Now that the big fat wedding is done, with our hearts full and pockets empty perhaps, it’s time to put your personal finances on a tight leash. Talking about finances post your wedding is not a very easy conversation to have but you need to know how to manage finances in a marriage. However, it is absolutely necessary for you and your partner to be on the same page to ensure a solid financial foundation leading to a blissful marriage.
- Debts - The most obvious and perhaps the first thing to work towards a debt-free marriage. Discuss debt details including amounts, timelines, etc that each one has. Agree to pay it off as soon as possible with a proper repayment plan reviewing both partners’ financial situation. It is often advisable to have a single credit card with a joint account. This helps both partners keep track of expenses. Especially when those tempting sales are around the corner!
- Assets - Most couples in urban India start off as working couples with their respective savings account. It is equally important to have a joint account, typically to pool in monthly expenses. When it comes to investments such as Fixed deposits, property owned, bonds invested ensure there is transparency between both. Make sure that your spouse is added as a second holder or nominee. This can play a major role in challenging times when money is of utmost need.
- Transparency - Marriage certainly is a partnership and keeping secrets about money can turn out to be a big disaster to your relationship. It is very common for people to have money concealed from their spouse or debts unrevealed owing to pressure. Be transparent with each other - both of you should know all the financial assets and liabilities of each other. This will help to set realistic expectations and to be able to trust each other.
- Spending Habits - Which one out of the two of you wear your money on your sleeve? Openly discuss your spending habits with your spouse. Most often one of the partners will have a spending habit which is not liked by the other leading to fights. It is essential to communicate why one should spend or save and come to a common ground where both are comfortable. If necessary allocate a budget for spending so that nobody feels restricted.
- Couple Goals - Set goals as a couple as it gets easier to get the spouse who does not worry about money on-board. Also, set a budget that can help you achieve the goals and that will make the reluctant spouse more willing to participate. For example, save up a small amount every month and treat yourselves to a family vacation at the end of the year.
- Long Term Plans - It is highly essential that both of you are on the same plane when it comes to financial planning for long term goals. Any goals like buying a house, a dream car or an international vacation needs to have a proper save to spend plans.
Arguments in marriages are common and essential to a certain extent. However, disagreements over finances can be avoided through open and effective communication.