Are you ready to share the load?

Author : teriann

I often get excited when I hear of upcoming weddings of my family or friends. It is certainly an occasion for celebration as two persons commit to spending their lives with each other. I wonder though how many couples realize that along with other kinds of adjustments they need to take into consideration their financial plan.

Expectations

Many couples enter marriage with only a vague idea of what their partner earns and how much debt they currently have. There are expectations on both sides although often it is not discussed which can lead to future arguments about finances.

There are also societal concerns as it might be the norm to accept that the male in the relationship should shoulder the heavier financial responsibility. Some women may feel that their contribution does not need to be financial they take care of the house along with any children they might have with their partner.

On the other hand, there might be husbands who expect that their wives should add significantly to the family’s coffers.  Some couples gloss over the details of who will provide the  financial support for the family while others simply do not often discuss financial matters until after the vows.  By then it will be too late!

Suggestions for good money management

It is important to have those potentially awkward conversations about money before you tie the knot!  As you discuss your views on money management listen to your partner’s answer to these questions: What is your attitude toward money? How much do you earn? What debts do you currently have? What bills do you expect me to pay? How do you feel about saving?

When people go from one-income families to two-income families, the temptation is to start buying some of the things you’ve always wanted to have. Resist that urge as it can lead to unrealized expectations and tension in the marriage. You might now have two incomes but that doesn’t mean you can afford everything you want. Some needs and wants  are more important  than others.

Work out a budget

Couples who have a budget even before they pool resources will find it easier  achieving their financial goals.  Bear in mind that the budget can not be arbitrarily decided by one mate while the one who earns less has to suffer silently. In order to have less conflict about teh issue it is best to have open discussions that are free from blame or guilt.

Sometimes one partner is more careful with money than the other. Does this mean they are banned from giving their input? They are in a partnership and so both voices must be heard. I will  post a part two about sharing bank accounts and further suggestions in my next posting.

How about your relationship? Do you share the burden or is it one-sided? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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3 Responses to “Are you ready to share the load?”

  1. Brian AIM says:

    This article should be read to all couples before they get married.

    I totally agree that it is best that couples agree and plan on what they will do in a marriage than wait until the problems arise.

    Monetary problems (along with infidelity) is one of the main causes of relationship trouble. When both parties start pulling in opposite directions re: finances, we have a looming disaster.

    Couples however, do not have to pool their entire resources. They can agree on a percentage of the earnings to be pooled together for the family, while a percentage is set aside from each individual’s earnings for personal use.

    This can be used as one desires, removing the rigid, business-like lifestyle from the marriage. This will appease those who have an independent spirit. Not all partners will be happy in a rigid personal finance system.

  2. teriann says:

    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. This issue does affect a lot of couples, hopefully they will be prepared for the financial support they might have to give their spouse. Keep sharing and commenting!

  3. I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

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