida V1 Pro, Ducati Streetfighter and more.
The EV of the year category is also expected to be hotly contested with cars like the Tata Tiago EV, BMW i4, BYD Atto 3 and others eyeing the top prize. Finally Tech too finds its way onto the list and the best Gadgets, safety and automotive technology will be honoured.
Apart from the product categories, the Acko Drive Awards also recognize excellence in Advertising, PR and communications. This year’s ceremony will feature awards for the best Creative film, social media campaign, best integrated campaign and the best PR & Communications team in the automotive space.
There is also something for the Viewers. With 3 Viewers’ Choice categories to vote in, the participants stand a chance to take home a car or bike.
The Acko Drive Awards night promises to be an exciting and memorable event, honouring the very best of the Indian automobile industry for it is finally “The One That Matters”
Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of the brand by HT Brand Studio.
How Fyle Plans To Make Expenses Hassle A Thing Of The Past
“This is nobody’s job – and nobody should be wasting even a second of their time on it,” says Yashwanth Madhusudhan, CEO and co-founder of Fyle, of the work and hassle involved in managing expenses. Fyle, the start-up launched seven years ago, is all about making that a reality, he explains.
“The work involved in administering staff expenses isn’t core to anyone’s role, but it’s just so time-consuming and frustrating,” he says. “We want to get to a point where people just say ‘Fyle it’ when they’re dealing with this issue.”
Fyle’s focus is on corporate credit cards, which have become the default way for many US companies to ensure their staff can pay for business expenses. Indeed, credit cards were the second-most-sought-after form of financing for small businesses in the US last year according to Federal Reserve.
Around $1.4 trillion is spent on these cards each year; employers then have to check that credit card bills have been run up appropriately – and ensure that the data from them flows through into the company’s finance and accounting systems.
The problems with the status quo are three-fold according to Fyle. First, financial controllers at companies that have issued credit cards to staff have little visibility over how they are being used. To see what’s been spent on them, they have to wait for statements to arrive at the end of each month, or log into their credit card provider’s portal and download transaction data, typically in a format that is far from user-friendly.
The second issue, Fyle maintains, is that even when the business has all the data it needs, this information has to be entered into its accounts manually. Finance departments are wasting valuable time processing what may be thousands of transactions in this way. Problem number three is the challenge of dealing with receipts, with many companies stuck in a cycle of chasing staff to supply the correct receipts for their spending.
Fyle’s solution is a software package that taps straight into the business’s credit card transaction data; managers can then monitor spending as it happens through Fyle’s app. The data also comes in a form that can be automatically be integrated into the accounting software used by the business, so that it doesn’t have to be re-entered. And when an employee uses their credit card, Fyne’s software sends them a message asking them to submit a photo of the receipt.
The obvious place to go for this data and functionality is the credit card provider itself. In practice, however, most US banks providing credit cards are unable or unwilling to help. They’ve either not built the technology infrastructure necessary to provide transaction data in this way, or they’re not prepared to put such technology to work other than for their largest corporate customers.
The result is that credit card providers – with the exception of new fintech entrants to the market – have not typically offered this functionality to small business customers. Nor have providers been prepared to offer it to Fyne.
The company’s solution has been to focus on another link in the credit card payments chain. Last year, Fyne announced a partnership with Visa that allows it to access the transaction data of corporate credit card holders – assuming they agree. And this week it is announcing a similar deal with Mastercard. The result is that it will be able to offer its services to the vast majority of US businesses that have issued credit cards to staff.
“This integration will empower small businesses to harness the power of real-time visibility for any card that suits their business needs,” says Madhusudhan of the Mastercard collaboration. “We are democratising access to businesses’ own expense data and removing their dependence on the issuing bank.”
It’s a software-as-a-service solution through which small businesses pay a monthly fee per user of Fyne’s technology. Irrespective of which bank they use for corporate credit cards, Fyne is then able to supply them with real-time data, secured from Visa and Mastercard, on how employees are using their cards. This information can be used for monitoring purposes, and can also be dropped straight into accounting software. Employees get reminders of their employers’ expenses policies, and messages to submit their receipts with a picture sent by their phone.
It’s an elegant way to deal with US banks’ reluctance to address this problem for themselves. But one irony of Fyne’s approach is that it is increasingly attracting interest from these very same banks. Small business banking in the US is becoming more competitive, particularly as new fintechs enter the market, prompting providers to look for points of competitive advantage. Fyne therefore offers a white label service to banks, enabling them to offer small business customers the same functionality, built into their banking apps.
In time, therefore, Fyne’s distribution model may change. Right now, it makes most of its revenues from selling its subscription straight to small businesses. In future, it may earn more from providing its services within the bank’s own value proposition, charging the bank, rather than its small business customers, for the software.
Either way, small businesses can’t afford to waste more time on administering expenses, argues Madhusudhan. “We need to automate as much of this work as possible,” he says. “We can do that directly with small businesses, or through their banks, but the goal will be the same, providing real-time visibility and automation.”
What Is Your Plan?
Have you watched the television show “Succession?” And who hasn’t? Logan Roy is trying to figure out who should head up his company – Waystar Royco. Are you struggling with the same question with your family business? What if it is time to think about passing your company on to the next generation, but, there is no one ready to pass it to?
Don’t panic! The situation arises more frequently these days for several reasons. It could be you have no children to pass the company to, there could be a lack of trust in the offspring to lead the company, a lack of interest in the heirs or a conflict between family members when it is time to pass the reins.
There are other options which include transitioning the business to outside leadership – perhaps while a family heir is being groomed – or to its employees through an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP; selling the business; or simply closing it.
Often, the reflexive response is to sell. Given today’s pace of disruptive change, no one will fault you since the market for private companies continues strong. Plus, financial advisors and attorneys assisting owners in such succession matters are typically incented to advise selling the business (if they generate revenue only when a transaction occurs, as is often the case).
In my experience family owners move too quickly to a sale. Instead, they should consider all the alternatives and benefits that can derive from keeping the business operating as a family concern. This is an area I have spent much time talking to company owners about all their ownership alternatives.
First, take an honest and dispassionate reality check and determine if the business truly possesses the requisite capital, products, infrastructure, leadership, committed employees and innovation to continue to thrive. If it does not, a sale may maximize value. But if the business possesses these critical strengths, then the family can create more wealth by continuing to operate it.
According to a study conducted by KMPG and the Step Project the family business leaders in their study stated that choosing the right successor will, indeed, be their most important legacy and a moment of personal pride.
In determining what to do, an owner should ask these questions: How important is the business to the family and its legacy? Are you sensitive to the disruption a sale will have on employees? On your community? Have you considered an ESOP? Who within the family could be groomed to take charge? And can an outsider as CEO keep a strong family business thriving?
If your answers incline you towards keeping the company, two approaches exist for bringing forward the next CEO for a family business when one is not immediately present:
No. 1: Coach a family member Remember, the second generation needn’t be a carbon copy of the successful founder, because those skills aren’t necessarily what’s needed in the next generation(s). What’s generally required is engagement, pride and commitment.
Indeed, mapping skills needed for the business against those of possible future family leaders or employees should be ongoing. There is a wealth of training and coaching opportunities that exist for family businesses. Coaching can bring forward the skills necessary.
No. 2: Hire an outside CEO. Yes, this takes time. Typically, it requires six months to find the person and another six months to know if the executive is a good fit. If it is, the outsider can be hired for the long-term or act as the regent until the likely family heir develops the necessary leadership skills. Compensation should be structured to reward performance and, if the executive will be handing over the reins, to encourage turning the business over in good shape.
Be mindful that it may take more than once to bring the right outsider onboard. That was the experience of one of my clients, a nationally known family-owned company, whose second outside president, who had worked with the company at one time, was the right person to lead the company. Now president and chief operating officer, he became CEO in 2020 when the chairperson and CEO, the daughter of the founder, retired. Since he joined as No. 2, the business has continued to thrive.
The message here: Don’t despair and rush to sell your business if an heir isn’t apparent. With the investment of some energy and time, alternatives that can keep the business in the family and retain its distinct culture and values are at hand. I’d love to sit down with Logan Roy and talk about his options.
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