“It is good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”
– George Lorimer
After walking down the aisle together with your other half, now is time to talk about all the bills and finances on how to deal with it. As many couples before they exchange vows, they would not have thought about how they should deal with it and whether or not they should have a combined joint account. In the midst of finances related discussion, ‘money’ it always seems to be a taboo word to say as it may get heated up.
1) To talk about money first
Many couples assume that they should not have this conversation so early in the relationship but ideally, this should be done before they exchange vows during their wedding. As before they get married they should discuss both their good and bad so that both individuals understand what financial situation they are in be it good or bad. It is always good if both sides have the same values and mindset toward financial management. Having such conversations allows the couple to have a more mutual understanding about each other. As many of the times when a couple is not on the same page about money, this could lead to disagreements.
Budgeting is never easy but it is essential to map out the financial as a couple to work towards a goal, It can be either short-term or long-term goal depending on the couple. It is crucial to come out with realistic goals for short-term goals such as essential bills for the household's expenditure and also down payment for the house will be slightly longer goals. For long-term goals, it could be a child’s education or their own retirement plans.
3) To joint account or separate
Many couples before they get married they tend to be unsure if a couple should or should not refrain from getting a joint account as this way they will lose the independence and there are many fears behind it and all the what-ifs but it is a choice between both you and your significant other. A joint account can give a couple a sense of unity and ownership. It will also be convenient for the couple to keep track of their finances on their expenditure. However, one of the downside in a long run could be that one party will be contributing more than the other person as he or she might be earning more in the job. It does not mean that once you have a joint account, you should close down your own individual account as having your own account at the side gives you the sense of security and also freedom of spending your own money on the things you want to spend on.
4) Spending and saving habits
Everybody have different habits on how he or she spend and save money. However, most of the time as a couple we do not have the same habits on the way we save and spend money hence it is important to speak to your significant other about it as this might lead to what they classify as their individual priorities. Some people do not have the tendencies or see the importance of saving money as compared to your partner as it might be due to their background which makes them the way they are. It is important to know and understand each other so that it will not lead to an argument.
5) Share about everything
When you have decided to walk down the aisle together with your partner, you should not keep any secrets from one another. Marriage is a lifetime commitment, you will be spending the rest of your life with this person and you would not want to be lying to him or her as it affects the relationship.
“ A single lie discovered is enough to create doubt in every truth expressed.”
If you have any debt with anybody or company, it is better, to be honest with your partner as you will not want to start a marriage with lies behind it.
However, nobody can tell you what is the correct way on how to deal with the finances when you are married. It really depends on how both of you communicate with one another to get a mutual understanding of each other knowing what are the set priorities in the marriage, background differences and lastly, maintaining mutual trust in the relationship. Sometimes the best thing to do when you are in doubt is to talk things out peacefully as talking about money can be a sensitive topic.