When you are in the honeymoon phase of your relationship before marriage, your attention toward financial responsibilities is often minimal. The guy tries to impress the girl by being chivalrous and paying the bill every time they go out for a date. The girl loves all of his mannerisms and depending on her stance, she would want to pay occasionally or just go Dutch with the guy.
My point is that money does not tend to be a bone of contention before you are married. But once you get married, factoring in the finances into marriage responsibilities becomes a whole different ballgame — something you might not have even prepared for. Personal financial responsibility becomes a priority because, in today’s era, no woman wants to be dependent on her husband for his money.
Sharing Financial Responsibility In Marriage
Let me cite an example. There are certain marriage responsibilities such as buying things for the house — curtains, candles, towels etc. Perhaps, the guy is expected to pay for it. The guy, however, might think of a very rebellious thought — do we really need so many different sets of curtains? How difficult is it to keep the same one on or just have, maybe, one extra change? This is where the alarm bells start going off.
These might seem to be inconsequential differences of opinion at the outset, but it does illustrate how various objects might be perceived as a ‘want’ or a ‘necessity’ depending on the outlook of the person. Beyond this, there is the entire conundrum about personal objects. In the absence of clearly structured division financial responsibilities, couples may struggle with finding ways to overcome financial stress.
The guy might want to buy a PlayStation and take money from the corpus the both of them have been saving for. The girl would probably think this is a bad idea. His thoughts about that new duvet that she has been planning to pick up at the sale might also be to the same effect. This struggle of sharing financial responsibility in marriage ends up causing a lot of stress to both the partners involved in the relationship, souring things where they needn’t be.
Owning Up To Husband And Wife Responsibilities
There are ways out of this conundrum. While I may not be a psychology expert, I can quote examples from my own life and how I put an end to this perpetual problem that crops up between partners. After endless discussions, we found a strategic method of dividing money between us.
The above situations are completely real and many among you would relate to them. To begin with, my spouse and I have very clearly demarcated expenses that we are responsible for and have made a pact to never interfere in our respective husband and wife responsibilities.
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1. We assessed our individual earnings
Once this has been done, a lot of squabbles are immediately taken care of, and the load of sharing responsibilities in marriage becomes significantly lesser because both the partners know what they’re each accountable for. When it comes to bigger expenses, the demarcation is done accordingly.
For example, I am currently earning more than my husband, and we have just decided to buy a house: I ended up covering 60% of the expenditure, while he paid for the remaining 40%. This is one of the best methods to avoid financial conflict in marriage.
2. Household responsibilities
Marriage responsibilities are plenty, but the one that tops the list is dividing household responsibilities. Gone are the days where only women were responsible for the house, now men too play a part. In my marriage, we have decided to divide expenses according to the area of the house. So I cover the kitchen and bathroom expenses such as cutlery, crockery, soaps and shampoos, while he pays for all the living room, bedroom and other miscellaneous items.
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3. Vacation expenses
Beyond this, we also tend to split vacation expenses between us. Both, my husband and I, are big on travel, and apart from learning how to hike, ski, and jump off planes, we have also learnt to divide financial responsibilities while away from home. This tip is especially useful in financial planning for newly married couples.
There are many ways this can be done: first is if you divide expenses in such a way that one person covers one aspect such as accommodation, food and other necessities, while the other person pays for the commute and shopping. Secondly, you can alternate footing the bill — I pay for one holiday, while my husband pays for the next.
4. Learn to invest
Sharing financial responsibility in marriage is absolutely essential, and taking an equal part in saving for your future is just one aspect of this responsibility. What is your retirement plan as a couple? Is there a financial goal you have before you reach that age?
Unless you discuss this, you cannot chalk up an investment plan. It would be beneficial to hire an adviser to suggest some investment ideas for married couples and help you understand where best your money is invested.
This is open to discussion given the dynamics that you might share with your partner, but it does reduce the financial responsibilities on both individuals. Also, the cases above are particularly relevant when both members are earning. Since this is mostly the case in metropolitan cities, it holds relevance to a large portion of our readers.
In case either of you is a housewife or a househusband, then these mechanics would probably change a little. The crux, that the best of budgets are only managed through a complete understanding of your partner, is the only thing that you need to keep in mind.
By either going dutch or opening a joint account where they each transfer money after certain periods. Or it could also be that each person pays the same percentage as they make.
Yes, in fact, it is one of the main reasons many couples have a falling out. In some cases, financial abuse too can lead to separation.