Don’t Let Money Spoil Your Marriage

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Don’t Let Money Spoil Your Marriage
Anagh Pal - 22 July 2019

Money can bring you happiness provided you have good relationship with your money. Don't let money mess up your marriage. Here are the things to do to ensure that money is not a problem between couples in marriage.

1. Make a family vision statement

It is important to be on the same page when it comes to money and what one wants to do with it.

“A family vision statement is where couples can share their dreams, purpose of their individual life, their relationship with money, their spending habits, dos and don'ts for their family life, what they will do to achieve their life purpose and dreams, how they can help each other to achieve their goals and so on,” says Hina Shah, director, Luhem, a financial planning firm.

A couple can have some combined goals and some personal goals. Shah suggests that one writes down everything and sticks it on their cupboard or wherever it is visible to both, be little creative and add the picture of goals.

This can be done before you get married also. It is important to know each other’s financial habits before even you get married.

2. Have a budget and create an emergency fund

It is important to have a budget in place. “Budget does not mean you have to live within limits and cannot enjoy life. In fact, it will help you prioritise your goals, understand about the needs and wants by working towards higher common goals,” says Shah. There should not be money autonomy, both the spouses, if working, should not feel that they need to take permission to spend their own money. Even if only one is working, he or she should be able to spend without hesitation.

Shah suggests that it is wise to have separate pocket money for that or may be separate credit cards with limits which you can afford to pay easily every month so that there is no overspending. This will also help create good credit history in case you want to apply for loan in future.

It is very important to build an emergency fund. In cases both spouses are working and one loses a job it will come in handy. An emergency fund can also come in handy when money is required for other purposes like medical emergencies or costs like home repair and so on.

3. Be responsible in using your credit cards

“Don't start your married life with negative balance by taking personal loan or credit card debt for wedding or honeymoon,” says Shah. She advises that if one does not have money, one may take an interest free loan from parents, relative or siblings or if they have some investment they can withdraw from it. It is better than taking personal loan with higher interest EMI which adds to conflicts and stress in your married life. Use credit cards for emergency or for monthly groceries or expenses but before spending keep aside money in joint accounts to pay for the same.

4. Don't lie to your spouse about money you have spent or taken as debt

“Trust is very much deciding factor in marriage and is the main flashpoint out of many marriages,” says Shah. She says that every person has different money beliefs depending on the environment he or she has grown up in. If one has grown up in conservative spending beliefs and they don't go out often for movie, dinner or spend on luxury, that does not mean they do not want it. It is because they want to be careful about their overspending. On the other hand, if one has grown up in a family where spending money on dinners and luxuries were normal, that does not mean you do not care about money.

“Everyone has a different money value and should respect each other’s values. Have a money date with each other once a week and discuss each one’s viewpoint and understand and implement it without compromising yours. Make adjustments for both the money value systems. When you know your partners money beliefs and value system you will be in better position to understand and appreciate them,” says Shah.

5. Set a common financial goal where each of you might have to compromise on some of your individual goals

Having a common goal will motivate you to work towards it together. This will make your relationship mature and healthy. “It is important to compliment each other on taking right decisions by not over spending or not spending on unnecessary wants or desire by keeping common goals as first priority,” says Shah.

6. If you have differences in your money matters and you are making money mistakes, take help of a financial counselor

He or she will help you understand each other’s money habits and spending and how you can set a budget that suits both of you. “Finally such consultation can help you eliminate debt and hence tension from your relationship helping to make marriage work for both of you,” says Shah.

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