We strive to create more with less when it comes to time and money. Marriage allows us to create a system where the whole is greater than the sum of parts. Marriage facilitates dual dreams and divided duties. Here’s the best financial advice for married couples!
In many marriages, there’s a silent partner when it comes to personal finance. Silence keeps peace and hampers progress. Hiding debt, lying about expenses, or withholding your opinion from your partner isn’t helping your marriage. It is hard to recover from breaching your partner’s trust even when your heart is in the right place.
Honesty is the best personal finance policy. You’re in this together for good. Relying on your partner for financial or emotional support in the decisions you make is easier when they know the whole picture. Together you can tackle debt, kick bad habits, take calibrated risks, and achieve your goals.
Couples may be inherently different from each other in terms of personality, preferences, and priorities. Your individual and collective aspirations may differ. For instance, one dreams of owning a bike, the other of a holiday home and both of early retirement. Setting goals together can help identify your financial priorities and responsibilities. This in turn creates a clear action plan to fulfill these very goals.
When you share everything, shouldn’t you also share bank accounts? Financial transactions and decisions are a lot easier with joint bank accounts, but if you need the space take it. Having separate bank accounts comes with the responsibility of being completely transparent. There’s no set answer to this question – do whatever works for both of you.
In a marriage, the husband and wife may have completely different money values. This could be a source of friction. One person may be frugal while the other is lavish. Or one might be more conservative, cautious, and careful while the other might is more ambitious and adventurous. Diverse values are a gray area simply because there’s no right or wrong. It’s no longer “my money” or “your money”, you’ve got to work together. So, accepting and respecting that diversity is essential.
Keeping track of your money together will shed light on your spending habits and saving potential. You could achieve so much more together when you cast judgment aside. Saving together could actually result in a much more balanced approach than what you would achieve as individuals.
For couples, being in the loop is more important than being equally involved.
Without realizing it – a lot of personal decisions are financial decisions. When should you have children? When should you buy a house? Should you lend to a friend in distress? How should you support your parents or siblings? Should you spend on a vacation or a vehicle this year? Identifying your priorities and being clear about what you will commit to each other is integral to your marriage.
Insurance is an ignored investment. Suppose, a family is dependent on one person’s income, anything that affects the breadwinner’s ability to work and earn affects the family’s finances. So, insuring their income is of prime importance.
Does that mean that double-income couples don’t need to insure their incomes? Of course not, for double-income couples – the need for insurance is much more subtle. Both of you may be financially independent and capable of supporting your lifestyles. But there are collective aspirations that you are able to meet because of each other. For instance, one person may bear the household expenses and the children’s education while the other takes care of the home loan and retirement needs. Loss of one income could put the family under financial stress.
Life insurance is your safety net, don’t ignore it.
Ultimately, couples can draw comfort that they are together in this journey to wealth creation. Being open and transparent, sharing responsibilities and ambitions, identifying priorities and setting goals, managing money and protecting each other’s financial interests is the way forward.