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8 Best Financial Lessons My Partner Taught Me

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Your special someone is an amazing person who has improved your life in more ways than one — including financially. Maybe you were decent at managing money before you met them, but they helped you become even better or perhaps your finances were a mess until they stepped in.

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No matter the situation, you received at least one valuable financial lesson from them that changed the way you view money. Now that you’re a more responsible spender, less stingy or better at putting money aside for savings, you’d like to share your experience with others.

This is great, because your partner’s savvy financial advice also can have a positive impact on plenty of other people. Hearing how their advice helped you can inspire others to make changes they’ve been putting off or didn’t even realize they were capable of achieving.

Or, perhaps you’re the one who imparted the financial wisdom that changed your partner’s life. Regardless, sharing these tips with others — and listening to money advice from other couples  — is a great way to pay it forward, while also learning a few things yourself.

Ready to get inspired? GOBankingRates spoke with eight people about the financial lessons their partners taught them — and vice versa. Here’s what they had to say.

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Investing Can Be Fun

When the pandemic made its debut in 2020, John McGowan, founder at Mandala Financial Advisors, had just launched his own registered investment company.

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“The gravity of what was happening weighed on me, as I was investing my clients’ hard-won assets,” he said. “One day, I walked into my partner’s office and discovered he was day-trading stocks that were essentially ‘on sale’ and whose prices were volatile as all heck.”

McGowan said his partner was basing his trading decisions on instincts, instead of fundamentals — investing small dollar amounts, as a precaution — and having a great time doing so.

“He taught me there’s a reason they call it ‘playing’ the stock market,” he said. “Let’s not forget it can be fun even in the most serious of times.”   

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Buy Nice or Buy Twice

When Cody Lachner, director of financial planning at BBK Wealth Management, used to go shopping, he tended to focus on price over quality to save money.

“We spent a lot of time fine-tuning our budget in order to hit a lot of savings targets for our financial goals,” he said. “My philosophy was always to do anything to keep our expenses as low as possible, sometimes turning to poor quality, low-cost items that don’t hold up.”

However, his partner knew this wasn’t the best approach.

“Her thoughts on buying certain nicer, high-quality items have been tremendously valuable for us,” he said. “Sure, we saved money when we bought the lower quality option, but time and time again we would have to buy it again since it didn’t last. This ended up costing us more in the long run.” 

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Purchase Assets That Pay You

When it comes to teaching financial lessons, Datha Santomieri — co-founder and vice president at Steadily, a landlord insurance company — said the best advice she has given her partner is to build a “war chest” — i.e., assets that produce consistent income intended for a specific purpose — that can be used to buy a house.

“The key is to repeatedly invest these funds into assets that constantly generate income, such as savings accounts, stocks, real estate, bonds, businesses and online assets such as courses, webinars or blogs,” she said. “Careful selection of fruitful assets can bring you financial stability and a steady reserve of funds you can use for a solid down payment on a house.”

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Don’t Go Too Far Ahead of Yourself

In the past, Brady McAninch, a founding member and personal injury attorney at Hipskind & McAninch, used to get seriously caught up in his quest to achieve future financial goals.

“There is, however, such a thing as going too far too fast,” he said. “One of the most challenging aspects of life is learning to live in the moment.

“According to my boyfriend, it’s best to think ahead,” he added. “However, as soon as a strategy has been devised, take some time to relax and take pleasure in the experience.”

Even if you haven’t achieved your goals yet, he said, you should keep trying until you do, because it’s about the journey.

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Automate Savings

“Putting your financial planning into automatic mode has been, in my opinion, the single most helpful piece of advice regarding money that my partner has given to me,” said Travis Lindemoen, managing director of Nexus IT Group.

He said he finds having money automatically withdrawn to both his savings account and 401(k) plan very convenient.

“If you save some of your money before you even get the chance to spend it,” he said, “you won’t even miss it.”

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Invest While You’re Young

When their relationship was still new, Dan Gray taught his partner the value of investing at a young age.

“Investing when you’re young helps build your financial literacy,” said Gray, general manager of Kotn Supply, a Toronto-based manufacturer of custom apparel. “Knowing when, how and where to invest your money is a valuable asset that will serve you well for the rest of your life.”

He said the sooner you start putting your money into financial plans, shares or property, the better.

“The younger you are,” he said, “the more time you’ll have to educate yourself on best practices to set you up for future success and wealth.”

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Separate Personal and Business Finances

“My partner taught me the benefits of separating my personal and business financial accounts — a simple but wildly convenient and useful lesson that I never considered before it was brought to my attention,” said Natalia Morozova, managing partner at New York City-based immigration law firm Cohen, Tucker & Ades, P.C.

If you’re an entrepreneur, it can be hard to unblur the lines between personal and business finances, but she said learning to do so is important.

“You need to be able to efficiently track every penny coming and going related to your business,” she said. “Having an account for personal and financial income together greatly complicates this process — it also makes filing taxes more challenging.”

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Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

“When you invest in something that you believe in, whether that be a particular stock or a company, or even a person, then you’re much more likely to have success,” said Brian Greenberg, president at Insurist life insurance agency. “The idea is that if you really love something, you’ll do everything you can to protect it — and investing is no different.”

In his case, Greenberg’s partner personally demonstrated this concept.

“If there’s one thing I know about my partner, he believes in me like crazy,” he said. “So when he told me he wanted to invest in my business idea, that was music to my ears.”

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