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Tough Money Talks You Need To Have Before You Get Married

By Richa

Planning a wedding? Here’s what you really need to talk about with your partner— personal finances and money matters that will be with you when the flower arrangements are long gone.

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YOU’RE ENGAGED. While this all is very exciting, but you may have forgotten to talk about one not-so-little issue: your financial planning. I don’t mean wedding-related finances, like how you’re going to pay for the 50 extra guests you didn’t plan for. Those are all valid concerns, but what about after the wedding? It’s not rocket science to deem that a frank conversation about finances early on will prevent relationship land mines later on.

While we know it’s important, many of us shy away from asking our partners key questions related to savings and debt. Plus, if you’re not particularly proud of your financial state, a no-holds-barred discussion may stir up anxiety, embarrassment and fear of rejection.

“Today, the price one pays to attain the basic necessities of life itself has shot up in India. Marriage is not that easy task and it’s an impossible nowadays to maintain a healthy marital life if one is burdened with mounting EMIs and job pressures. Hence, more and more divorces are now getting triggered from financial issues in India,” says Ms. Shivani Misri Sadhoo, relationship and marriage counsellor.



She further added “That major trigger that causes the differences in financial matters starts with that fact that men and women traditionally view money differently; women tend to view money as a means of security, while men view it as a source of power and status. That is the reason if both partners jump to marriage decision without sharing their financial viewpoints, expectations and plans; they may soon end up in a situation where both will perceive that their partner is managing financially wrongly. Once the difference and loss of respect between partners arises the relationship health then starts to deteriorate.”

Here’s how to calmly—and, dare I say, pleasantly—enter this critical conversation into the record in the early stages of your relationship, never mind if its arranged or love:

DON'T DODGE THE DEBT - Make sure all the financial skeletons come out of the closet before the big day — discuss credit card, car loan debts and other prior obligations. As uncomfortable as this topic might seem, you don’t want any unexpected surprises when it comes to debt obligations.

TAKE FINANCIAL INVENTORY - Now is the time to have a heart-to-heart with your future spouse about his financial past, present and future. Talk about retirement and other savings. If you and your partner haven’t come anywhere near this conversation yet, my recommendation is to schedule a time to talk so that your partner doesn’t feel blindsided and so that you can each do a little homework beforehand if need be. Revealing a bit about yourself first may encourage your significant other to talk money.


The Indian Express

PLAY DETECTIVE - Take notice of whether your future spouse spends money frivolously, frugally or somewhere in between. Dinners out, and buying the latest ‘it’ item can reveal a careless approach to money. On the other hand, your partner might be frugal, ordering the cheapest item on the menu. Turn the microscope on yourself as well to identify your money personality.

Probe deep and ask your partner why they think about money the way they do. Here are a few lead-in questions that you can use to help foster conversation:

• What do you think about ‘rainy day’ funds? Do you budget savings?
• How often do you impulse shop?
• How important are name brands to you?
• Have you started saving for retirement?
• How often do you borrow money from others?

Inputs by Ms. Shivani Misri Sadhoo, Relationship and Marriage Counsellor

THINK ABOUT 'TIL DEATH DO US PART - Marriage is a major event that entails joining you for life with someone else. Protect each other through life insurance and update your beneficiary information on financial and retirement accounts.

ESTABLISH YOUR ROLES - You don’t have to figure this out right away, but start to talk about how the two of you are going to divide household finances. Figure out each other’s strengths and natural abilities and play to those in how you divide up the financial responsibilities.

“It is most desirable to discuss about the money at a high level with the chosen life partner because in this era both the life partners are knowledgeable and are having a minimum expectation regarding life style in future from their life partner. In current scenario, it is expected that if one will not discuss these point with their life partner, they cannot adjust with each other and fight for minor issues,” says Mr. Mukesh K. Aggarwal, Sr. Partner, M. K. A. & CO. Chartered Accountants.

Oyisa United Debt Specialists

Ms. Sadhoo further said that “Yes, I often support couples to overcome their communication gap and fill the gaps as to how their misunderstanding has been the root cause to many financial issues (many times couples were not even aware of it).  My advice to all couples who are getting married this season is to nurture your marital life with care and complete dedication, be 100% honest and don’t leave issues unaddressed for future that can harm your relationship.”


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