Here is a typical family – one or both partners earn a wage, wife takes care of day-to-day finances – she pays bills and does shopping while her partner takes care of their investment and savings. If only one partner works, it can be really hard for the other to express their views on finance.
It’s often easier for couples to talk about sex than it is about money. Today, finance continues to be a pressing problem in relationships.
The below four tips will help, and may ultimately produce more equality in marital finance.
1. Schedule meetings. If you and your husband run a common business, then you will have an idea of how much money comes in and how it is spent. But if both of you have separate sources of income, a monthly financial meeting should be on the agenda. It is quite important to make this a habit so that both of you are on the same page and understand where your money goes once it hits your bank accounts.
During these meetings, be honest and open. There is no point fighting over money. Rather, as a family, have a strategy in place – how much you spend on basic necessities, how much on entertainment, where it needs to be capped and so on. It is equally important to discuss how you plan to save as well. Create a timeline for your future investments and financial goals and sacrifices may need to be made to achieve your financial goals.
2: Develop a system that works. Saving before spending should always be the goal. If you find it hard to save, put away at least 10% of your income. If you think one party always does it better than the other, find out ways in which savings can be automated. Maybe ask your employers if they can deposit 10% in a separate savings account or if you get paid on the same date every month, then set up an automatic debit into a savings account.
This way, you don’t argue over who has done it and who hasn’t.
3. What do you spend on? There are a lot of couples who agree on most things but when it comes to finances, they always disagree. It’s not because they didn’t have enough money but because they didn’t exactly agree on each other’s takes on what money should be spent on.
Financial conflict is stronger, longer lasting and predicts divorce better than other marital issues. Arguments appear to be about dollars and cents; but they’re about more — power, commitment, ego, respect, fairness. This generation of couples faces an added challenge as 30% of women now earn more than their spouses.
4. Use a professional financial planner. There are couples who struggle to plan when it comes to money. They earn a lot, and may live within their means, but find it hard to plan for the future. If this rings a bell for you, and you’ve tried to do everything to fix financial issues but your efforts are simply not working, then it’s time to seek the help of a professional financial planner. You may think a financial planner is expensive, but knowledge is power and ignorance can cost a lot of money.
It is wise to spend a few thousand dollars a year to retire living the lifestyle you currently have than to save that money and retire poor.
Relationships need to be worked on. And whether you like it or not, your financial status is an indispensable and important part of it. Work on your financial abundance and on yourselves and you should have a great life ahead together.