Flirting over money issues can ruin a potential marriage life.
There are many couples that have conflicting money values that there can often be arguments seen on how a household should save and spend money. The common belief that men should handle all the financial planning while the women handle the day to day chores are over in this century. In today's society, it is critical that the financial planning is discussed between both parties, which is why it is all the more important that they are dealt with tender care because it is about two person - two pair of hands.
This can be tricky though because not everyone is savvy in financial planning in the first place, especially if one is stronger than the other in this aspect. Take my case for instance, I am accounting and finance trained and I am more comfortable dealing with financial planning than my wife. This though, as I will share later about my story, does not stop me from making all the decisions myself, though for the most part she entrusted me with the decision I make.
When we got married and started to live under one roof, we started defining on the values of what we believe in and this includes the talk about money and financial independence in general. In order to achieve our goals, we both agree on our respective roles on how to handle saving and spending patterns in an appropriate manner. There are a few general rule of thumbs that we follow. For instance, we ration our expenses appropriately and any big item expenses that go above $1,000 would need both our approvals before it can go through. We also aim for a minimum saving target of 50% each month and if we bust that over, we would think of ways to make it up in the following months. Maybe no travel, or less dining for instance.
Next, there are the issues of whether a joint savings account is required for marriage couple. Personally speaking, they are good to have because it advocates an equal share of responsibility towards any money that goes in or out of the account. For us, we don't use that much because most of the household contribution comes directly from me as my wife has decided to step down to become a stay home mommy so the joint accounts are becoming irrelevant for our case.
Our income disparity for day to day activities isn’t an issue because we had our understanding agreed right from the beginning. Neither of us are a big spender and we live pretty much on decent maintenance most of the time, though there are occasion where we would splurge on things like food and travel. I was also allowed complete access and decisions on how I should invest my money because again there are things which we have already agreed upon right from the start.
At the end, if you look at it, it is all about communication, communication and communication. Be open about these things right from the start so there are fewer frictions and misunderstanding about how things will pan out later.
What about you? How did you manage monetary issues with your spouse?