Lessons Love doesn’t conquer all when it comes to your moolah – here’s how to make the right financial decisions as a couple, as advised by professional financial advisor, Joseph Tan.
For some couples, talking about money is taboo. But financial experts like Joseph Tan agree that mapping out your financial status before tying the knot is important; a solid money education is one of the best tools to pave your way to a successful marriage.
Joseph Tan from OO-GEN Planning Services, an authorised representative of HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte. Limited, and his organisation run financial literacy workshops regularly for soon-to-weds. He shares some tips on the value of a buck and the impact on marriage.
Manage Your Budget Every Step of the Way
Does having the most delicious menu, the most beautiful gown or the best rendition of a love song from the groom to his bride constitute a dream wedding? Some things can be bought with money and some things are simply priceless. Your budget would be the reflection of what you and your spouse-to-be value most. Some couples would even go to the extent of reallocating their budget from the banquet to their honeymoon, which is only possible with the blessing of the parents and in-laws.
It would a great chance to foster the spirit of unity by having a heart to - heart talk with your partner on what makes your wedding unique, and gives an identity to your own ideals. It is a conversation that would gives you a focus on what areas you can put your money in – those which can enhance the experience – rather than going for the best, and usually the most expensive – for all the details of your wedding. The purpose is to have a realistic wedding based on your current financial situation and budget, and not end up with an empty bank account or a bucketload of credit debts.
Financial Happiness After Your Dream Wedding
Fortunately, the unity in marriage is more ubiquitous than the wedding dinner that precedes it. However this sense of unity is prevalent during discussions on issues like the upbringing of the children, and how to manage relations with the in-laws, and not so much when couples are talking about the purchase of big ticket items like the car and house. 50 per cent of the couples Joseph has met prefer to take separate stands in financial matters.
Couples who make decisions on financial matters together subscribe to the age old adage of “two heads are better than one”, where choices are made with more informed considerations. These pairs also do well to appreciate the size of each partner’s portion of financial responsibilities in any monetary commitment.
There is a popular notion that the ultimate expression of love is in the self-sacrificial act of taking on hidden financial commitments. Some people feel that shielding their loved ones from their worries, is love. Joseph begs to differ and proposes the more grounded idea of love where couples move towards financial freedom together.
How To Help Others Help You Move Towards A Better life
There is certainly evidence where harmony breeds profit. Imagine having a more cordial relationship with your In-laws where all parties can live peacefully in close quarters and one of two houses could be rented out for extra income. Or having concerned grandparents to take care of your children which eliminates the cost for a nanny or maid. Human relations have always been about how much you can give and what you can take. Money does inspire people to have a more charitable spirit and forge a thicker shell of tolerance. The said examples will greatly influence how you may decide to structure your inflows and outflows of financial resources.
Taking on the multiple roles of a loving spouse, a caring parent and a filial child to our ageing parents can be daunting. Add financial management to the intricate efforts of building inter-personal relationships, and you will surely have your hands full. It is, therefore, wiser to delegate the task to a professional financial planner.
Here is a list of questions that will help you give a definitive acid test to find your principal advisor.
Does the advisor ask about your relationship with your immediate family?
Does the advisor focus on your immediate concerns that often involve cash management?
Does your advisor provide value to you even without utilising a financial product?
Has your advisor devised a structured way for you to receive competent advice for your long-term plans even in event of his or her demise?
Much like how your tailor makes a suit which fits your body perfectly, or your facial therapist who keeps your skin flawless and radiant, a great financial advisor should be one who is holistic and comprehensive in his approach to assist you in mapping out your financial plans.