Is it your first Valentine’s Day as Husband and Wife?
After all the glamour of your wedding, it is time to get serious in stuff you may not want to face- money matters. A married life is not always romantic, put in the ‘money issues’ and you’ll see the storm brewing.
Money issues can smash your marriage if you don’t plan as early as now.
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Here are 10 tips to balance love and money as a power couple.
- Learn each other’s financial habits
Now that you are married, you have pooled together your finances. This means that your financial habits, as well as your spouse’s, can affect you too. If your spouse is into online shopping, and you are into collecting matchbox, then you need to set your priorities straight. But make sure you don’t force your spouse to immediately shift his or her financial priorities.
By learning your partner’s financial habit, you will be able to adjust on each other’s financial strength and weaknesses. Learn to be open about each other’s financial responsibilities. Is your spouse expected to support his/her retired parents? If so, how are you going to plan your finances together with these responsibilities?
- Settle your existing debts as soon as possible
Since you started to open about financial habits, now is also the time tell your spouse about any existing debts. Your debt can also affect your partner. Pay your debts as soon as possible before you end up young, married and broke together.
- Avoid mixing emotions with financial discussions
One of the most known reason for couples’ arguments is money. If you talk about money and the conversation soon heated up, take a second to breathe and push away the temptation to walk out.
Walking out does not solve the problem. And this is a sure way to prolong the argument. Learn to control your emotion and deal with the issue at hand. Be open minded on what your spouse has to say.
You are now a husband and wife. You have to take care of each other physically, emotionally and financially. Hurting your spouse’s feelings with harsh words will not help in balancing your finances.
- Discuss bank accounts
Since you are married, do you have to combine your bank accounts? What if you have different banks? On which bank will you open your joint bank account?
Being married does not mean you need to combine all of your money and pay together every expenses. Discuss if you will keep your separate bank accounts and if you even need a joint account. You can list your expenses and decide which ones you will handle together, and which ones will you pay individually.
This is the same with your savings. You can decide how much will you save together in a joint account and on which expenses it is allotted to. Let’s say your joint account is for your future children’s needs and household expenses while your separate accounts are for individual needs.
- Create a SMART budget plan together
Make sure your plans are both short-term and long-term and must be SMART. Save up for something specific, but make sure you have the same goals.
Let’s say you are saving up for a car loan, but your spouse is saving up for a trip in Paris. You have the same pool of funds. And since you are going to different directions, you are both bound to fail. Work together to reach your goals together.
Also, make your plan realistic based on your current income, investments and responsibilities.
- Save up for the rainy days
Have a separate account for emergency needs. You will never know when you will need an emergency cash, but when that time comes, you will be thankful that you have it. Let’s say you are suddenly laid off or one of you suddenly got sick and unable to work, then your emergency funds can help your survive at least for a few months.
- Learn financial literacy together
It is fun to learn together. Read financial guides in blogs and books. Share what you have learned together and make open discussions. You can discuss while hanging out together at home. Be open and respect your partner’s opinions. Read blogs while sitting beside each other.
- Keep an active role with money decisions
Do not let your spouse make a financial decision alone. Remember that you are now partners. No matter how boring investing is for you, support your spouse and involve yourself by asking questions.
What if your spouse suddenly passes away? How will you deal with his/her finances and investments? It is the same if your spouse has a business. Understand how it runs, or else if it is left on your hands, everything will go in vain.
- Understand your employee and government benefits
Learn your benefits and how you can avail them. If you are planning to buy an HBD flat together and live with your parents, how will the CPF help you? How much can you apply for? If you your baby first baby is born, how can you get the child care subsidy? If you want to expand your business which government program will you apply for?
- Have a “Fun Funds”
Will all hardship at work and everyday balancing acts to juggle your finances, do not lose the romance. Have some fun funds. Go out for a simple dinner every once in a while. Watch a movie or travel.
Aside from talking about money, have some time to talk about other stuff such as you’re your day at work, silly jokes, TV programs, movies and even artists.
The best financial tip perhaps is to keep the love burning. When you love each other, you will be more inspired to work harder and save up to support your individual and mutual goals.
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