The day one gets married; he or she is no longer one. Marriage is a life-long union. The married have to be together in the good and the bad, in the happiness and the sorrows.
Since the married have to face the tough times together, they can work together to ensure that the tough times do not come their way.
I cannot say for the emotional turmoil that is a part and parcel of being hitched, but I can speak for the financial turmoil.
Here are three ways you can do just that, so that at least one area of you marriage is always sound and happy.
Aim for Joint Accounts
The first rule of financial management is to know when, how, where and why your money is being used and spent. Knowing the answers to these questions will make finance management all the more easy for you.
For a single person this is pretty easy, since he is the sole spender and earner. However, when bachelourhood turns into marriage, things change.
This is because one becomes two, I am trying my best to not sound cheesy, but this needed to be said.
After marriage, the expenses increase and so does the income. And if the couple spends their own income separately, it becomes really difficult to keep a track of the money.
That is why, joint accounts become a need, so that when a spouse overspends the other one knows and can curb it. Also, when one is being economical with the money the other could learn the same.
You could still have your individual accounts, but try using the joint account for the more regular expenses. Marital finance management works better that way.
Aim for Joint Financial Goals
The second rule of marital finance management takes us to future goals.
Every person has some wishes and desires that he wants to fulfil in the future. You may very well know that every wish that we make is somehow connected to money.
Wanting to go on vacation to the Middle-East;
Wanting to drive car to work;
Wanting to have a child together;
Wanting a bigger home with a lot more space than you have now;
All of these may be personal goals for you, but they are financial goals as well. Raising a child together is expensive, from diapers to college education; every day in the life of a child is an expense waiting happen.
A couple cannot take up any major financial step without prior planning.
If I talk about I and my husband, after we had decided that we wanted to become parents, we realized we needed to make a lot more money than we already were. However, we had both decided that it was time to take up the responsibility.
So, we made an investment account.
We gave ourselves two years to make the transition from being married to being parents. In those two years, we collectively invested about 50 grand in the stock market, which gave us pretty hefty returns. We also bought a bigger home and child friendly car. And we still have money invested in mutual funds amongst other investment options to make an income that can easily support our child’s needs.
The thing to note here is that the decision needs to be collective. You cannot force someone to put their money in potentially risky stocks, because if you end up losing that, it is bound to put a strain on your marriage.
So, make goals together, it wouldn’t matter if they are different, however you need to be in sync on the route to achieve it. Even if you are just saving 10% of your income, it needs to be 10% from both sides.
Aim for Equal Contribution in Debt
Debt is a common part of our lives; we have to learn to live with it. There are hardly many people in the world, who do not have a debt of some kind.
The middle class is indeed the best friend of debt;
The rich affluent business moguls also have debts that need to be repaid at all times;
The governments are also not unknown to the concept of debt; the World Bank and the IMF become their saviours.
Taking on debt means that it also needs to be returned. And when a debt in the form of a loan is taking up, it has to be repaid, that is a given.
Coming back to the marital couple, with joint accounts and joints future goals, the couple also needs to act jointly in the repayment of a debt. This is because a loan would only be taken for both their benefit, so the repayment cannot be the burden of just one.
Even if one of them has is trying to establish his own start-up by seeking payday loans with no fees meant for the unemployed, it does not mean that it is his responsibility to repay that loam. The other can help with the repayment from his or her salary on the next payday.
Marriage is a union and requires equal participation of both the spouses to make it work, whether that is in terms of finances or emotions.