It’s Valentine’s Day, and it’s a good time to talk about love – and money.
Both are facts of life, both are central to how we live, and yet we don’t much about how to marry the two together.
Let’s look at this in stages:
In your first serious relationship, you might move in together, and should be aware there are financial issues to watch out for.
You should keep your finances separated (unless heading for marriage) and be careful of joint bank accounts, because a temporary partner’s behaviour can have a lasting effect on you.
Now is the time to be honest about your financial personality and whether it’s compatible with your partner’s.
For instance, if you’re a saver, and your partner is a spender, you’ll find it hard to reach your goals.
Communicating what you want should lead to an agreement about goals.
It might not always work but if you’re serious about giving it a go, having the conversation is an important step.
Romanticism aside, marriage is serious because in most situations their assets are your assets, and their debts are yours.
Making your marriage financially positive relies on communication: talk about what’s important for you with money and what you want to achieve.
Turn conversations into financial plans and budgets.
If you have opposing views of money (or one of you brings substantial assets to the marriage), consider a pre-nuptial agreement.
It’s a contract that dictates ownership of assets and what happens to joint finances upon separation.
Communication is the most important thing in any marriage, particularly when it comes to money.
Children will focus you on planning for the future, and you and your spouse will have to get organised with wills, powers of attorney, family trusts, superannuation and life insurance.
All the things that mean little right now but have a big impact on your kids in the future.
Even if you can’t agree on details, at least have life insurances (death benefit and income protection), and a clear will.
Perhaps the biggest thing to agree on with your partner, is what to teach the kids about money.
This is a time to be clear-headed, and it’s a phase of life where a pre-nuptial agreement is quite expected because either partner will bring assets and debts to the new household.
You need to know who is responsible for what, especially when there’s children involved.
I would also encourage people who are recently divorced or widowed, to not make a major financial decision for at least a year.
Let things settle and take your time, because the decisions you make when you’re in emotional pain might not be good ones.
Finally, have a look at what successful married couples do: they maintain good communication, they make written plans, and they use experts.
This last piece is crucial.
If love and money are not coming together nicely, use a solicitor, financial adviser or accountant to make sense of things.
The advice might not be to your liking, but it might also make a success of your relationship and finances.
Article credit http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/89400366/the-four-stages-of-love-and-money