So finally, all the noise, excitement, unsolicited advice and stress have died down, and you’re married. What next? You quickly discover as a newly wed that life, as you knew it, will never be the same. As you and your sweetheart start your life together, you begin to learn things about one another, things that only living in close proximity with someone can reveal.
Perhaps the first thing you realize is that those decisions you used to make unconsciously or impulsively, now need to be tabled before another party and ‘discussed’. Remember how you could just disappear for a weekend with the boys, just eatin’ and chillin’? Or how you could simply take off to Dubai with friends to do some shopping? Well, from here on, it takes two to agree to those decisions.
Or you discover that one is a better money manager than the other, or that one of you is more frugal with money than you assumed. As newly weds, you’ll get a lot of advice, suggestions, tips, tricks, secrets… but very few people (apart from church counsellors it seems) actually sit prospective couples down to talk about the money, its importance and its potentially destructive nature in marriage if not managed properly.
One of the trickiest aspects of marriage unsurprisingly, is working out the family finances. Will the family have a joint account, or will each spouse maintain separate accounts? Who pays for what? Who will manage what? Perhaps even more friction-inducing- will the family have investments/savings, and what should they be? According to a Kansas State University researcher,“arguments about money are by far the top predictor of divorce.” As we said before, this is not very surprising.
While it is more ideal to have ‘the money talk’ before tying the knot, tackling money issues early in your marriage can prevent money fights in the future. It’s very important to understand that the way your partner feels about money or finances is often shaped by his/her experiences with it growing up. You may believe that investing is the Holy Grail while he/she sees it as a precursor to disaster. Knowing how your partner views money will help to make the conversation easier.
So, what money positions are out there and which is the best or more appropriate for you?
The 69 Position: In the 69, both partners may be in the same marriage, but financially their heads are in opposite directions. One partner feels that money should be spent one way, while the other feels it should be utilized another way. Depending on whom the dominant partner is, this type of position usually breeds resentment and often secrecy and distrust in the long run. One partner may begin to hide purchases or financial decisions from the other because they believe that that partner won’t understand and therefore not approve of such purchase.
The Missionary: Here, both partners are on the same page, but one partner is on top i.e. controls the purse strings. Traditionally, it’s been the man; he makes the dosh, doles it out and often dictates how it will be spent. This position occurs often where only one partner works. The effect of this is that the other partner is left in the dark about the handling and management of the family’s finances. Countless stories abound of women especially; who were left floundering after the breadwinner died, without a clue about things like balancing a check book, managing insurance, mortgages, etc. Caveat– this does not apply to every missionary position.
The Canine Style: In this position, one partner is the dominant money provider while the other partner has no clue as to what the other partner does to earn money but knows that he/she is well able to provide. They thus have very little say in how such money is spent, and such partner is therefore dependent on the other’s generosity when it comes to disbursement of such funds.
The Rider: In this position, one partner definitely outspends the other. Such partners find it difficult to deny themselves things they desire or believe they are entitled to. Though the item in question may be for the family’s use (50” inch flat screen, anyone?) or solely one partner’s use (e.g. a brand new exercise bike), both partners end up carrying the burden.
The Hoarder: One partner believes in saving and saving and saving every penny for the rainy day. The problem is that the skies are always clear and sunny. In this type of position, the other partner may feel virtuous at first in putting something by, but if not careful, virtue may morph into resentment as the pain of continuously denying themselves the pleasure of enjoying some things seems unending.
The Kissing Lotus: Here, both partners are not only in the same marriage and on the same page, but they share the same financial goals. They know what each partner earns, agree how much each person will contribute to the family account, what they’ll save money towards, and how and when it will be disbursed. Needless to say that this position is the hardest to assume as it demands total honesty and transparency from each partner and the discipline to stick to agreed goals, no matter the temptation or distraction.
It is very possible to combine the afore-mentioned positions in one marriage. For instance, the husband may be a hoarder while the wife is more used to the missionary position. The good thing is that whatever position you practice, there are investment plans that will suit you. However, as newly weds, we know that you are aiming to give your marriage the very best chance of success, which is why we recommend the Kissing Lotus. It’s the most difficult position to practice, but once you get used to it, it offers the best chance of success and satisfaction for those couples brave enough to choose it.
For the right financial strategies and advice that will work for you, call our KIIS agents on 0800-MERISTEM. They will be more than willing to help you.
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