Reinventing the ‘one-pot’ approach to finances can do your marriage or relationship a world of good.
Traditionally, men were viewed as the ‘providers’ while women remained in the home and primarily raised children, prepared meals and kept the household in order. This created the financial dependency of a woman’s financial welfare on a man.
Fast forward fifty years and the new money rules in relationships have changed significantly.
Look at the decline in the rate of marriage: people choose to marry later, with the average age on marrying falling from 20 in 1956 to 26 in 2010. Women may enter the marital state with financial baggage of their own, which can cause issues when trying to assimilate her finances into the new shared financial foundation of a modern marriage.
Incredibly, almost 44 per cent of couples choose to live together before marriage rather than getting married prior to living under the same roof, and this often adds significantly to the complicated financial soup.
Recent research based on our clients shows many choose to keep separate financial identities after marriage, and this is especially typical of those entering their second marriage.
With modern marriages, the popularity of the post-nup is on the rise. Couples choose to plan up front how their future assets and finances will be divided should the marriage be concluded. For us romantics, it can feel like a crushing blow to our ego, but in the bigger picture, it makes incredibly good sense to hash it all out now, before the bitterness and anger of a breakup assault you.
The popular financial model for modern marriages tends to stick to the tried and tested. The joint bank account and credit card for household necessities, and separate bank accounts for personal spending, with a percentage of each person’s income deposited into the joint account ahead of bill payments or mortgage payments. It works well, if managed well.
It is a model that is robust, and affords the couple much needed financial independence. This in turn avoids the monthly argument about who spent what instead of making sure the bills and mortgage are paid.
The one money rule to think about is whether the model you choose is suitable for your relationship or marriage, and to not be pressured into signing up for something you are not sure will work out for you.
About Robin Wright-Thurnley
Robin is an Associate Coach at Phoenix Relationship Coaching where he guides men towards achieving their dreams of lasting love.
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