Survival Guide Of Long-Distance Relationships - Financial Edition

Contrary to popular belief, long-distance relationships can accumulate a high financial burden similar to in-person relationships. Of course, this is dependent on the type of distance relationship that you and your partner have. An in-person relationship can see daily financial burdens such as dates, purchasing small gifts, and or planning vacations (baecations) together.

However, long-distance relationships can see a financial burden unlike any other. This is due to a variety of factors including, visas, plane tickets, hotels, activities, food and so much more. On the other hand, virtual dates can also be expensive, especially if you and your significant other enjoy buying food for one another and or sending gifts across the world.

Using my long-distance relationship as an example, my partner and I have gone on a variety of trips together and have spent many months together and many more apart. When we did get the chance to see each other it was usually during big celebrations which included birthdays, graduations, and holidays, those of course, came with a price tag.

Ultimately, our goal with this blog is to help you communicate and understand your financial goals in order to make your long-distance relationship a bit easier.  

*Disclaimer: This blog was not made by a financial advisor and is based upon opinion and research. Should you want to make a change to your finances, please seek professional help.

This is a simple question but it is very important that both you and your significant other have communicated how you’d like to approach your finances. Additionally, as you both mature and grow, it is important that you revisit and redefine this area of communication as changing environments can warrant a shift in your personal perspectives.

For example, answer these questions with your partner to understand how you would bring your personal finances together.

If you were going on vacation, would you put your money into a mutual account and utilized that account for the activities that you both do together? Do you split everything 50/50 or does one person pay for A and the other person pays for B?

On the other hand, does one person in the relationship shoulder the financial responsibilities, while the other person takes care of other responsibilities in the relationship? It is important that both you and your partner are on the same page on how you'd like to manage your finances to help reduce financial stress. 

Especially because financial stress is one of the top reasons couples divorce in the United States and Canada.

Now that you are both on the same page. 

We’ve mentioned several times in our blogs about the need for a 5 to 10-year plan and retrogradely using that to determine your daily tasks. Of course, we believe your finances should be included within that plan, both personally and as a couple.

Although you might think that you are too young or certain financial responsibilities are not within your current scope, you should be able to plan and set yourself into a position that will allow you to meet those goals when you are ready.

For example, if one day you want to own a house or even rent a place with your significant other, you should start slowly but surely putting money aside for this occasion. Even if this goal is not for another 5 years, your future you will be much happier when you’ve spent a considerable amount of time compounding the money that you are saving. Additionally, look into potentially placing your money into a high-interest savings account or a tax-free savings account, depending on what works best for you and the country you live in.

Furthermore, you should also be aware of what your individual goals are. Do you need to pay off student debt? Are you currently renting but looking to move within a few months? You and your significant other should understand what the other person is looking to financially accomplish and try to help in whichever way makes the most sense in your relationship.  

Okay, perfect, you both are on the same page, you’ve created your goals but what happens when you see each other? This is the time when the most money is spent consciously or unconsciously.

Although, this is different for everyone, generally when you and your significant see each other again you may try to cram as many activities, sightseeing, and important plans into one trip to make up for the time missed. Although, in theory, this sounds great, in actuality it is tiring and financially stressful (especially towards the end of the vacation). Therefore, the name of the game is to plan ahead and using your 5 to 10-year plan, understand how often you’d like to see each other in a year? How much each person is willing to spend? And create a plan that fits within that budget and work towards putting enough money aside to cover the entire visit.

We suggest taking advantage of free air miles, and choosing a location that is both cost and time-effective. Staying with family or friends, if feasible (basement apartments are game changers), or finding an accommodation that is both nice but within budget. Determine the activities you like to do but pack in some rest days in-between active days to ensure both relaxation and fun. Remember, it is more important to enjoy each other’s company than it is to do everything under the sun together in one trip.

Additionally, plan your trip when you are both able to take time off from work and have paid time off. The visit should feel fun not stressful because you are working remotely or using unpaid days.

Finally, try to plan your travel period outside of tourist seasons, to avoid hiked plane prices and overcrowded locations.

This was a short and sweet blog that grazed the surface of finances and long distance relationships. If you enjoyed this and would like us to write an in-depth analysis, feel free to leave a comment letting us know!

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