Frugal relationships: Why money can't buy love

Spending money to impress a partner or potential partner rarely works over the long term, Hamm writes.

Wong Maye-E/AP/File
A model shows a 20-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond ring at the Singapore Freeport secured facility in Singapore in this August 2012 file photo. The key to winning people over is to be yourself, not to spend money of fancy possessions, Hamm writes.

After much recent talk about insurance, we’re going to shift gears a little bit in our “365″ series and talk about relationships.

We all need human relationships in our lives, whether they’re close friendships, romantic relationships, or professional associations. Relationships are a big part of the spice of life.

Unfortunately, relationships can also be expensive, particularly romantic ones. So, for the next several entries, we’re going to focus on ways to minimize the costs of starting and maintaining a healthy relationship.

It’s natural that, when you’re just getting to know someone, you want to impress them. You want that person to think highly of you and want to spend more time with you.

One convenient way to do that is to spend money, either through buying things for the person you’re interested in or spending excessively on yourself to appear affluent and desirable.

The catch is that spending to impress others rarely works over the long term.

If you do win over the person, they’re going to eventually find that your spending is not sustainable. You’re not quite the affluent person this individual thought you were. In some cases, that can lead to mistrust and a breakdown of the relationship.

On the other hand, if you don’t win over the person, the money simply went to waste.

The best approach is to win people over with the person you are. Don’t hide the real you behind a wall of money. Instead, leave it out there.

Allow that person to click with you, not the things you spend money on or the appearance you put up.

If you’re even thinking of spending a dime solely to impress someone else, ask yourself what happens if you do win them over. Are you going to keep overspending? Or are you going to show yourself to be a different person than you originally showed them?

Be yourself. Don’t waste a dime impressing others. It rarely helps in the long run.

This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. 

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