Ahhhhh the month of February, “the month of love”. As Valentine is right around the corner, which month is better than this to talk about love? But we are not just going to talk about love. We are going to talk about love and money. The reason why most couples fight and the reason why most couples live happily.
When any two individuals come together and are bound in a relationship or a holy ceremony of marriage it’s a beautiful thing to witness, but let’s take a minute and see that even though they are called a couple at the end of the day they are 2 individuals and so are their finances. Hence a couple should always have 3 bank accounts:
- A joint account: – An account where both the individuals will add an equal amount of money from their respective salary every month and it pays everything that is the necessity to live and the things you want to do as a couple together.
- Individual account: – Where she should have her own bank account and he should have his own bank account. This is used for personal needs.
- Emergency account: – An emergency fund allows you to live for a few months if you lose your job or if something unexpected comes up those costs a fair chunk of money to cover.
To avoid financial stress here are a few things that you can implement.
- Communication: – Basic but an important step. Be very open about your finances with your spouse. Being the listener is as important as talking. Talking about finances can be a little embarrassing for some and definitely awkward for most of us. Hiding debts, bills, receipts, etc won’t just imbalance the truth and the relationship but as an individual will affect a lot in every aspect.
- A big no for blame games: – Talking openly can be a little frightening because if there are any financial issues in the relationship you may fear that your spouse may blame you for it (which is an easy option to do at that moment) but here’s the thing blaming it on the other person will not solve the issues it’ll only make things worse not just financially but on a personal level too. It’s not always easy to avoid blame games and judgment but when you find yourself in such a place it’s time to call in the mediator A.K.A. the financial advisor.
- Professional help: – A financial planner/advisor can work as a neutral party here without any biases. He/she can help a couple meet common grounds, focus on their goals, increase communication, ease the tension and help you in taking the next step in the financial aspect.
- Goal setting: – if you want to build a life together, it’s only sensible to work together on the goals too. Sit together and communicate what are the goals. Goals should be joint goals and individual goals and in that again there have to be two goals short term and long team. The joint goals are the ones where you work together and are funded from the joint account. This step may require some compromises from both individuals.
- Equally involved in managing money: – no matter what jobs you have or what you do around the house. Together you want to build a life; together you’ll take care of the finances. No one individual should take the entire responsibility for the finances. It should be both individuals’ responsibility.
Even this is a beautiful phase of life as couples cherish this phase and don’t let money come in between your relationship. Taking care of the finances together will strengthen the bond and develops trust in one another. Work as a team, be open and communicate, be honest and support each other through the process and along the way.