Money matters in our marriage

Practical Couple

Someone told the hubby: “You kasi dia credit card you for her to jalan-jalan.”

How I wish that was the case. I don’t have a supplementary card and I DO NOT have the luxury to spend the hubby’s money for my own stuffs. His birthday gifts to me have always been things made with his tender loving hands e.g. home cooked meals, videos, cards and anything that cost under $30. I am not complaining but just correcting perceptions that I get to spend his $$$. Plus, it’s a known fact between the two of us – he is the shopaholic while I am happy as long there is internet connection.

Both the husband and I handle our own finances and are financially independent of each other. We do keep a joint account for the household expenditures, contributing to it based on an agreed percentage of our pay. We also agreed that no one spouse is able to take out money as and when desired without discussing with each other. Financial goals and priorities need to be set together from the beginning of a marriage. We are open about this matter. Plus marriage is about trust.

We do a monthly financial review to ensure that what needs to be settled get paid aka bills. Nonetheless, at times we do lie to each other about the cost of what we bought. No hard feelings here as long as it doesn’t disrupt the payment of the basic stuffs and we don’t borrow from each other.

Problems tend to arise when one party happens to be a frugal spender while the other spends money like water. Buying that Audi might sit well with the husband but not with me. Hence, the monthly financial review is vital to ensure both parties understand common long term goals. Never put off till tomorrow what one can do today. Discuss even when the other spouse is not in the mood. In my case, I nag. I tend to remind him constantly of our long term goals.

Budget for holidays are fixed but allowances to our parents are based on our own personal discretion. We don’t dictate how much the other spouse should be giving his/her parents as long as we know how to manage our finances. Giving back to our parents adds barakah to our life, one of our common beliefs.

Though we have no kids. That doesn’t mean we have extra disposable income at our end. We have other responsibilities/financial obligations to be accountable for. Insya’allah, if we do have kids, the financial plan will be reviewed to accommodate the new change.

When I decided to go on a 4/5 workload pay recently, I made the decision to cut down on my own personal spending. A drop in personal income can put a real strain on a marriage if there is no financial planning for the change in circumstances. It helps that I’m the saver type cause I like to plan ahead for circumstances beyond me/us. Today you may have a cushy job but tomorrow you might be retrenched! Things are constantly changing. Must always be prepared even though my job as a teacher is a stable one. I believe that we should always have accessible cash flow or savings of at least six months to buffer against difficult times like losing a job or in my case going for a part time workload to care for my mother who has cancer. Hence, I’m a practical sort who doesn’t lend money to people. That’s another post for another day.

When you fall in love, the last thing you want to think about is how long the relationship will really last or whether you are compatible money-wise. It pays to go into love and money matters with your eyes open, however. Indeed, knowing how to manage one’s finances and working them out together is important for a sustainable marriage but not entirely responsible for a successful marriage. There’s still the love element to be factored in. Money isn’t everything. Money cannot bring back one’s spouse’s love once he/she fell out of love.

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