2 Dil Ek Jaan – Holy Matrimony and Managing Money

Published On: 31-Aug-2020

Knowing a person, dating a person is a whole lot different from co-habiting and getting married. Creating a life together brings with it the responsibility of creating a financial future together. Also it exposes you to a lot of things which you are unprepared for like which side of the bed you will sleep on, who will get control of the remote, morning person or evening person, who uses the bathroom at what time, wet towels on the bed, Saturday plans, spending time with the family – all of these become contentious issues which merit conversations. I came from a non-exhibitive family and my spouse just the opposite and this itself took some time to reconcile – still am trying to talk about feelings and be demonstrative. 

Well while I leave you guys to figure the above out, I think it is also essential to have money conversations and getting to understand each other’s preferences. A lot of times our behaviors are governed by our familial history, our past experiences and so we do not want to be surprised by unexpected credit card debt or lifestyle expectation and expenses. To avoid money becoming a touchy topic, rather than a means to achieve your dreams and goals, support your lifestyle, lay it out all from the start.  As a unit now you get to share credit histories, budget restrictions, spending, so do not be shy to share your financial hopes and fears as well. 

I think it is essential to discuss the following things 

  1. What are one’s earliest memories around money (both good and bad)? what were the initial family conversations around money?

  2. What are our dreams and goals – financially?

  3. Is there any debt obligation one carries? How do you plan to settle it?

  4. What are the professional aspirations? and how would you balance family and career? Very often this gets addressed when you are faced with a situation and not planned out earlier. 

  5. How and when would you want to retire? what would it mean? 

  6. Would one want to live in a big city or small city? 

  7. Who would manage the household expenses and track budgets? Separate bank accounts or joint?

  8. How would you share parenting responsibilities should you decide to become a parent?

  9. What would happen if one of us gets a job in another city or country? how would we handle it?

Well you would say how does this impact the financial future. The starting point is conversations and discussion. They help bring clarity to understand each other’s viewpoint and calibrate expectations. If this becomes a habit then any money issue can be discussed openly and not lead to any stress in the relationship or unnecessary arguments. 

The key to making this work is listening to each other, respecting each other’s money preferences and expressing one’s concerns. Do not try to change the other person’s money habits or preferences at any point in time. Being respectful of each other and honest helps resolve most of the issues and reach a happy compromise. So, get on with it. Get financially naked, start the journey of learning and managing finances together and it can prove to be an exciting one. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the organization.

Author Bio

Gaurav Suri
Gaurav Suri provides leadership to the marketing and communication functions ( which includes Brand , Channel , product marketing and Investor education initiatives) along with Business Intelligence unit which serves to build data led decision making in the firm & Digital Eco System (which includes all the mobile , web assets and contact centre) for creating a digital business model for UTI Asset Management Company Ltd. He was a member of the AMFI financial literacy committee and leading communication development on "MF Sahi hai " campaign.His previous assignment was as Director Marketing and Product Development, Metlife. Having worked with a variety of companies such as FMCG Majors (Britannia Industries Limited-Danone group and Perfetti Van Melle) and the Insurance industry, he has over 24Years of diverse experience. After completing his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical} from Regional Engineering College, Bhopal ( MANIT) he went on to earn his MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.