I had the pleasure of attending a friends wedding over the weekend and everything was beautiful. I love a good wedding, everyone is in a good mood, it’s a chance to dress up, and usually the wine is flowing (maybe a little too much wine flowing in may case). All good things in my book.
Weddings are an awesome way to say to the world ‘hey, this guy here is the dude that I want to hang out with forever, we are going to make a life together’. Ok, it usually comes out a little bit nicer than that, but essentially it is the official start to a life together.
Unfortunately though, not all marriages last and one of the biggest issues that couples fight about has to be money. Each couple is different in how they manage their finances and that is ok. As I have previously said, to each their own and as long as you have some loose budget then you are on a good road.
It doesn’t matter whether you are married or not, if you are in a partnership with someone, share money and a home together, then you are in the same boat. Dealing with money in a couple is different to dealing with it as a single unit, so here are some factors that you need to think about.
1. Joint goals – What is it you are trying to achieve? Do you want to buy a house, or take a trip together? You both need to be on a same page. Having joint goals is really important as it keeps both parties accountable.
If a couple doesn’t have aligned goals, then of course you’re going to fight. You have worked hard all week, happy to put that money towards your home loan. You check the account only to find out that your partner has bought a set of golf clubs or a designer dress. What!!! (insert blowing a gasket here).
2. Separate goals – It is also very important to have separate goals, but you need to share them with each other. I think that if buying a set of golf clubs or a designer dress is important to you as an individual, then you should be able to get it, however you may want to share those desires with your other half so that they don’t get any unexpected nasties when trying to buy a loaf of bread.
3. Don’t be in the dark – It is quite common that one person controls the finances more than another in a partnership but it is important that both people have an idea of what is going on. I don’t think one person should fully relinquish control. Money is not the be all and end all but it is important. Knowing the value of it is a life skill.
4. Accept imperfections – Sometimes your partner has a blow out. Assuming this sometimes doesn’t change to all times, its usually pretty dealable. Every now and then I may go on a nail polish splerg and my husband may buy some weird contraption that he uses for 5 minutes and then never uses again. Its just part of my charm I like to tell him. No one is perfect, and some days you just gotta spend some money. If you understand your finances as a team, this kind of thing every once in a while should not make you have heart palpitations when you have to tell your partner.
I like to practice what I preach, and recently my husband and I came up with a joint bucket list, as well as individual bucket lists. We have always spoken about what we want to achieve together, but now it is written down and it makes it all more real and achievable to us.
So, if there is one main piece of marriage advice I would like to pass on, (you know now that I have a total of 9 months of marriage under my belt), it is to have a joint bucket list. You only live once, so you may as well try and get everything you want. Two people working towards something is way better than one.