Grace Maulion, the mom behind the popular blog Tipid Mommy, shares what she and her husband learned about managing money wisely
Money issues is one of the top reasons why many couples call it quits.
It may be because of inability to provide, some face conflict in sharing their wealth, while others simply do not have enough time to flourish their marriage because they’re both busy making a living and, as they say, they forget about living.
My husband and I have agreed to never let money be the reason we fight or argue. We thought it would be an easy commitment, but as we faced family life, we realized that money indeed plays a big role in married life. But, we also learned that it shouldn’t be the center of our relationship.
Here are some money lessons we learned as a newly married couple.
1. Always ask the experts
Money management was not part of our school subjects; that’s why, as a couple, it is a good investment to enroll in Money Management workshops or seminars. It is also good to interview as many couple as you can about their money management tips, learn from their mistakes, seek advice, and be humble enough to admit that we need people who are more knowledgeable than us. Most of all, it's important to never stop asking, never stop learning.
2. Open a joint account
When you get married, everything that is yours becomes his, and everything that is his becomes yours. As most couples would agree, we should treat our money and other assets as one.
Beware of this widely held belief: “Dapat magtago ka ng sariling pera mo, para in case maghiwalay kayo, may sarili kang ipon.”
A financial expert shared in a seminar I attended that, by keeping a secret bank account, saving for your own future will actually lead you into "a mindset trap," where you think that someday you and your spouse will go separate ways.
So why focus your mind on planning for a failed marriage, right? Always be transparent; never keep secrets, especially in the area of finance.
3. Determine who’s the budgeter and the spender in the team
I love what Chinkee Tan, a financial expert and life coach said before, "Married life is like a WORK-SHOP, the other one works, the other one shops!"
But kidding aside, it is important to determine who will manage your finances or your family budget, do not simply toss a coin to determine who the "budgeter" is, but carefully check and discuss who has the money management skills.
It doesn’t need to always be the wife, if the husband is more disciplined, well, sorry, I think he deserves to be the “budgeter”. In case no one seems qualified for the role, it’s time to go back to Tip #1: attend a workshop together and learn together.
4. Have clear financial goals
My husband and I honestly learned this part the expensive way, since we are two different individuals joined together, we have differences and unique personal goals. But part of married life is sitting down together, working through differing opinions and agreeing as one.
What are your financial goals as a couple? Do you want to save for your own house in the next five years? Do you want to start a new business? Even a simple vacation and travel plans should be discussed and agreed.
By setting clear financial goals for the week, month and year, you both can stay focused, fully understanding why are you saving and what your priorities are, which is not just beneficial in terms of finances but also in terms of time management.
5. Always decide as one
Never commit to something that you haven’t discuss with your spouse yet. Never invest in something without consulting your partner first. Never make a financial commitment alone. By deciding as one, you can gather insights from each other, pray together, balance everything and avoid future conflicts.
What will you feel if your spouse gave your savings to his or her family? or if he invested in something that turns out to be a scam? I’m sure it is not the money issue that comes first, it is lack of trust and respect.
When deciding as one, it shows that you respect your partner's opinion and you acknowledge the importance of making important decisions as on.
As a newly wed couple, we know we still have so much to learn about finances. As our grandparents say, “marami pang kakaining bigas,” but we think the key is to keep the communication lines open.
Think of your marriage and money life as an ongoing venture that requires teamwork, regardless of who's earning more.
This was originally published on Tipid Mommy. It has been republished with the permission of the author.