In most of the Indian families, the personal finance is something which is not managed by the couples together. It is only one person who manages the personal finance and money management of the whole family. In most of the cases the male partners and in a very few cases the female partners mange personal finance. Only very rarely both of the partners together manage their personal finance aspects.
What would be the outcome in an organisation where the purchase department works totally independent and without any understanding with the finance department of the organisation? Purchase dept may overspend; finance dept will lose control; misunderstanding and conflicts between both the depts; the result is the organization’s growth gets destroyed.
Similarly, if the personal finance is handled by only one partner, then there could be a lot of mismatch between you and your partner in saving and spending pattern. This will lead to misunderstanding and marital stress. Instead of having independent saving and spending plan, having an interdependent plan will help you in managing your money effectively and achieving your financial goals.
You go out for dinner together. You go to the movie together. Why don’t you manage your personal finance together? This will build money compatibility for you and your spouse. Both of you can have a better relationship and understanding with each other.
Why it is so important?
You may wonder why personal finance should be managed by both of the partners. Here are some points to ponder over;
1) In case of Emergency:
Suppose the partner, who is managing personal finance, met with an accident and need to be hospitalized for one month or so, then how does the spouse will run the show?
During the accident, if the partner has missed his wallet which had all the credit cards and debit cards then how does the spouse block those cards before it is misused? Where does she or he find that information?
In case of emergency, nothing will help except the practice of managing the personal finance together.
2) Real Workable Budget:
When you alone prepare the budget for your family, then you can’t expect your spouse to spend according to the budget. If you prepare the budget along with your spouse, he or she will come forward to help you in saving more.
You just try this. Involve your spouse in budgeting and monitoring the spending. You will see the spending coming down day by day and both of you will start spending consciously.
3) Combined Financial Goals:
It is better to identify the goals of your spouse as well as yours and check that is there any goal which is contradictory to the goal of your spouse.
You may want to retire and settle in the same work city. But your spouse may want to settle in the native place.
You may plan to buy a farm house to spend your leisure. But your spouse may be interested in spending her/his leisure at different places like hill stations and other tourism places. For this goal a time share slot with a resort provider may be suitable.
So identifying and settling your difference of opinion regarding the financial goals at the blueprint level is much easier and cheaper, instead of doing it at the execution level.
Overcoming the barriers:
There are some barriers or objections in involving their spouse in managing personal finance. How to overcome that?
1) No Time:
My spouse is not having enough time to look at these things. ‘No time’ is a false excuse. If it is one of your priorities, then definitely it will somehow find its time. Only thing is you have not realized it as one of your priority. Personal finance is definitely a priority item for each and every family because it is going to secure your future.
2) Not interested:
My spouse is not interested in personal finance. Everyone is interested in their own future and their kid’s future. So logically everyone needs to be interested in personal finance. You need to motivate them and make them understand, how this personal finance management is important in achieving their life goals.
3) Doesn’t know:
My spouse doesn’t know about personal finance. No one has born in this world with the skills of money management. We all learned it here. So why don’t you educate him/her on personal finance. Money management is an important life skill. Everyone should know. You want your kids to manage the money better and wiser. Why don’t we educate our spouse first?
Overcoming the barriers in getting your spouse involved in personal finance management and getting them involved will be a life transforming exercise. Don’t miss it. Together you will be able to achieve your life goals easier and sooner.
The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and Director of Holistic Investment Planners (www.holisticinvestment.in) a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He can be reached at email@example.com.