As we grow up, we each build a unique relationship with money – how we use it, how we save it, how much we share it, how much we borrow, how we plan to take care of our family, etc. After marriage, we end up sharing this money-relationship with our life partner. Often two people can have a very different approach to financial planning based on their upbringing and circumstances. In many relationships, financial issues are a huge source of stress, and lead to daily arguments.
➡ Upbringing and what you have learnt from your parents about money:
Talk about your parents’ attitude to money – how they saved money and what values you learnt from them. Mention how they financed your education, big vacations, or other large expenditures. Mention any financial mistakes made by your parents. Are they financially taking care of your grandparents? These answers will help both of you understand each other’s’ value system, and financial background.
➡ Things you are determined to do which need money:
We all have some things that we cannot compromise. For example, your father may have taken a loan to pay for your MBA, and you want to pay him back in a few years. Your parents may have used up all their retirement savings for you or your siblings, and you want to take care of them financially after their retirement. You may have a grandparent or a sibling who is very old or ill, and needs financial help and you plan to support them after marriage. These needs may apply to both partners – bride’s parents as well as the groom’s parents. When it comes to money, it is healthy if your spouse treats you and your family, at par with his/her family.
➡ Spending habits and comfort with taking loans:
This is a common area of conflict between couples. Have a frank conversation and tell your future life partner about all your assets and loans before marriage (you may have a student loan, or a car loan, etc). Mention your habits – how much you spend on your credit card, do you spend more than the limit? Do you borrow or lend money to friends? Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of “taking loans” or even “lending money to others”, while some are not. Some people save little, and do not invest in equity, whereas some people save a lot, and are scared of breaking their investments for any expenditure. Get a feel of how your partner’s habits, compare with your habits.
Wish you a happy married life!
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