After graduating and starting a career, the next life-cycle stage for most people is marriage. Getting married to the right person is an important process towards financial success. The simple and straightforward way would be to marry into money, and that wouldn’t hurt, but for most choosing a partner who shares the same financial comparability as them is the route most should take.
Some men view women as financial risk. They shop a lot, have limited financial knowledge and generally earn less money. That’s just one side of the coin though, because women view men as financial risk equally as much. Men are looked at as bigger risk takers (gamblers), have limited or no education, and generally have limited plans long term financial plans.
Ideally the best move women and men can make is to choose a spouse with similar money habits, and general views on personal finances. We live in this day and age where 1 out of 2 marriages end up in divorce, and the number one reason for reason marriages are falling is due to a poor balance sheet.
So today I’d like to discuss how you can become a financial asset in your relationship. No partner wants someone who shops a lot, carries credit card debt, and isn’t financially responsible.Whether you’re the male or the female part of your relationship, you’re as much risk as your partner to bankruptcy, debt, and continued financial irresponsibility if someone can’t keep their credit-card in check.
So let’s talk about how you can become a financial asset in your relationship.
BECOME A FRUGALISTA
Mose people don’t have a definitive definition on what being frugal is truly all about. Most view frugality as being cheap, but it’s anything but cheap. Frugal is all about getting the best price you can for whatever you’re buying. More importantly being frugal is knowing the difference between your needs vs. wants.
The trick is to find a partner who’ll appreciate this quality, because you won’t be a high roller, but as someone who’s well in tune with their finances, isn’t caught up in having the latest and greatest, and most importantly someone who knows their buying power.
OPEN LINES OF COMMUNICATION
Communication is the key to everything. Rather than hiding the purchases you make, be open about them. Set a large purchase territory (for example $500), and talk to your partner beforehand about the purchase. You don’t have to use my $500 large purchase territory example, you can use a smaller amount or bigger. Whatever works for your relationship.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: YOU’RE A TEAM
Two incomes are always stronger than one. Work as a team to tackle debt, and grow the assets. It can be pretty strenuous on a relationship if the approach “Your Money & My Money” is consistently thrown out there. Funny thing is that some partners are so keen on freely using the term “My Money”, but forget that they share the same debt such as a mortgage or car payment.
I’m not saying that you have to go into your relationship or marriage debt free, but the first step is to put a plan together that will work for both of you.
To all the men: Remember – Happy wife happy life. :)
STAY IN TUNE
Stay in tun to the current financial happenings. I know that personal finance can be dry at times, but it doesn’t have to be if we find our own little niche. Stay on top of the current savings and loan interest rates, by taking an active interest in making the most of your money no matter where it is.
Personally I love reading the Globe & Mail – Globe Investor, Financial Post and Money Sense, because they give me a very good perspective on the latest happenings in personal finance, mortgage trends, interests rates and general investing.
Educating your self is a twofold scenario. Whether you’re a stay at home mom, a construction worker or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you need to educate your self. Investing in your education is investing in your future. However, most people associate education as a tool to get you that job. Wrong! Education is a long term investment for the present, and for the future in case you end up on your own again, and becoming a single income household.
Having an education even if you don’t pursue the corresponding career shows your partner that you are invested in yourself. We all can’t afford MBA’s either due to time or financial reasons, but even a community college diploma or certificate is better than have nothing at all.
BE A GIVER
And no I don’t mean to be a giver in bed, even though that will earn you a lot of brownie points and keep you on the good side, I meant be a giver as in giving back. Donate your time and if you’re fortunate enough to have the ability donate some of your money as well. Any service given to those who have less than you is an indication of the quality of your character. This tells your partner you are willing to part with your time and money in the service of others, and more importantly shows that your have a HEART.
Readers, what are you doing to be a financial asset in your relationship?