The newlyweds guide to handling finances

The newlyweds guide to handling finances

Marriage counsellor Harold Mawela has practical advice that can help you master your finances in marriage. 

Newlywed couple shaking an empty piggybank
Newlywed couple shaking an empty piggybank/ iStock

When people are dating, they hardly think about financial compatibility. They might not enquire about their partner’s income, spending habits, and debts. But, all these things can put a strain on marriage if overlooked.

If you are newlyweds and are looking forward to a great marriage, taking charge of your finances is one way to ensure that you live happily ever after.

We spoke to marriage counselor Harold Mawela, the founder of Relation Ship or Sink on how newlyweds can ensure they get on top of their finances.

No one should dominate

Harold says one of the ways to prevent financial disputes is to avoid having one person dominating the finances.

“No one spouse should dominate the family’s finances,” says Harold.

He adds that “don’t put the decision-making into one spouse’s hands”.

“That dominance always has a negative effect on marriage. It decreases the goodwill in a relationship,” says Mawela.

Divide responsibilities

Each of you as individuals have your own strengths. Working together and appreciating each other’s strengths is a good way of ensuring your relationship thrives.

Even though society might have its own stereotypes when it comes to who should be paying for what, Harold says, “it’s fine to divide responsibilities according to your strengths,” and not your gender.

READ: Simple yet effective ways to save money

Make financial decisions together

Sometimes you might be tempted to make financial decisions on your own such as buying yourself a car or applying for a clothing account, but this might cause problems in your marriage.

Harold says, “every big financial decision should be made together.” 

This will ensure that no one ever blames the other or feels overlooked.

Work as a team

It’s important to never make your partner feel small because she or he earns less than you.

“For goodwill and financial intimacy, both of you need to be each other’s equals," says Harold. 

"One spouse may work more than the other, or have a higher income than the other, but you’re a team."

Don’t keep secrets

Harold says anything you will not share with your spouse might cause friction in the marriage.

Having secret bank accounts, or not being transparent with your paycheck and hiding the shopping bags before your spouse gets home, might cause serious financial issues in a relationship.

Harold says all these might later “create resentment within your marriage."

Remember that love, trust, and transparency are the oxygen that fuel your marriage.

Image courtesy of iStock/ Ljupco

READ: Dealing with finances in marriage

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