You have found the man of your dreams. He is everything you had ever hoped for—sharp, intelligent, successful and with a killer sense of humor and the two of you share common interests too. So, what more can you for! But have you ever assessed if the two of you are financially compatible? According to a survey conducted by ET Wealth only 30% of Indians fully trust their partners on money matters. Financial compatibility is essential for building a lasting and healthy relationship. If you are wondering how to assess financial compatibility, Hena Mehta, CEO and Co-founder, Basis - India’s financial services destination for women, powered by education and communities, draws up a five step guide for you. Read on to find out more:
Observe spending habits
Both being too conservative or too aggressive can be a red flag. Being frugal is one thing - but is he stingy? Or is he the other extreme where he splurges without batting an eyelid? “Both these could be signs of unhealthy money habits, and are things you may want to address with him,” advises Hena.
What are the upcoming financial goals?
Discuss your goals openly and transparently. These must include both individual goals, as well as joint couple goals. Do either of you want to pursue higher education? Start a business? Will you need to take care of parents or other family members? What about a car, home and kids? Is a career break potentially on the cards? All of these will impact how you manage your finances individually as well as together. Write these goals down, understand the timelines for each, talk about them and create investment plans accordingly.
Till debt do us apart
This one is critical. Understand each other’s current debt status. One or both of you may have outstanding education loans, a car loan, credit card debt or some personal loans you’ve taken on. Make sure these are known beforehand, so there are no surprises down the road. Have plans in place to pay them off.
Yours, mine and ours
Have an open conversation on how you want to structure your finances. Many couples have everything set up jointly, some like to keep things completely separate, while others opt for a hybrid structure. There is no right answer here, as long as you both are on the same page with how the structure can work - and what it means for individual and joint expenses, investments and emergency situations.
Establish your money values together
Money often becomes a cause for arguments and can get stressful. What could help prevent this is establishing some ground rules and values on dealing with money. Are you ok lending money to friends and family members? How much risk are you willing to take with investments? What kind of a lifestyle are you looking to pursue? While it’s hard to get this crystal clear from the get-go - since our lives do evolve over the years - setting the tone for transparency can be helpful in preventing stressful situations down the road. Make it a point to set up time at least every six months to discuss these, and you’ll have a marriage made in financial heaven!