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Finance Mastery After Marriage

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Finance Mastery After Marriage: Dealing with finances with your partner while attaining financial freedom and wealth as a Millennial woman.

 

Article Written By: Mapalo Makhu

 

More than 30% of South African marriages end in divorce; this is according to Stats SA. Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is certainly a reality. Moreover, it has somewhat become common knowledge that the critical cause of more than half of these divorces is bad financial decisions, or lack thereof, amongst couples. Sadly, no couple is immune to this.

When do you start running a marathon? The day of the big race or long before it actually takes place as part of your training?

I certainly hope that your answer is “long before the actual day of the marathon”. This is exactly how it should be when it comes to finances and marriage: both partners should sit down and talk about their finances honestly and openly long before walking down the aisle. This is where marital regimes come into play. A large part of building your financial health within marriage (as well as outside of it) begins with learning about the different types of marital regimes available in South Africa, and choosing the regime most suitable for the two of you. Truth be told, prior to the excitement of the wedding day, discussing your finances should be top priority.

So, where do you start? By making a list of assets and liabilities/ (debts) each partner has, it will give you both a clear indication of where you are financially. Should either one or both of you have debt, make a serious commitment to get out of it. The best method of freeing yourself of debt is to start with the debt you pay the highest interest to, as overtime this is the debt that yields the most amount of liability for you.

Subsequent to laying down your respective financial positions, the next step is to discuss your goals and vision as a couple. If you are both in the fortunate position of having similar goals and vision, it becomes easier to work on a budget together and stick to it. A budget is more than just something you do once and hope to somehow meet. It is a tool that aids in planning your future saving and spending, as well as planned income and expenses (and as a married couple you should budget for each person to have a little pocket money and the freedom to have some fun). It is therefore imperative that both parties interact on a regular basis when it comes to finances.

Having a budget also helps clarify any expectations or disillusionment that either partner may have. Once these three areas have been discussed; i.e.

  • Assets and Liabilities(Debts)
  • Goals and Vision
  • Monthly budget,

consider attending courses geared at this cause and educating yourselves about different kinds of investments. You could start with making a commitment to open up a Unit Trust or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) where both of you contribute – even if your monthly spend on this investment is just the minimum requisite amount – this forms a habit of saving in the marriage…and as the old adage goes, spend less than you earn!

In the long run, this will build confidence to explore other investments e.g. Shares on the stock exchange, Property, Bonds etc. you can do this with the assistance of a professional.

When it comes to marriage and money, open and honest communications is the only way to success. And remember, both of you as a couple are running your own race, “keeping up with the Joneses” is one sure way to lose track.

 

 

Zimasa Qolohle

Born in Port Elizabeth; bred in Pretoria; living in Johannesburg. An aspiring Entrepreneur and business owner who has dreams of improving and empowering the lives of South African women. Passionate about my country, its economy, and the upliftment of its people. We strive to credit each and every article or image posted to The Corporate Canvas. Should you ever feel that a source was not correctly credited, or that a significantly large section of a post was sourced elsewhere, kindly email the Editor, Zimasa Qolohle on [email protected] and we will endeavour to correct the error. Accordingly, we would appreciate the same level of respect in this regard and ask that all content originally seen on The Corporate Canvas be correctly credited. Unless otherwise noted, all photos and graphics have been taken by The Editor, Zimasa Qolohle © 2014 The Corporate Canvas. All Rights Reserved.