Money Things to Check Before You Get Married

You have been warned never to fully combine finances until you are married. The risk, is that when you split up, the law will most likely not be able to help you.
So, if you are already in a committed relationship and marriage is on the horizon before you exchange vows think about

1. How Truthful You Both Are
It is in your best interest in the beginning of a relationship not to be forthright about your finances, but as time goes by and your relationship is stable and becoming serious being honest with each other is good. This is because one of the most common red flags is having a partner that lies about their finances.

Lying about how much you earn, how much you spend and how much debt you have is a big red flag. If none of you is truthful about money before you get married, the trend will continue when you do get married. Which will not bode well for your life together. It is important that you are honest and are aware of each other’s finances or else this will hurt your marriage.

2. What Are Your Vices
Vices can be big or small. And some may not even look like vices to you but really are. You may have the bad habit of spending money on clothes and looking good but ignoring household bills. You may have the habit of betting every Friday because it is something you and your mates have always been doing. Some would say you and your mates are addicted to gambling, but this is a topic for another day. 

These “regular” things that you are used to can really affect your future and they will not take long to destroy what could have been a wonderful future together. Take notes of each other’s vices and try to stop or seek help before they enter the home and destroy it. You can seek counseling together and individually if you or your partner know right now that you are struggling with any vice.

3. Are You Ready To Use The Word “Ours”
As two separate people dating, there was a “Mine” and “Yours” invisible line. Marriage should remove this line. Yes, as a dating couple you were very conscious of how much money you spent on each other. And were very focused on how much you spend on each other as a sign of love but, as a unit this will become not a line but an elephant in the bedroom.

Over time, the relationship will become strained because you are focused on who must contribute, how much they must contribute and what they must contribute for. Which is unfair if one spouse makes significantly less than the other, makes more or nothing. You should decide now how to handle the finances and look at dividing responsibilities and expenses based on the income as “ours” as opposed to “Yours” and “Mine”. Before you get married everything should be considered carefully so one spouse does not hang money decisions over the other.

When you plan together and spend what you both see as manageable for the family it will make a huge difference on how successful your marriage could be.

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo