Valentine’s Day and Financial Literacy
By: Andrew Anastasio, DMFLF MSM Lead
Valentine’s Day is the designated day every year to show affection to our loved ones. For couples dating or married it can be the one day they are certain to put forth that little bit of extra effort and effectively display that their significant other is still the one they care for and want to celebrate their love with. It can be a joyous holiday for those who are happily partnered, but can just as easily be a miserable one for those who harbor regrets for lost loves or feelings of loneliness. Love is a strange and wonderful feeling, and is usually wont to be fickle and ever-changing; sometimes it works smoothly, while other times couples run into troubles which can make-or-break their relationship. There are many factors attributed to successful relationships and one of the major factors is whether partners have the ability to manage their finances correctly.
In a 2018 Forbes article titled “4 Ways to Show Your Money Love on St. Valentine’s Day” author John Wasik writes that “Money matters are one of the prime reasons couples break up” (1). Whether it’s because of money mismanagement, lack of financial security, or buildup of credit card debt (or the losing combination of all three), money can cause serious strains on romantically linked couples regardless of the strength of their bond. This is why being money savvy and financially literate is so important; couples must work as a team to accomplish their goals in life, and striving for long-term financial stability is an absolute must if any relationship is going to succeed. Taking on unnecessary debt or financially mismanaging funds can set couples back years, and in turn, can ruin even the strongest of relationships.
Being financially literate from a young age can certainly put a person ahead when it comes to the dating game. Having a partner who knows the importance of saving, minimizes their debt by never spending above their means, and has the ability to navigate the sometimes murky and confusing financial system that we currently have in place are always going to be in demand, and if two partners that come together find these traits in one another that can make for a very strong pairing financially. It is difficult to imagine a relationship working out if only one partner understands the importance of money; they will either have to show the other partner why this is important or will eventually find someone else with a larger understanding of money and its inner workings.
This is not to say that finances are everything in a relationship. To date and marry for money is certainly unfulfilling, and someone’s personality as a whole must be taken into account. Financial literacy is merely a step in the right direction, and someone who is financially literate is likely to have strong suits in other areas that can more easily attract a mate. However, some unlucky souls were not prepared for the financial world early on, and mistakes that were made when they were young can come back to haunt them now that they wish to be more financially secure. This is where education comes into play: by teaching our youth from day one that they have to plan for a future where their actions will not only affect them but also their future partners, we can better establish in their mind strong reasons why they should treat managing their finances as a full-time obligation.
Here at DoughMain Financial Literacy Foundation, we provide a free-of-charge, 60-hour curriculum called the FitKit that has been designed for just that purpose. It is our mission to ensure that the adults of tomorrow are well prepared to face financial challenges that are certain to arise. We also wish to ensure that future relationships are not compromised due to lack of financial wisdom; there is nothing worse than a perfect match being spoiled because someone abused their credit cards unwittingly or a person with no understanding of how to save money ended up bankrupting their family. By using the FitKit curriculum in our education system we hope to eliminate the potential for tragedies like this to occur and we wholeheartedly believe that by becoming financially literate at a young age our youth will be prepared for full-fledged financial adulthood.
The FitKit program is a comprehensive, all-inclusive curriculum that is customizable for any classroom. The teacher can pick and choose which portions of the program to include, with a wide range of potential lessons that can be taught easily to children of any age. Games and videos abound throughout, maintaining the interest of even the most restless of children and making the activities fun and interactive in a way that allows for the children to remember them long afterward. In addition to the FitKit curriculum, DoughMain also offers the FitKit Express program, which was created for communities at large to brush up on their financial literacy and hopefully learn something new. The FitKit Express also incorporates games, videos, and assessments into its design and has been condensed from 60 hours of content down to 6 hours. It is also accessible day or night at any time and for anybody and will be available for use directly from the DoughMain Foundation’s website.
For Valentine’s Day this year, and every year, we certainly understand the importance of bestowing love and affection on your partner. We encourage giving the holiday your all, allowing you to remind your loved one that they are special to you in many ways and that you think they are worth taking the risk that comes with love and relationships. That being said, we do not believe this risk should include having to worry about your partner and their financial situations. It is certainly true that times can become hard, people can begin to struggle, and relationships can withstand the test of financial strains placed on them by circumstances sometimes beyond their control. We know things are not always certain, including financial situations, and the strength it takes to fight through the difficult times is what can make relationships great. However, there are some aspects of finances that can be controlled, and this is why financial literacy is so important. Teaching children the importance of financial literacy from a young age can help them to succeed with money in the future, and this can make it so that when Valentine’s Day rolls around each year they will be financially stable enough to treat their loved one to a special night that they deserve.
Wasik, John. “4 Ways To Show Your Money Love On St. Valentine's Day.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 14 Feb. 2018.