Money Talks- What’s love got to do with it?
it’s been a while, there was me thinking taking time off work will give me more time to do everything on my to do list, instead I’ve been more busy than if I was at work, won’t take the last few weeks back for anything though, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed catching up with family and friends So how have you been, great I hope!
On money matters today,
A preacher was talking about some research they did, can’t remember who it was exactly, he said they found out that 85% of marriages end up in divorce because of financial issues, I mean 85%, that means, it’s not adultery, it’s not in-laws, not mistresses or second wives, it’s not even falling out of love that represents the biggest reason for divorce. With that statistic in mind, I would say it’s very important to prepare for marriage financially.
While this is the last thing lovers want to discuss because let’s face it, our financial life is very personal to each of us, how many times have we jealously made sure that friends and family don’t know exactly how much we earn for salary, how many times have we tried to “arrive” in style, ayway you get my drift, our money is dear to our hearts and can be a grey area to go into during courtships, however, it has to be done to give our marriages a good start.
I mean think about it, for places like Europe and the US, your credit rating is a major factor for a comfortable lifestyle and if you marry someone with bad credit, you automatically are seen as a bad creditor.
Besides that, we all have different attitudes towards money, some of us are spenders, some of us are savers, these differences must be ironed out before signing on the dotted line because trust me it can cause major issues, I’ve heard of a couple whom the husband likes to spend, the wife likes to save, this issue sadly is tearing a lovely marriage apart, it’s gotten so bad, every time the husband goes shopping, he sneaks into the changing room and switch what he was wearing with the new outfits in hope that he won’t have to take the shopping bags home and get into trouble… you’re laughing ??? He’s not, neither is his wife.
Some of us think we should give, some of us don’t believe in giving, we want to keep our money to ourselves, after all, we worked for it, if you marry a partner who believes in the latter, you may have a battle on your hands after the wedding because families and friends will still need your help financially now and again hopefully.
While you’re courting, look out for your mate’s spending pattern, do they walk past a shop, see that lovely suit, go into the shop, and buy the suit? Or do they call you or someone and say I saw a lovely suit today but I need to check if I can afford it? Does she call you on Saturday mornings and say I’m going shopping today or does she call you up and say I’ve got a wedding next week and I don’t have something to wear, I should go and find something nice and affordable, all this sounds like no big deal but ask married people, they wished they noticed those things at the time.
Men, we know you’re not the biggest fan of going shopping with your girlfriend/fiancé, but I’ll advise to sacrifice one or two weekends to go with her, you need to asses if she goes shopping because she needs to or she goes shopping because there’s a sale on and she just can’t help herself but to buy all sort of unnecessary things and say they will come in handy one day.
Being financially savvy shows signs of maturity and a sense of responsibility, it also in most cases is dictated by how we grew up, how our parents made and handled money, having said that, there must be a balance. Some use excuses of handling money responsibly to being stingy, it’s not the same thing!
There’s the law of needs and wants, buy what you need always, and buy what you want if you can afford it.
I’ve often heard the joint account discussions amongst singles and couples likewise, different people have different take on this, my take is yes it’s good to have a joint account especially if you both work and are responsible for your bills, the account can serve as a bill account, where all your bills goes from, this way, you will both feel you’re contributing towards your living cost and no one is a liability. Also it’s important for each individual to have their own account, it’s more flexible to do so, you may not always be able to get hold of your mate before you make some purchases, doing it from a joint account may cause confusion.
I will only advise a joint account after the wedding though as if done while courting and the relationship didn’t end in marriage, it may be messy to disentangle.
How will the joint account then work? I’d say, let both your salaries be paid into it, first of all, pay yourselves, it may be 10% of your total income each or whatever you both work out will sustain you for the month, put this in your individual account, then work out how much your monthly bills comes too, tithes (if you pay it) rent/mortgage, water, electricity, transportation e.t.c. Leave that in your joint account and make all the necessary payments from there. Also consider having a joint savings account, so you can save. If you plan to have children, open a savings account for each of them and put some money into the accounts as well, however little. All this I know is easier said than done, don’t be under pressure to do it all at once, gradually merge your finances as you grow together as husband and wife.
Though discuss this with your mate once marriage is seen in the future, agree on how money will be allocated, some men make a lot more than their wives and may think they should have more money paid to themselves than their wife, now that does not make you equal in the union, does it? Couples have to start seeing themselves as equals in every way before marriage, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the man is not the “head” of the family and I feel I’m stepping into a scary territory here, however, the adage says behind/beside (whichever one you prefer) a successful man is a woman, this is very true, it has been documented that married men are much more successful than their single counterpart because of the support of their wives so even if she’s not making as much as you, she’s a contributor to you making so much.
As always I love to read from you. Have a great weekend.