18 July 2017, by Gerald Koh
I mean seriously, we all know that money can be the root of all evil pertaining to a relationship. When you have no money to spend on a date… the date might get a little boring after a while, no movies to watch… no nice dinners to hang out at.. We can’t always be folding paper origamis to give your girlfriend as presents right? OH BOY… I sound so cynical and depressive!! I grew up in a society where it is indeed all about money.
I grew up in a society where it is indeed all about money.
“Boy ah.. you better study hard ah, if not you will not have a good job and earn enough MONEY!”
“Boy ah.. why are you wasting money on these PlayStation games?”
“Boy ah.. when you go out with your gf, do you pay for everything or she pays also?”
And because everything is linked to money, it is difficult to avoid the fact that it might some problems when you live with someone after marriage. Or so we may think.
Truthfully, money issues scare the daylights out of Zhi Xin and I.
It is a taboo topic that we hate to bring up as I believe no couple would ever want to discuss, so I’ve decided to break the silence, and share with you some of our discussion points
1. Avoid Me Not
I think the #1 thing to do is to face it. Money is something that all couples can and will fight over. We may say… hey if we don’t bring it up, then it will never surface. It will surface. Zhi Xin and I decided not to avoid it… and discussed our financial plans even before we got the keys to our own house. Things like who pays the bills, renovation costs, grocery shopping etc. However, I feel that even if we did set who pays for the groceries, it is not a dead set rule and the non-payer should always not pay. Play the kite 😉
2. Joint Account
I’ve had friends who told me or Zhi Xin that having a joint account may not be a good idea. You never know what might happen in the future *major wood tapping going on right now* So having separate accounts without joint ones should always be the option.
In fact, we thought otherwise. Zhi Xin and I do have a joint account. We made a pact to put in an equal amount each month into this account, and still have our own personal accounts. We plan to grow that account and only use when we really need to. The baby expenses can come from there 😉
Think of it as a fixed deposit of LOVE. I mean major tapping of wood again, but if anything goes awry, split 2 equal parts… since it’s the same equal amount we each put in per month anyway.
3. The Art of Sharing
I earn a little more than Zhi Xin but she’s told me that it’s not a reason to be living off the husband. In fact, she shares in the payment of almost everything no matter how high or low the contribution may be.
Even though I’ve always told her that I can afford the holidays and travels, she has always stealthily transferred a sum into my bank and tells me to treat it as money for the next trip.
4. Respect each other’s passion
Before we got married, we understood clearly our own personal love for certain things. For e.g., if I never understood her love for baking, then I would have never understood how is it that I would agree to spend on a Kitchen Aid mixer that costed us over $800!!!
Or that she would be ok that I recently spent $1,200 on a drone that I’ve always wanted. Ok she doesn’t know this yet. But I’m sure she would soon!
It is not an easy thing. But we need to prove to each other that we are trying. I mean seriously, phone bills, car instalments, petrol, utilities bills, groceries, etc… What is left to save? But little drops of water make the mighty ocean, however little, share with each other on the efforts to save.
Money will always be the root of all evil as many may say, and it will go awry if a couple sweeps any monetary problems under the rug. Focus on the many reasons why you have come together as one, and the money problems might be smaller than what it is.
Wishing you a happy marriage always 🙂