My money is my money, & your money, is our money.
Studies have shown that after infidelity, money is one of the significant reasons marriages break up. If you want to keep your marriage intact, you and your spouse have to be on the same page. Welcome to the final part of our Let’s Talk Series, where we have been exploring all things relationship wise. We talked about commitment, character, sex, and spirituality. Of course, there are many more things to be examined before you say I do, but these are the topics we decided to focus on for this series.
Money is a crucial factor when it comes to committed relationships/marriages. If you are not yet married, you have to have a set of conversations with your potential partner, so you know where you stand, just like anything else; you have to be on the same page. To tackle this topic effectively, I reached out to my married friends to find out how they handle their finances and they were delighted to lend their help to this article.
Image courtesy of Unsplash
“My husband and I have individual business accounts and pay our salaries into our personal account. I have access to his business account and vice versa. He is very transparent with everything he makes and how he spends. I also have a separate account that he knows about, with a little amount of money in it, just in case he upsets me (haha)." Kiki, a business owner, shared this with me. She also revealed that it was her husband's idea to have a joint account, and it works out perfectly for them.
“We both decided on an amount to put into a joint account because we have responsibilities to our families; that we had long before we ever met.” Reveals Bella. She also explained that they had the conversation before they got engaged. I believe that such discussions should be had before marriage, so there are no surprises.
Ann, a working mom, says her husband takes care of the majority of the bills around the house because he is traditional, but she also pitches in when necessary. I like this; I am not for the 50-50 rule when it comes to money, in a marriage.
Mekky who is registered nurse, doesn't buy into the myth that says; my money is my money, and your money is our money. She believes it has to go both ways. There shouldn't be any selfishness in a marriage. Abiola, a lover of all things natural, says her and her husband’s earnings go to one account, and then every month, a certain amount is taken out of the joint account and deposited into individual accounts. While May, another working-class woman, also has a joint account with her husband, with bills being paid out of that account, and also many other accounts, such as travel, are being deposited into, out of that joint account.
From speaking with my friends, I could see a common thread, which is a joint account. But some families are still old school, with the man primarily having sole access to the account where all the money is, and then dispenses it as the need arises. I believe that when you are married, you become one and both parties should have access to all accounts, as long as trust is involved.
When you meet someone, and you are heading towards commitment, then serious conversations about money should be had. You should first find out if the person is responsible, by asking questions about their job/job history, their credit, debt, and savings. Asking such questions will give you a head start on how they function with money and if they are committed to their job.
Then you can go ahead and ask how they would handle finances within the context of marriage. Do they want a joint account? Do they swear by the 50-50 rule?—where both parties have to contribute equally, regardless of earnings. Do they want to handle everything when it comes to finances? Are they comfortable with you having unlimited access to all their accounts, (even if it doesn’t end up happening that way), will they be pleased if their spouse doesn't contribute to the marriage, financially?
The Money Language
Thanks to my pastor, I just found out that there is in fact what people refer to as the money language, just like the five love languages we have out there. According to The Money Couple, there are five money languages. I advise that you find out what your language is first, then your partner’s. The languages are:
1) The Spender: The website argues that you are a spender if you are free with your money and get a genuine thrill from making a purchase.
2) The Saver: as a saver, you get a genuine rush from saving money.
3) The Flyer: As a flyer, you have a tendency to not think about money at all. As a matter of fact, you view relationships as much more important than money.(This is so me)
4) Risk Taker: You get a kick out of investing your money in ventures, even if they appear to be risky.
5) The Security Seeker: You like to have money in place, just in case of an emergency.
Whatever your money language is, and whatever stance you have when it comes to managing finances, it is best if you communicate them with your partner. If you guys happen not to be on the same page or don't speak the same money language, then conversations should be had as to how you can reconcile your differences. I will definitely need someone who is financially wiser than I am because I am not great with money.
Image courtesy of Unsplash
Let's have conversations before we commit or get married, let's talk about our feelings and who we are as people. Let's be transparent with one another, so relationships/marriages can last a lifetime. Let's talk about everything we possibly can.
Hope you enjoyed the series. If you haven't read the other parts; use the hyperlinks above or the hashtag below (#letstalkseries) to find all the subsequent parts. Remember to comment, like and subscribe never to miss an update.
PS—if there is any topic you will like for us to talk about, leave it in the comment box below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.