Now that we’re in February, the month of love, we come across more-than-usual love-centric advertisements, campaigns, and deals around us. But not much is talked about managing finances as a couple.
I believe that when couples vow to stay together in sickness and in health, why not deepen the bond by discussing and setting healthy boundaries for managing money as a couple?
My regular interactions with prospects and clients allow me to share that more than half of them feel uncomfortable discussing finances with their partners. So, in this blog, I highlight four do’s and don’ts on how to initiate money conversations, create individual and collective decision spaces, and take actions to manage finances as a couple in the UAE.
1. Maintain Your Individualities
Unlike the popular opinion of going ‘all-in’ as a couple in money matters, my view is slightly different here. I believe couples shouldn’t necessarily lose their identities or independence when making financial decisions for themselves. While you should always aim to make the best decisions for your family, it’s equally important to look out for what’s best for YOU as a person.
If you and your partner are financially independent, take your individual approach for building your investment portfolios and signing up for life insurance. This being said, when it comes to making bigger life investments, such as buying a house or something else, take such steps together as ‘one strong unit.’
2. Don’t Keep Secrets
Sometimes partners might have different risk appetites, which is solvable by taking individual investing paths as recommended above. But, one thing to remember in this journey is that you should be honest and transparent with your spouse. After all, partners together, in the good and bad times. Right? So here’s sharing a straightforward tip for maintaining a healthy financial relationship with your significant other:
Pick the ‘right time’ and create a comfortable environment to discuss your finances. Share your salaries, expenses, debts (if any), investments, and couple goals (example: funding children’s education, retirement planning, and so on).
Such clarities will help you build better financial plans and bring you closer to fulfilling your individual and collective dreams.
3. Keep An Open Mind
Money is a sensitive topic of discussion in every relationship. But as I’ve often noticed, it is very much possible that disagreements will arise as a couple swims deeper into financial talks.
To ensure that your collective progress on financial management does not fall to zero, try to keep an open mind and maintain your calm during these talks. For example, suppose you suggested that you and your partner save equal portions of your salaries towards a joint housing fund. But your partner disagreed. In this case, first, allow them to speak their mind. Next, take your time to process the information and discuss your concerns accordingly.
As I’ve seen around, couples usually sort such issues between themselves. However, there are times when an expert intervention is necessary. Here, don’t hesitate to reach out to your financial advisor(s) to move in the right direction.
4. Prepare A Joint Budget
One stress that remains constant for single people versus the married ones is expense management, especially for the day-to-day bills. Common questions like “how to share bills” and “how to keep track of mutual expenses” can cause complications between a couple.
However, you can remove this stress from your married lives with the help of an excel sheet or budget tracking apps. These tools help divide the responsibilities between you and your partner and allow you to set your custom limits on expenses.
As an add-on, I’d like to share another piece of advice: Talk to your partner before making an expensive personal purchase. This openness might motivate your partner to:
● Share their views on the purchase
● Suggest better alternatives
● Bring you both to healthier financial levels
● Deepen your bond
Explore: The Art Of Making Smart Choices
There is no full-proof blueprint to managing finances as a couple in the UAE or anywhere globally. With couples setting different goals for themselves, the key to successful money management is to:
● Establish truthful conversations
● Maintain your individualities in the relationship
● Ensure you and your partner are on the same page, emotionally
● Consult a financial advisor to avoid things getting messy
If you and your partner are looking for the right guidance in this space, you can reach out to me via this contact form.