I am not yet married but it doesn’t mean I can’t make good advises when it comes to handling money for couples. I have seen many couples fight over money. And it is not a problem you can just shrug about.
Did you know that most annulments here and abroad are caused not by third parties but by problem on finances? Funny huh? But so true. Third parties are just the by-product of financial problems. Here is a classic example. Couple Ricky and Anna got married. They had clear visions and clear plans. They loved each other and adored one another. The romance went on for a couple of years. They had a great marriage life. Until one day Ricky had a problem at work and was fired. Anna took over the expenses hoping that Ricky could find another job the soonest time possible. But Ricky failed because of self esteem issue. So the stress of providing was carried on by Anna. After a year the wife complains and they argue. The woman nagged the husband and the husband found refuge from another woman.
To avoid having the same problem here are simple steps couples can follow on handling finances and have a lasting marriage.
Before getting married.
Couples should sit with a financial adviser regarding their future financial plans. The financial planner should be able to set the rules that is agreed upon by both parties (soon-to-be husband and wife).
In this dialogue the couple should agree who pays what in the wedding. It is a common mistake for a groom not to talk about this issue. Be honest to your wife-to-be. Have a budget and spend according to your budget only. Do not overspend. Remember, the wedding is just 4-5 hours while the marriage is forever. Be practical in your own ways.
Retirement is not oftenly talked about before the marriage. This topic is oftenly on “come-what-may” basis. Have realistic goals when it comes to retirement and be supportive to each other to achieve this. You can either have a common account or separate accounts for this.
It is ideal that the couple has a house already before getting hooked. But then again, downpayments and mortgages are too big for a man or a woman to shoulder alone. Agree on what type of house you want to have and on what type of community you want your children to grow. If possible, buy a house before having a child and pay it off the soonest.
Prepare for the kids’ education early on. Do not rely on your salary-to-be. Of course parents want their children to have the best education there is but unfortunately only a few manage to prepare. Before the child is born, the college education should be in place already. Saving and investing a thousand every month fifteen years before college can be of great help when that time comes.
This is commonly overlooked by the couples. They seem over confident that their medical expenses can be shouldered by their retirement fund. Unfortunately it wouldn’t. Retirement fund is different from longterm healthcare needs. They are somewhat similar but very much different.
The wrong attitude: Your debt you pay. The right attitude: Your debt, we plan to pay and pay it off the soonest. Always extend a helping hand to your partner. Remember the vow, “for richer or poorer till death do you part.” Know the root cause why you are in debt and deal with it. Do not blame the person. Rather make the person realize that having debt can ruin a marriage and try avoiding it as much as possible.
Anything can happen so better prepare for it. If you have separate emergency funds before getting married then well and good. It can be on separate accounts dependeing on what you agree upon. Please take note: giving birth to a child is NOT an emergency therefore the fund for this should not be taken from your emergency fund.