Navigating your finances as a couple

As they say, when money walks out the front door, love slips out the back door… so here are some tips for lovebirds.

22 February 2019 | Life Style

February may be the month of love, but we all know financial differences can place a huge strain on any relationship. Fortunately, if you approach your finances together and give them careful thought, such difficulties can be avoided. The key is to engage in frank and open discussions about them and calling in the help of an objective professional.



1. Lifestyle aspirations and drawing up a financial plan

A key part of any committed couple's financial life is having a financial plan that covers short- and long-term goals. A financial planner can help you prioritise your goals and create a plan to reach those goals. It's a good idea to have a discussion with your partner before your meeting with the financial planner, covering the kind of lifestyle you would like to live as well as saving for emergencies, retirement, children's education, deposits for big purchases or perhaps a wedding. You should also discuss how to prepare for unforeseen events like death, illness, disability and unemployment.

As a couple it's important to align your future aspirations because the amounts you need to reach your goals is dependent on these.



2. Budget for monthly savings, spending and donations together

Budgeting is an essential tool to understand where one intends to spend money and how much, and for tracking past spending. Discuss with your partner how much is available to save, what you can afford to donate, but also look at where you can free up some cash. Make time to review your budget regularly to ensure you are spending as planned but also to plan ahead for additional future expenses to your budget, e.g. childcare when a child is born or additional money for transport when taking up a job further from home.



3. How to formalise finances in your relationship to allow for unforeseen events

A will and antenuptial contract are some of the important legal documents that can help you manage the distribution of assets or debt in the event of death, insolvency or divorce. The type of marriage contract you choose will also affect how financial and physical assets and debt, which existed before and after the marriage, are distributed. Your financial planner, working together with a legal advisor, can help you decide the best route to plan your estate.



4. Separate or joint bank accounts?

There are pros and cons to both options. But whichever you choose, you must allow some level of independence in making financial decisions to maintain a healthy relationship. The typical banking account options to choose from are:

A joint account: One partner takes on the role of main account holder and the other partner has signing rights. All the household expenses are then paid from this account. However, if the main account holder passes away, the account will temporarily be frozen and the money will be inaccessible to the other partner.

Separate accounts: If you choose this route, you need to frequently discuss and agree how to split the financial responsibilities. Such responsibilities may need to be adjusted for job losses, career breaks or other life-changing events.

A household bank account: It can be useful to have one household account, without a credit facility, to which you both contribute on a monthly basis.

It can be used for debit orders and day-to-day household expenses. With this option you can keep separate personal accounts and thus avoid the limitations of a joint account.

“Your responsibility to your partner is to be financially responsible for yourself and to communicate regularly. You should both be empowered to handle finances. Work on forging a financial future together, with the big picture in mind, and follow the guiding principles of transparency and trust.”



*Hilaria Graig is the marketing and communications manager at Sanlam



HILARIA GRAIG

Similar News

 

Inspirational retired nurse plants her own forest

1 month - 09 October 2019 | Life Style

Retired nurse Emilia Angala (63), a resident of Ongwediva, has created her own forest of more than 400 trees which all grow together, competing for...

Sjef-tasties

2 months ago - 10 September 2019 | Life Style

Yolanda NelDie wenners van vanjaar se Skolesjef van die Jaar-kompetisie wat verlede week plaasgevind het, is Olajumoke Lenntich van die Waldorf-skool in die afdeling vir...

Ellen Pakkies shares all

4 months ago - 09 July 2019 | Life Style

“I just wanted to talk to him; ask him politely why he refuses to leave the drugs; that is all I intended to do that...

We are kept in dark places - Katrina

5 months ago - 14 June 2019 | Life Style

Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says 'The Journey' human rights campaign, which ends today, is the perfect platform for even the most timid voices to speak...

CSR is a powerful tool

8 months ago - 19 March 2019 | Life Style

JEMIMA BEUKES Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not just about making a social investment grow, but also about fostering smart partnerships between profitable entities and...

Navigating your finances as a couple

8 months ago - 22 February 2019 | Life Style

February may be the month of love, but we all know financial differences can place a huge strain on any relationship. Fortunately, if you approach...

Auntie Nangy

1 year - 20 July 2018 | Life Style

Is my lover too young?Dear Auntie Nangy, I am a girl of 20 and I am dating a man of the same age as me....

Veteran educator dies

1 year - 01 July 2018 | Life Style

Veteran educator and politician Otillie Abrahams passed away on Sunday morning, a family member has confirmed. Abrahams passed away in her sleep at the Paramount...

SRT joins in Queen's birthday celebration

1 year - 08 June 2018 | Life Style

In honour of Queen Elizabeth II's 92nd birthday, and as a wedding present to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the day was celebrated with the...

Auntie Nangy

1 year - 24 May 2018 | Life Style

I don’t want a babyDear Auntie NangyI am 23 year-old girl. I’m worried about myself… I finished my period on 24 April and I slept...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More