When you give your wedding vows, you promise to stand by your spouse’s side, in sickness and health, in joy and in sorrow. You agree to go with her/him through thick and thin. But what do you know about the financial aspect of the marriage? Here are eight facts about marriage and money that you should know.
1) Financial infidelity is real and destructive
Your spouse may be cheating on you in different ways, and if we are talking about money, it’s just as painful as physical or emotional infidelity. It’s so bad that even has its own definition – financial infidelity. It occurs when couple lies each other about spending money. It may be a risky investment or rash purchase. Such behavior, as experts say, inevitably ruins any relationship.
2) You can sign a marriage contract
The marriage contract clearly sets out the answers to the questions of property division and the payment of child support. Cancellation or modification of the marriage contract is considered by the court if your spouse’s financial position or health status has changed. No matter how much you love each other and where you met: in a park or on some Russian dating site online, you should consider signing this contract. Make sure the attorney’s fee in this case is a priority.
3) Separate bank accounts are not a sign of a bad marriage
For some reason, there is a cliché that marriage can’t be strong if the couple does not combine their incomes. It’s not true. Having your own bank account is great. You have the money and with it a sense of independence and the ability to spend it the way you like.
4) Many people don’t know how much money their spouse earns
Even though most couples admit that they discuss it. And it’s pretty sad. Nearly half of them could not say how much exactly their spouse earns, and about 10% don’t even want to know. As a rule, a husband earns more than he tells his wife.
5) Money can postpone divorce
According to researchers, the divorce rate among rich couples is lower than among the poor ones, but here the expenses should be taken into account. If a couple’s income is three times higher than the costs, its relationships will likely remain strong for a long time.
6) Your spouse’s past may affect your financial stability
If your spouse has debts, he/she will likely have to spend most of the money from his/her salary to pay them. It is worth noting that often men keep such details to themselves, and their wives find this out only after the wedding. If you have the opportunity to take a loan at low interest rate right after getting married, please don’t do it just because your wife of husband asked you. She/he can just pay the debt and leave you.
7) Keep your money to yourself
Got a lot of money from your parents? Keep it to yourself. That’s exactly what financial planners suggest. An inheritance is considered separate property, unless it somehow falls into the possession of both spouses. You can put the inherited money into tour personal account. Thus, you won’t have to share it if your marriage goes down the drain.
8) You can’t get money spent on your spouse before marriage back
Obviously, both spouses have right to claim certain property after the divorce, but if your ex is an honest person, he/she wouldn’t take much from you. But remember that if you helped your ex pay for her/his studies or a mortgage loan before the wedding, you can’t get this money back after the divorce.
How to keep the family budget?
Proper distribution of family income is an important component of a happy family life. Wrong planning of your budget may result in conflicts inside the family leading to mutual disappointment, and sometimes to divorce. To keep your family from falling apart, you need to learn how to manage the family budget.
According to the independent model of keeping the family budget, spouses manage their incomes individually. This model is suitable for newlyweds, couples that have approximately equal income, and those who prefer to stay independent. In the case of family expenses, couples share them. However, since such expenses mostly occur spontaneously, the costs, as a rule, are covered only by a spouse who currently has money. And this again leads to insults and misunderstanding. In such situation, it’s wise to agree to share all the costs. The purchases can be made by one of the spouses, but the second one will owe him/her money.
The solidary model means that couple forms its joint budget. However, the spouse, whose income is much higher than the income of the other one, gives more. This model fits for those families where the incomes of both spouses are not equal. For example, a husband’s salary is 1.5 times bigger than his wife’s. So he puts 1.5 times more money into the family budget than his wife. The use of the solidary model provides an opportunity to see the importance for each member of the family in the formation of the budget and gives a certain financial independence. Couples can even include their children to the solidary model if have their own earnings. This will prepare them for adulthood.
The joint model of the family budget management is suitable for most families. According to it, all members of the family add their income to the joint budget and collectively decide how to manage it. The main thing is that spouses also have their own money that can be spent independently, invested in a profitable business, or kept for a rainy day, etc. This model is more productive because it’s based on keeping the budget according to the needs of a family, and not its opportunities. However, it also has its negative sides. If a family has a joint budget, it doesn’t mean that both spouses can automatically forget about their financial independence. After all, we all have needs that we’d like to satisfy without the spouse’s permission. In this case add one more point to the list of your costs – personal expenses, the money for which would be spent by all members of the family at their discretion. It’s ok if personal expenses make up 20-30% of the budget. But it’s all based on the level of the family’s income.