Couple smiling under a waterfall.

What’s your financial love language?

You may have heard about the five love languages, but what do they have to do with your relationship with money? Read on to learn more!

8 min read

Ah…love! It comes in countless shapes and sizes, and each of us expresses and experiences it differently. From showering your main squeeze with presents to organizing their sock drawer, there are many ways to show someone how much you care. These gestures of affection are often referred to as “love languages.” But have you ever thought about what expressions of love you value most?

In this article, we dig into the topic of love languages, including what they are and why they’re important. Plus, we define five crucial financial love languages to give you insights about how you show your love in money matters. 

What are the five love languages?

The concept of “love languages” was coined by pastor and counselor Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages. According to Chapman, the five universal love languages are deeply ingrained in how we express our love and how we hope to receive it. Although each love language can be an important ingredient in a healthy relationship, most of us have one or two that we prize most. 

  • Words of affirmation. This love language is all about verbal communication and showing recognition for those you care about. Words of affirmation range from expressing gratitude, congratulating the ones you love on a job well done, or simply letting them know how important they are to you. 
  • Acts of service. Some live by the motto: “Actions speak louder than words.” Acts of service are the things that people do to make life easier for their loved ones — from taking out the trash to filing joint tax returns and everything in between! 
  • Gifts. For some, giving and receiving gifts is about more than material concerns — it’s an important display of affection. Thinking about what kinds of gifts light your loved ones up, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a handmade scarf, means you understand and can respond to their needs. 
  • Quality time. Those who value this love language are great at giving loved ones their undivided attention — whether over a candlelit dinner or a 30-minute coffee break.
  • Physical touch. Some of us see physical affection as the ultimate expression of love. From holding hands to offering a well-timed hug, touch is an important way to show someone you care. 

The idea here is that each of us experience love in a different way: Some of us need to hear words of affirmation, while others feel most loved when their partner takes out the trash or does the laundry. But why all the fuss about love languages? Read on to learn why they’re so important for your relationships. 

Why are love languages important? 

Understanding your love language can be an important way to improve your relationships — be they romantic or platonic — by teaching you what you value, and what those you love value, too. Pinpointing which love languages you respond to gives you important insights into what attributes you look for in a partner, how you show up for your loved ones, and what makes you feel especially seen and cared for. 

And once you’ve found that special someone, talking about your love languages can help stave off conflicts that can otherwise arise when people show affection in different ways. What one person prizes in a relationship may not be helpful at all for someone else. If your partner cleans the kitchen every evening to show you they care, but you’d prefer they use that time to write you love notes or watch a movie with you, this misunderstanding could lead to bigger conflicts.

Financial love languages

The five love languages are all about how we show up for one another in our relationships. This also means that they touch on an important theme in all our lives: money. Financial matters require a tremendous amount of trust, especially in serious relationships where money or assets are shared. And because what we value differs from person to person, being tuned into your partner’s financial love language is critical to building a healthy and lasting partnership. So, let’s look at the five financial love languages and what they mean for you! 

Communicating openly and honestly about money  

Let’s face it: Open and honest communication is an important part of any relationship — especially romantic ones. And there are few topics that are harder to talk about than money. However, for those who value words of affirmation, talking openly about financial matters and celebrating financial wins as a couple can be a great way to feel connected and even empowered.  

For example, money can be a serious source of anxiety in anyone’s life. Being able to communicate openly and honestly about your financial strengths and weaknesses, as well as your goals, can be an incredible way to connect with your loved ones. From struggling with debt to navigating the gender wage gap or the motherhood penalty to planning out a family budget, being able to communicate openly and honestly about money is a pretty profound love language. Just bear in mind that not everyone likes to open up about their financial life, so tread carefully when broaching the topic for the first time. And in the midst of any tricky conversations, remember the “affirmation” part of words of affirmation — a little positivity and encouragement can go a long way!

Money-minded acts of service

From household budgeting to taxes and everything in between, managing money in a relationship can be challenging. That’s why acts of service in the financial realm are one important way that we can choose to show our affection. 

Those of us who value acts of service probably end up bringing these little love declarations into their financial partnerships. When it comes to finances, acts of service can be anything from creating a vacation budget to organizing receipts. If your partner is struggling with debt, you may help create an action plan to get them out. Maybe you create a joint sub-account for collective goals like buying a home or having a child. Or, it could be as simple as doing a task that saves you and your partner money, like fixing an appliance or cleaning the house.

Gifts, gifts, gifts!

When it comes to showing that special someone that you care, gift-giving often hits the spot. Those who value this financial love language are especially attuned to the things money can buy that might make their partner feel loved — and they may expect the same kind of attention in return. 

Remember, gift-giving as a love language doesn’t have to mean draining your bank account each time a birthday rolls around — it’s truly the thought that counts! Sometimes a well-timed trinket from the flea market or a donation to a cause you care about can have a much greater impact than a new television. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone has the same expectations around gift-giving, so make sure you discuss this love language with your partner so that you’re on the same page about how much you’ll spend on your tokens of affection. This will help you avoid hurt feelings or a spending imbalance that can cause unnecessary strain. 

Investing in time and experiences

This financial love language is about devoting resources to quality time with your partner. This can take many forms, like frequent vacations or planning a kid-free date night. Here, money is a ticket to time well spent. Those who prioritize this love language may set aside extra money for regular adventures, or treat their partner to frequent meals out.

But investing in time and experiences can also mean sacrificing financial gain in order to spend time together. For example, some people may choose to work part time or say no to an extra freelance gig in order to devote extra time to their relationship. And as with any love language, it’s important to let your partner know how much quality time you desire and how you want to spend it, so that you’re both getting what you need, when you need it.

Saving as caring 

For some of us, showing our affection means planning for the future. While it might not offer the instant gratification of a candle-lit dinner, a solid savings and investment plan is a pretty romantic thing in and of itself. 

Why? Well, when you invest in your financial future with someone you love, you’re creating a safety net and a retirement plan that will carry your partnership into old age. And what’s more romantic than growing old together? Even creating an emergency fund for life’s inevitable hiccups is a love language that says: I’m not going to let us sweat the small stuff. Though saving might not come naturally to all of us, when one partner values this love language, their diligence and planning skills can have a positive impact on their other half as well. 

Your Money at N26

Whatever your love language is, with N26 you get the flexibility to manage your money the way you want. Whether that means creating joint savings accounts, gaining greater insights into your spending habits, or being able to send money to a partner instantly, we’ve got you covered. Find the right account for you.

By N26

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