Tuesday, October 9, 2012

0 Finance with your fiance

Making accounts have never been easy. To keep track of every paisa spent even as an individual is tiresome. So how do you manage as a couple?

Finance is quoted as one of the topmost reasons for differences and utimate causes of divorce. When you utter the words and take the promise to be there for each other in sickness or health, in good and bad times, to share your life forever, have you also mentally signed up on sharing of your finances?

I cannot say that our relationship did not have some 'dicontent issues' over finance. One would spend spontaneously and the other wants to always save. One would continuously invest all money and the other would just let it lie in the bank.
But fortunately, the trust factor helped us share details and manage our finances better. After all in the end, in the partnership it is "our" money - even in a legal partnership!

Here are a few curious cases overheard - some wierd ideas on how not to split your money
Couple A: Wife's condition is that the husband spend for all house-related expenses - the rent, food, maid, electricity, water - All. She will use her money for any personal expenses and sometimes while eating out. Catch them at an ATM and there will be seperate pocket money withdrawals.
Question to the husband: Why will you agree to this??? Is it some desperation to get married?

Couple B: Now it is the husband's turn for conditions - he will live only on his money and not take a paisa from his wife. So their entire lifestyle is constrained by his earnings. They live in a small house in a not-so-great locality, travel by office bus because they cant afford a vehicle and avoid going out. Obviously, one person's income is serving two people's needs. This case can be named as "The dutyful husband providing for the wife always". The concept of providing livelihood and man being THE breadwinner.
Question to wife: Are you nuts to marry this fellow?

Both cases have stemmed from insecurity and ownership towards money.
Trust or lack of it here will spill to other areas too - and a marraige is closed without trust.

Some ideas to share finances in a practical manner
- Once married, never compare who earns more. The marriage requires both partners to perform their role. A wife staying at home to take care of the kids is helping the husband earn and providing for the family. A patner sacrificing a pomotion (hence a raise), to save the family from happazard shifting, is securing your mental comfort - these are priceless. Dont always look at only the numbers.

- Have a common expenses account: This is purely for a budget purpose. Withdraw cash and pay bills from this account. Save the rest. How much to put in this comes from your monthly budget.

- Have a monthly budget and spend according to that: The budget can outline your fixed and variable expenses each month. Try to spend based on that - the advantage is that at the beginning of every month you know you cash outflow, investments, spend and hence what you can save (to buy any of your favourite items)

If the insecurity is because you dont understand your partner, his habits and feel he will scoot off with "your" money - think about it - you should have never entered this marriage.
But if its just the initial insecure feeling, this can again be solved with a common expenses account under both names but keeping your individual accounts private. Over time, things going good, you will not bother about your partner swiping your card.

How do you manage your finance - any quick tips?


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