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If you are in your 20’s and early 30’s, you have faced the onslaught of people’s wedding pictures on Facebook, their matrimonial hashtags and rosy pre-wedding photo shoots. While love and marriage can create heartburn in a lot of single hearts, marriage can become a financial nightmare if young couples do not take stock of their money situation.
Here are some vows, that every one seeking a happier marriage should take!
While many people think that space and privacy is necessary to a happy marriage, this does not apply to money matters. If you have undertaken the decision to jump into a life-long partnership, you might as well keep the books clear. Your partner should have access to financial details in the event of your death (morbid, I know, but important), nominees, account numbers, financial status, health insurance details and cover, as well as stuff you are doing for children and parents. I have seen women STRUGGLE deeply because their husbands controlled the purse reins to such an extent that they were paralysed. Tell your spouse everything – your life and that of of your dependents could depend on this.
Here is the truth. There can not be a relationship where both partners spend and save in exactly the same fashion. Your motivations and interests are completely different from your partner’s. Hence it is imperative, that in a relationship – you do not hand over complete financial access to your spouse. Always retain control over your login credentials, PIN details etc. This is not lack of trust but common sense – what if you had an emergency tomorrow and your partner had splurged out your account already?
It is ideal to have a Yours, Mine and Ours Account. Saves everyone a lot of trouble and having a joint account gives a non-working partner or stay at home partner more flexibility.
Bottomline: Your partner SHOULD know how much money you have put away but not necessarily have access to it IF they are in the habit of splurging and dipping into funds.
Most couples are conditioned to ignore deep questions on money management and financial habits till it’s loo late, and they find themselves in a condition where either their partner is: (1) Spending without a thought (2) Saving so much that you feel suffocated
Here is a handy list of questions you should ask directly or get a sense from your partners on:
There is a predictable pattern in reaching out to friends, relatives and parents for financial advice. This can be construed as interference by the other partner as well. Ideally, do your own investing as a unit or reach out to professional financial advisers who can guide you suitably. Self-medication can be a bitter pill to swallow when you find your finances mis-managed.
Typical financial arguments in a marriage are centered around saving and spending discussions. Investing due to complexity is trusted to one partner (in our society, the man). Hence partners spend all their time squabbling over things like – “Why did you buy a new phone again?” while:
Marriage is not just a union of two people and their families but also of two incomes and two financial futures.
As a couple you should tick the following boxes:
So, while you get your band – baaja – baaraat in place, don’t forget to assess your Income, Investment and Impulses.
Here’s wishing you wedded bliss (and a retirement plan once you get there!)
Image via Unsplash
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Lover of good books and great conversation.
Personal finance enthusiast. Marketer & Poet.
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