Home Opinion Featured Articles Securing Your Future Together: Financial Planning Before Marriage

Securing Your Future Together: Financial Planning Before Marriage

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Miriam Amissah Maku
Miriam Amissah Maku, Head, Client Experience, Stanbic Investment Management Services

Entering marriage is embarking on a journey that is entirely new. It is a union of two individuals with unique backgrounds, experiences, and, notably, different philosophies about money. Financial planning before marriage is often ignored amidst the excitement of wedding preparations, yet it forms the foundation of a secure and harmonious future together. Understanding each other’s financial upbringing and beliefs is critical before beginning the journey of marriage. How money was managed in the family, whether there were joint accounts or separate ones, influences our perceptions. After marriage, it is no longer just about “yours” and “mine” anymore; it is about forging a unified path forward where “ours” takes precedence. In this article, I will share some points to consider in building a secure future as husband and wife.

 

Communication is Key

Communication emerges as the cornerstone of financial harmony in marriage. Honest conversations about income, expenses, savings, and long-term goals are imperative. Without dialogue, assumptions breed misunderstandings and mistrust. The biblical principle of “two are better than one” underscores the essence of partnership in marriage. As two individuals merge their lives, so should their financial resources. Joint accounts symbolize shared responsibility and mutual commitment, regardless of individual earning capacities.

 

Be Transparent

The mechanics of financial planning differ from couple to couple. While some opt for complete financial integration, others maintain a degree of autonomy with joint accounts for shared expenses. There is no one-size-fits-all approach; the key lies in mutual agreement and transparency. Transparency is non-negotiable. Full disclosure fosters trust and prevents disagreements. Whether it is joint or separate accounts, both partners must feel comfortable with the level of financial openness. Misaligned expectations can strain relationships, leading to feelings of resentment and inequality.

 

Budget for Emergencies

Preparation for unforeseen circumstances is equally crucial. Establishing emergency funds and discussing contingency plans strengthens financial resilience. It is not about planning away every eventuality but acknowledging the importance of financial preparedness in navigating life’s uncertainties. Dealing with family expectations adds another layer of complexity. Families have different ideas about money sharing, so it’s important to talk about it openly and agree on what’s expected. Understanding and respecting each other’s backgrounds pave the way for mutual understanding and compromise.

 

Consider Pre-marital Counseling

Pre-marital financial counseling emerges as a valuable resource. Whether through religious institutions or professional counselors, these sessions provide a structured platform for discussing financial goals, values, and concerns. They empower couples to proactively address potential challenges and lay a solid financial foundation for their union.

 

Set Financial Goals

Setting clear financial goals injects purpose and direction into financial planning. Whether it is buying a home, starting a family, or pursuing further education, shared objectives unite couples in their financial journey. Budgeting frameworks like the 50/30/20 rule offer structure, ensuring responsible allocation of resources towards essentials, discretionary spending, and savings.

 

Take Financial Literacy Serious

Regular financial “dates” encourages communication and alignment. Just as couples invest in quality time together, they must invest in financial discussions. Creating a relaxed environment encourages open communication and facilitates constructive problem-solving. In a marriage, financial empowerment is not gender-specific. Both partners should possess financial literacy and actively contribute to financial decision-making. Encouraging each other’s financial autonomy strengthens the partnership and ensures mutual support in times of need.

 

Ultimately, financial planning before marriage is not just about money; it is about building a secure future together. It is about forging a partnership grounded in trust, communication, and shared aspirations. By laying a robust financial foundation, couples embark on their marital journey equipped to navigate life’s challenges and celebrate its joys together.

– Miriam Amissah Maku, Head, Client Experience, Stanbic Investment Management Services

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