Like all things in life, money also affects the biggest institution on earth, the institution of marriage.
Marital finance or couple finance is a topic that has been studied and talked about a lot, yet the statistics are not so encouraging.
- Only 42 percent have discussed their long-term financial goals as a couple;
- Just one-in-three (33 percent) have developed a joint retirement strategy;
- 50 percent say that combining finances with a partner who saves differently than them gets in the way of saving more;
- Only 56 percent have discussed their individual savings and spending habits with one another;
- Just 51 percent have established a household monthly budget;
- Almost half (47 percent) of those who are married or living with a partner say all of their expenses are shared equally.
Last week, I attended the Bridal Extravaganza event here in Austin, TX. It is an event where would be brides (and their fiancees) come to shop for wedding related services. These services are typically Bridal dresses, DJs, wedding venues and food caterers to name a few.
What was I doing in such an event? I was one of the exhibitors with a booth promoting the importance of managing finances to these young brides through my company called Start Your Finances Right.
While most brides and couples were too excited to check out the dresses and other goodies that they care about their wedding, I was pleasantly surprised to see several come over to my booth (completely unsolicited) to discuss what I have to offer.
We had many great conversations with these couples. There were 3 sets of responses and interest levels.
- There were couples who thought they have a plan – either they are money savvy or hired someone to plan.
- There were couples who came to enquire but decided they don’t want to think about it now. They are of course busy with more instant gratification kind of items in that moment.
- There were couples who said they know how important money is going to play a part, but do not have a clue where to start.
Ideally all 3 sets are couples who will need financial organization to help their relationship.
Couples who think they have got it figured out have not yet seen how small decisions on money are going to affect their relationships. Of course, everyone has a plan about their money. But some plans are simply to earn and spend it all. That is a plan too, but till an emergency hits or a dream gets postponed.
Then couples who do not want to talk about it right now, understandably have their priorities elsewhere. It is true that the start of a committed relationship has its own stress, a big one in fact. However the lurking issue as seen from the statistics above is that they will never address their money incompatibility or gaps.
Finally the couples who are interested but do not have a clue where to start, have acknowledged the need for addressing this aspect of their relationship health. It is of course not an immediate problem or a short term goal like the wedding, but something that will start to have an effect only after the honeymoon is over.
Overall, for me the event was a success and I learnt a lot about my potential clients.
I am working on a short guide on the Ten steps to a successful Financial engagement.
If you or anyone you know would be interested to read it, please comment below or send me a message at email@example.com.