Hi Tribe,

Today I want to talk a little bit about marriage and your finances. This topic is inspired by the fact that 3 of my friends will soon be walking down the aisle…exciting!!! While a lot of detail goes into the actual day of the wedding, little to no attention is paid on how the couple will handle their finances once they are married.

From parents to friends, little is spoken about personal finances in a marriage. Couples are left to figure it out themselves in the hope that their love and bliss makes the topic of money easy!

These are some of the topics around money couples should address before they get married:

Marital regime and contracts

I think the first and foremost conversation is the marital contracts, as a couple, you must decide which marital contract you will enter into. Educate yourself and speak to a lawyer to draft your contract for you.

As a couple, you can either get married:

  1. In community of property
  2. Out of community of property with the accrual system
  3. Or out of community of property without the accrual system.

To find out more, read:

www. womanandfinance.co.za/before-saying-i-do-learn-about-the-types-of-marital-contracts/


Set financial goals as a couple

There is nothing more powerful than having someone to share your goals with and see those goals come to pass. When you work on your financial goals together, it becomes a team effort and inevitably, you are each others accountability partners.

Being one another’s accountability partners not only sets the tone of trust when it comes to your finances but creates room for honest and sometimes difficult conversations around money.


Agree on how to split financial responsibilities

Making assumptions and having expectations about what your partner/spouse will do or not do financially can put a strain on the relationship. The best way to deal with this is to have an honest and frank conversation about each others expectations and work backwards to what is reality.

Majority of us do not come from families that discussed money and with this comes pre-conceived ideas of what a man or a woman should do financially…but damnit we all know it doesn’t work that way.


How will you deal with ‘black-tax’?

Black-tax or the ‘sandwich generation’ is a real thing. A lot of millennials are not only supporting their immediate family (i.e. parents and siblings) but also their relatives. This is definitely one area a couple needs to discuss because one is always sure to bail a family member out from time to time and or be it a monthly commitment.

As a couple, you have to decide what works and set boundaries when it comes to family.


Realise and be aware of your money personalities

Being aware and conscious of how you and your partner deal and manage money is very important. Either you or your partner can be a Spender, Saver, Hoarder or Money monk (www.womanandfinance.co.za/whats-money-personality/ )

Knowing how your partner deals with money helps you mitigate the good and challenging financial times in your relationship.


Your assets and liabilities

I have been in coaching sessions where people are married and yet they do not disclose to one another how much assets or liabilities they have, sometimes one or both partners are heavily indebted and they are married in community of property, so effectively legally they are both indebted! Talking about your assets and liabilities not only helps get a clear picture of your financial situation, but also gives you the opportunity to set goals and work towards financial independence together.


Tribe, I wanna hear your thoughts:  how have you handled money in your relationship? What has worked and do you feel you are both working towards the same financial goals?

Author: Mapalo Makhu

I want to help women make confident financial decisions and build real wealth.

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3 thoughts on “The money conversation you should have before you say “I do”!

  1. Great article. This is always one of “those” topics that people fear to talk about…money. I have seen in my years as a Financial Planner that this topic can ruin marriages if couples are not open and honest with each other about finances. It is also really important to discuss and choose the marital regime prior to the wedding day AND sign the contract PRIOR to the wedding day. I have come across a lot of couples who thought they could sign a contract after they got married. Example: Husbands goes into business with other partners and then realize that their wife also needs to form part of the business because they are married in community of property. This can be very risky for the family. Thank you for sharing the article. I am sure it will bring value to a lot of ladies married or to be married soon.

    Posted on June 20, 2018 at 7:40 am
    1. And thank you, Judy for sharing your insights.

      Posted on June 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm
  2. Great article, so for me and my husband what we did was:
    1. When he proposed to marry me we then started talking about the current debts that we individually had and we both worked on settling that. Luckily we both did not have too much.
    2. After about 6 months we requested our health reports at Trans -union.
    3. We then started going for marital counselling where we spoke about the type of marriage as one of the many topics.

    we are now two years married and have an “okay” relationship with money. We have budget dates, we have retirement annuities, investment, emergency account, set our short and long term goals we also just working on being in a stable financial position, which is our ultimate goal to be debt free. So we trying to pay off car and apartment which are the major debts that we have. We have daughter 14months old, we have opened a TFSA for her started march this year.
    It is not easy though but we try so my money personality is saver, i do not like losing money. i enjoy seeing my money in the bank, i had to learn to be flexible and started reading on investment and taking upon risk. My husband is bit of a spender so it helps to have joint account for household so that we can account to each other.

    Posted on September 18, 2018 at 3:24 pm