On Valentine’s Day, we’re usually focused on buying the perfect gift for the one we love. Let’s flip that script! Here are 5 ways to show your love by buying gifts for yourself:
1. Pay Off Debt and Build Your Financial Foundation.
Since Scott and I started budgeting, got out of debt, and started building our financial foundation, our families don’t worry about us like they used to. I remember borrowing money for groceries or a parent giving us money to go have a night out, because we were always so strapped and never able to do much. It’s like watching people on a ledge. With every step they take, you’re holding your breath, hoping they don’t fall – and wanting to reach out your hand every time they stumble, but knowing you won’t always be able to catch them. It’s stressful for everyone.
2. Save & Plan For Retirement
We don’t have kids, so planning for our retirement is really important, because we don’t have anyone to move in with, in our old age. But even if we did, it would still be really important, because we don’t want to be a burden to anyone. We do have family that would help us if we needed it, but if we plan now, save for our future and get all our ducks in a row, nobody will have to stress about taking care of us, while trying to have a life and plan for their own old age.
3. Love Your Kids By NOT Borrowing To Pay For College
There are a ton of ways kids can go to college debt-free and if you take on loans or pillage from your retirement now, you run the risk of not being prepared for retirement, which there are no loans for, and you may have to depend on your kids to take care of you. Help them find resources to get their education, without saddling you or them with crippling debt.
4. Don’t Cross The Line From Financial Assistance to Financial Enabling.
If you’re helping your adult child who fell on truly hard times, kudos to you. But if that transitions into you paying their way, while they revert back to a teenager, you’re making a big mistake! You may think you’re showing love, but you could be crippling them. The more you do it for them, when they’re capable of doing it themselves (even if they don’t want to), the more they can become dependent on you. This means you are re-directing your financial resources to take care of them, which means you may not have enough resources, at some point, to care for yourself. And if they’ve become dependent on you, now you’re both in trouble. But even if you have the resources to cover them and still care for yourself, what happens after you’re gone? Do you have enough resources to cover them for the rest of their lives? If not, you may have done them a huge disservice, because they could be lost in financial chaos the moment you pass away. So love your children enough to set boundaries and teach them financial literacy. This will help them get on their feet when they’re young, and stay on their feet as they get older.
5. Buy Life Insurance
If you and your partner are working on financial goals together, combining money to live your lives and raise children, what happens if you pass away? Would they be able to make ends meet, or would things fall apart financially? Life insurance provides peace of mind that the people you love will be taken care of, at least long enough to bounce back from the loss. The ways you can show love with money are endless – and the gifts we’ve talked about here are priceless.
Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day is full of love, hope and dreams for the future!