Money and Marriage : Talking about money in marriage

By Francisco Colayco

 

The last thing we think about when we talk about love is money.  But really, the inability to manage money is one of the big reasons why love, particularly marriages, fall apart.

That is why when you have decided to choose your partner for life, be very sure that money matters are something that you are both comfortable discussing before even making a decision to get married.

You need to be more specific about your “money relationship”, once you are engaged.  Some couples think they can just talk about it after they are married.  I disagree.  You should already be honest with each other’s finances as you plan your wedding.  In some cases, parents may still pay for the wedding.  However, this should not matter.  You both need to understand your money values as you make your wedding budget.  If you can see that you have opposite ideas on money management, you may want to re-think getting married and save yourselves a lot of heartaches.

You need to set your budget as a couple.  Among the matters that you need to be open about to make a meaningful budget are: your sources of income, the kinds of expenses that you would classify as needs and wants, the spending limits for each type, who manages the money, who makes the final decisions, and issues on help to extended family. Agree on what would be “mine”, “yours” and “ours.”

You need to set your goals on:  the number of children you want, the kind of education needed, the kind of lifestyle you expect, vacations, kind of car and house you expect, loans and borrowings, and investing.

The directions on money matters for your marriage could sound so cold and professional like you are entering into a business partnership.  In truth, the financial part of marriage can be viewed as a corporation.  The husband and wife are the original stockholders of  “Marriage, Inc.”

Money and Marriage : Talking about money in marriage

“Marriage, Inc.” also employs them as Chief Executive/Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. They need to grow the company to be profitable through the proper management of income and expenses.  They should learn to utilize their profits and grow it further through proper investments.

They can have members of their extended family who need help as the company’s “CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility.”  They must remember as part of their CSR philosophy that they cannot share what they do not have.

They can have apprentices (their children) whom they have to teach to take over their company.  They can start the apprenticeship at a very early age. They have to prepare for their own retirement from “Marriage, Inc.” by setting up their retirement fund.

There will be clashes of ideas and management style but all of these can be objectively discussed to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.  Whatever you wish to call it, marriage should be first and foremost, a union of two people in love and with mutual respect.  Put everything in perspective and try to approach financial issues with as little emotion as possible.  With these in mind, “Marriage Inc.” should turn out to be a top-earner in all realms.

Are you financially independent?  Check our article on the stages of financial independence here –

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fjcFRANCISCO COLAYCO

Philippine personal finance guru Francisco Colayco is an entrepreneur, venture developer and financial adviser who has written many books that advocate Filipinos to financially prosper. He is Illustrado’s resident money columnist.  Learn more about his work and advocacy here: www.colaycofinancialeducation.com

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