Rich man poor man beggar man thief, all handle money differently and how it matters to each one is a very personal choice.
Your relationship with money and money matters speaks volumes about your levels of trust as life and its experiences are important learning lessons and dictate your ability to share openness with your partner on handling money.
In relationships, money can cause conflicts if not approached with clear communication and consideration. Earlier the better, but I say it’s never too late to get on the same page. If there isn’t a foundation of trust when it comes to money, it can lead down a dangerous route. Just like couples share family duties, financial duties should also be part of the deal.
Teamwork is everything.
Do you and your partner share finances or keep them separate? Why? Or why not?
Three different scenarios, at three stages of relationships give us a prospective on how differently couples handle money matters and it is very clear that there is no ‘one size fits all’ in managing finances within a relationship.
My wife and I have been married for nearly 51 years and have always pooled our money, regardless of which of us had employment, gifts, legacies, good luck or bad luck. (This is a well worked out partnership, definitely discussed and planned early in the relationship)
Money is always an issue in our home. My husband spends Rs.2000 per week on his smoking habit and I admit resenting the waste of money. On the other hand, he doesn’t like me buying clothes and personal products or household gadgets useful to both of us. This has caused arguments for all our married life. (Lack of communication, discussion, consideration has lead to continual financial disharmony.)
Right from the very beginning money was a problem with me and my husband. Despite the fact that we had agreed to save for a home together everything turned around after my pregnancy. In the beginning we shared expenses equally, then due to pregnancy I quit work and was allotted a set and agreed amount for “housekeeping”. However, my husband was always suspicious of my ability (and commitment) to the careful handling of money, even though we were living a very frugal lifestyle. I never understood his attitude, in fact I was very hurt that he didn’t trust me. This problem strained our overall relationship that was never resolved. When I was able to return to work, I once again shared household expenses and set up my own bank account. It has made me hard towards my husband and I know I will never be reliant on anyone but myself for my maintenance. (A sure drift in partnership but a huge lesson on self-reliance)
Most couples do have difference of opinions from time to time on money issues, this will not become a serious problem if deferring views are laid out, discussed budgeted and goals set towards achieving each ones dreams and desires, which might not always be the same. Financial status does play a huge part in long-term security and if needed professional financial advice is highly recommended.
1- BUDGET yourselves right from the start or as soon as you are reading this article.
2- ACCOUNTABILITY: Be open with your spending, no matter how trivial or over the top it may be to each other.
3- SECRETS: There are no financial secrets, no hidden money and no hidden debts.
4- ADDRESS ALL AREAS, from day to day finances, savings and investments, its hard to stay objective when you focus on only one area.
5-WILLS: Keep them legal, updated, known and agreed with each other.
6- RETIREMENT: Accumulating a pooled wealth for retirement is recommended. Trust funds for children if you wish.
7- ESTATE – ASSETS, should be in both names, all this generates trust in making a stronger unit. Take pride in watching the pooled wealth accumulate.
It’s so important to have those uncomfortable money conversations early in your relationship. My advice is to be upfront, because the more you hide, the more it can impact you in the future. You might feel a loss of individualism, more trust than you can afford, separation of assets may be more complicated or your partner will #knowthecostofyourbirthdaygift through shared bank accounts. Though the discussion may not be as easy as household chores, children duties or which Netflix soap to watch. A good option is to share roles equally, plan a coffee date to pay bills, discuss expenses and review saving plans, this way both have a taste of overall spending and saving, not to forget the medium roast brew.
Get to it, talk about it, solve it and pray it works.