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It’s true that money can’t buy happiness. However, when it comes to marriage, just talking about money goes a long way. Before getting married, many couples avoid discussing money, but doing so can be problematic because past money mistakes or financial disagreements can have a negative impact on your relationship. Almost 40% of divorced couples attribute their divorce to financial stress, making it the second leading cause of divorce*.

 

So, before you say ‘I do’ or ‘Aku terima nikahnya’, let’s get the financial conversation started. Here’s a guide designed to help you and your partner budget for happily ever after.

 

Marry Your Bank Accounts

Opening a joint account together can be exciting, especially for newlyweds. A shared bank account encourages honesty and accountability and can help get a better understanding of your family’s financial situation by combining your funds.

 

However, the decision to marry your accounts is purely optional and is not a necessity in marriage. Some couples keep their finances separate – and this can work well too. Before merging your finances, have a talk and discuss how to manage the account, what is it for, how much should you contribute and read up on potential risks that may arise when managing a joint account. 

Set Financial Objectives

Making financial goals together is some of the finest advice for newlyweds. Setting objectives can assist you in achieving your life dreams! Remember to be as detailed as possible and ensure its measurable when you create your goals. Setting short, medium, and long-term objectives can help you and your partner have a better financial plan for the future.

 

Short-term goals require less preparation and money, whereas mid-term ambitions, such as saving for a down payment on a house or a car, do.

 

Long-term objectives will require more preparation and tenacity to accomplish. These objectives include things like paying off your home or investing for retirement. Writing out your financial goals will help you find new, shared objectives that will make money management more enjoyable. 

List Assets & Debts

Couples should communicate their individual debt balances, repayment strategies, and if they're taking on the debt jointly or separately. The assets and debts of each spouse should be discussed up front because they have an impact on combined loan eligibility and spending habits.

 

Questions you may ask:

 

●      How much debt do you have?

●      Who will be incharge of the bills?

●      Did you take out student loans?

●      Have you ever declared bankruptcy?

●      How much do you want to save for an emergency?

Create a Budget Together

 

Choose the type of monthly budget you'll employ based on your defined financial goals, and come to an agreement on spending caps. Your budget doesn't have to be flawless the first time you create one; instead, make sure you can track costs and assess the effectiveness of your budget. Creating a budget together means, laying out your total income and all your monthly expenses that are essential to your lives.

Transparency is Key

 

You and your partner need to be honest and forthright about your present circumstances, including any debt you may have and your monetary beliefs. If you disagree, don't criticise or pass judgement, try to see it from their perspective and agree to a solution that meets both of your financial goals. Communication with your partner is key.

 

While there are some difficult financial conversations, such as when one spouse brings a lot of debt into the marriage or unexpectedly loses a job, there are also many financial conversations that can strengthen your relationship.

 

Budgeting, talking about debt, and worrying about higher credit card bills than you anticipated aren't the only ways to discuss money. Goals, plans for the future, where and when you want to retire, and the kinds of holidays you want to take together can all be discussed in addition to money.

 

These are enjoyable chats that can strengthen your romantic bond in addition to cultivating a healthy and mature relationship.

 

Get more guides and tips on investment, savings, travel and many more on Life Goals section here!   

 

This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.