Love and trust may just take the backseat when money matters enter the fray. What role does money play in a couple’s lives?
A definition of an ideal relationship would have key words like love, trust, understanding, respect and what not. But did you know that ‘money’ figures in this as well?
Neha Singh, a chartered accountant in Mumbai, found out the hard way. She was in a relationship with a college friend of hers, Neha comes from an affluent family, and does not need to think twice before buying anything expensive. Initially, her friend used to ask her for money for minor things and used to return it as well. She never once doubted that there could be something amiss for he was a very loving and caring person. But a disclosure by another friend of hers, left her shocked. In a span of two years he had taken `4 lakh from her and she never realised. She then realised how important it money is in a relationship.
It’s hard to argue that
financial compatibility/ stability does not play an important part in relationships. Larry Burkett, a noted American financial author once said,“Money is either the best or the worst area of communication in our marriages.”
Anjali Menon’s experience somewhat justifies what Burkett says. Anjali earns more than her husband Atul but it has never been a problem between them. Apart from snide remarks from close relatives, nothing has been a deterrent to them. The couple have been married for six years now. She says,“Atul and I have our own financial goals. The bills, the groceries, school fees and the necessities of everyday life is taken care by him and my salary goes into investments, loan payments and savings. There has been no bickering over financial matters. It’s best if such details are discussed before marriage so that you don’t get any nasty financial surprises later on.”
While dating usually the deciding factor in most relationships is who foots the first bill. Natasha D’Souza, a Bengaluru-based computer engineer, says, “I am very particular about money matters. According to me, as long as I am meeting a person as a friend, I prefer to pay my share of the bill, but if I am to date that the person, I will decide only after seeing if he foots the bill first. After that we can go dutch. I know it’s strange, but for me it means that the person is willing to share burdens equally if not pitch in more than his share.”
Rahul Thakur, a Kolkata-based software engineer says, “My previous girlfriend was very rich, she could spend loads on her cosmetics, phones and movie tickets but when it came to footing bills at expensive restaurants or purchases she expected me to do so. I even confronted her with this and her reply was ‘you need to learn to be a gentleman’. I don’t mind spending for her, but always, is not possible specially when she knows it’s causing a hole in my pocket.” With his present girlfriend, Rahul has made it clear, that they would go dutch and his friend is only too happy with the arrangement.
If your relationship with money is poles apart from that of your romantic partner, this could lead to clashes down the road when it’s time to share bank accounts and credit cards. So it’s always better to get the money aspect out of the way before embarking on any commitment of sorts.
Have a clear strategy
- Debts you had prior to marriage are yours alone —unless you actively merge them.
- Be pragmatic about the assets you bring into a marriage.
- Discuss bank accounts
- Plan an emergency fund
- For the unmarried: Have the money talk
About the Author (Author Profile)
Am a dreamer, writer and traveller. Still trying to find my niche but what counts is being able to give wings to my imagination.