Everyone dreams of a perfect marriage and a perfect partner but not everyone is lucky in life. There are many factors that might rock the boat of marriage and money can be one of the main factors.
In the past, money was mainly the responsibility of the man and few women had access to money and as a result money didn’t play a vital role in marriage, as men worked hard to earn money and women looked after house and kids. However, these days more and more women are working, making most household a dual income house.
This has brought lots of question to newly married couple.
Are we going to combine all the finance so your debt is my debt and so is the money?
Are we going to keep your money as your money and my money as mine but share all the expense?
These decisions in life play a vital role on which direction the marriage will go.
Growing up in Nepal, I have seen most of the couples live in dual-income marriages where each has full access and control of their own and their partners earnings. But in Australia, I have seen the couples living happily in both arrangements.
One of the reasons why people are hesitant to combine their finances is because they are scared to lose control over their money. They don’t want another person to tell them how to spend their money or what to do with their money.
I can’t tell you whether or not you should combine your finances with your significant other; it has a lot to do with individual comfort levels, trust, and many other marital issues. However, it is a decision that all couples face, particularly if they choose to marry or agree to a long-term commitment: should we combine our finances or not?
I can only tell you what I do and why I made my decision. From the day, my husband and I got together, we combined all our finances. It was not an easy decision but we made that decision together because we thought that was the path we wanted to take moving forward. We were both honest about what we had and what we wanted in future.
Both of us have the same goals like getting married, buying a house and travel. I have to admit travel was number one on my list and somewhere on the bottom on his but we made a decision that we don’t travel all the time but will have at least one big holiday a year. That sounded realistic to me so I agreed.
By combining our finance I was answerable to my big purchases so I can’t just go and spend $500 on a bag and another $200 on a dress in one day. Even before I take my credit card out of my wallet, I will have to come up with a good reason why I spent so much. It proved to be a good thing for me because I always think before I make a big purchase and when I can’t justify it, I don’t buy it. It was not that he was controlling my purchase but I knew we have a goal to reach to and buying whatever I feel like whenever I feel like was adding unnecessary obstacles in reaching our goals. And the same thing was happening with my husband which meant our saving was growing steadily.
Luckily enough our arrangement is working well for both of us and both of us are happy with what we have achieved so far. We have a long-term plan like where we want to be financially when we retire and when we have babies and we can see that if we stick to our plan. We can reach our goal and that is a very happy feeling.
Regardless of how you arrange things, you should discuss your money at least monthly with your partner. This will definitely give a real overview of your financial situation. Otherwise, imagine your surprise when you find out that your partner is in $20,000 debt.
This can be as simple or as detailed as you like, depending on your comfort level, but there should be at least some time set aside regularly so that each person can be as informed about your shared finances as possible.
I do believe that transparency and open discussions is very important in a marriage, as it will strengthen the bond of shared responsibility. When there is financial transparency and common goals, it facilitates two people pulling together rather than away from each other and marriage gets redefined as a partnership between two contributing adults.
Do share how you mange your money?
Take care and have a great weekend,
M from nepaliaustralian