While it's true that love might not cost a thing, plenty of romances fall victim to money -- or at least to money mistakes.
Money and relationships are inseparable, and if you mismanage the former, the latter hardly stands a chance. Openly discussing financial matters is a touchy subject for many, and it’s no different when it comes to couples and money. Depending on each of our own personal histories, our financial problems, our values, and our relationship with money, it can symbolize different things to different people, which can make it difficult to talk about.
Personal finance is difficult – sometimes embarrassing – topic to discuss with our significant other, and sometimes it seems easier just to ignore the elephant in the room. It’s important to discuss managing money and finances early on in the relationship so we can avoid fighting over money in the future. However, if “early on” has long since passed, there’s still hope for your marriage or relationship.
Here are a few common money mistakes couples make and how to fix them.
1. Keeping Money a Secret
Keeping something money-related a secret from your loved one can be a huge problem. They can feel like they were left out, that you didn’t trust them, and/or that you are financially cheating.
Money secrets may include:
- Secret debt.
- Secret money saved.
- Lying about how good or bad the family is financially doing.
- And more, of course!
It's important to be open about money as it is to be open about even the most intimate aspects of your love life.
2. Leaving Financial Responsibilities to Just One Partner
It takes two to tango -- and this has never been truer than when it comes to financial heavy lifting. This includes paying the bills and the management of investments
Where one of you can take charge of your finances, but both of you must be aware and doing it together. - we have discussed it in detail in our session 1 of the course.
3. Not talking about your money past
Many of our beliefs about money form at a young age, and we’ve all had different financial experiences as adults. You and your partner are not going to agree on everything when it comes to money, but understanding each other’s money beliefs and experiences can help you appreciate why they make the financial decisions that they do.
4. Neglecting to talk about your financial future
Many of the money decisions that you’re making now impact not only your current financial security but also the way you’ll be able to spend and enjoy your money in the future. Thinking about that future together — and making a plan for how you’ll pay for it — is a great way to make sure you’re both on track to make it happen. It can also be one of the most enjoyable money-related conversations that many couples have.
5. Income Shaming
Even in relationships that began at work, it's likely that one partner makes more money than the other.
It's never okay for the bigger breadwinner to hold the wage gap over the head of the lower earner. Instead, it's important to remember that you're two equal parts of a team moving toward the same goal.
6. Not having a plan for your accounts.
There is no 'right' way to manage your accounts. Couples can choose to have exclusively joint accounts, a joint account as well as separate accounts for saving or personal spending or keep things entirely divided. Discuss your preferences together and decide what makes you both the most comfortable.
However, keeping money in one account is risky and outright wrong. Keep a balance to bring equality. Divide your savings and investments equally. We do this by having two separate bank accounts.
- Income account – in which your salary/fees, basically any earnings, are credited each month.
- Investment Account – in which you shall transfer your savings from your salary account. This account will be for all your investments. You will make all your investments, for example, insurance premiums, mutual fund (SIP), deposits, and equity, from this account.
This system of having two bank accounts will ensure that you are saving first – as you MUST transfer a fixed sum of money from your income account to your investment account.
7. Failing to set up an emergency fund.
Life is full of surprises and unfortunately, some of these surprises can be expensive. Having an emergency fund will help you avoid precarious financial situations should something come up. You must decide together how you'll set aside the money.
8. Not establishing a minimum cost for discussing big expenses.
While not all purchases demand a conversation, more expensive ones that impact the family budget should. Determine what that threshold is as a couple. For any expenses above a particular cost, you both should agree on whether it's a necessary purchase.
9. Forgetting To Have a Laugh
Financial anxiety can be all-consuming stress. That's why it's so important to find a little levity wherever you can.
Money issues are serious. You shouldn't take them lightly. But a lighthearted approach to a heavy subject matter can take the edge off of the stress that financial strain can put on even the healthiest relationships. You have someone to weather the storm with -- be happy for that and don't forget to laugh when you can.
We all have our share of financial mistakes, for sure, as a married couple. But, if we value each others’ advice and respect each others’ take on things, it will surely blossom as a happy marriage with surely fewer financial mistakes.
Now that you've read this list of don'ts after saying the “I do's”, it's time for you to start the steps to better secure your financial stability to pair with your matrimonial bliss.
Pre-book to our course- Honey & Money to get 70% discount now - click here.