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Love, marriage and Money

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Money and MarriageTwo people, crazily in love eagerly waiting to share their lives talk about everything from the wedding dress to the wedding bed but, what most people leave out of their discussion is what often becomes a bone of contention between the couple - money.

Research shows that in at least forty percent of the divorces that take place money is the root cause of the discord. Another fact that research brings to light is that almost ninety percent of the alter bound couples shy away from talking about money.

According to debt expert Howard Dvorkin, “Fifty percent of all marriages end in dissolution, and the number one reason for that is financial pressure.” If you are about to get married you must realize that besides being a union of two hearts and two souls marriage is also a union of two financial lives. So, it is very important that this aspect of the union be discussed before the knot is finally tied.

It is important that the couple don’t keep secrets from each other about their financial condition, debt load, inheritance, credit status etc. But, like they say there is a time and a place for everything.

Remember to be prudent when deciding to bring this very sensitive topic of money. So, quite obviously, the time when the both of you come home exhausted is not the best time. Besides, you need not sit down and go through the whole gamut of financial issues in one session. On the contrary bring up the topic and during your leisure hours together. Probably a good place to start is when you are discussing your financial dreams like- a trip to Australia.

Sometimes couples begin to worry about the “nett worth” of each other. And this leads to a power struggle. Sumita feels because she earns more and hence contributes more to the family it is Vinay’s business to make maximum compromises. This has led to the development of an inferiority complex in Vinay’s mind. And the relationship is facing serious challenges because of this. So, you must keep in mind that discussing finances is important it must not at any time overpower the reason why you married and that is love.

Jeff Opdyke, author of “Love & Money,” talks of “financial intimacy.” This is the opening of a joint account. Mow while this may work well for younger couples, it may not work well with older couples who have financial set up that neither of you wish to disturb.

Another option is to have a joint account for some expenses and separate accounts for individual spending. As a couple you could jointly decide to put about twenty percent into the joint account and use the rest for individual spending.

Here are some strategies that will help safeguard your marriage from catastrophes resulting out of financial discord:

  • Come to a consensus about the amount up to which each one of you can spend without consulting each other.
  • If you’re going to make a purchase that is going to be an investment for the family then it is better to talk to your spouse about it first. Important investments or purchases should always be a joint decision.
  • Draw up a family budget and try to stick to it.
  • Keep your credit card track record clean. If you are in debt make sure that your spouse knows about it.
  • Plan your savings together
  • Discuss who’s paying for what.

When one marries for love it does not mean that the couple are going to live on love and fresh air for the rest of their lives. This in turn signifies that issues like paying bills, etc just go away. So, it is important to discuss them and iron out any areas of discomfort.

As someone very wisely said, “Live lean while you are young, squirrel away as much as you possibly can, and you’ll have the down payment and diaper money when you need it.”

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