Years ago lots of women put a little something away in case they got divorced. Their husband was the breadwinner generally. They had quit their jobs or pursuing their careers to keep house and raise the children. Without having something to fall back on they would have been in a real pickle. The idea was that you kept your own separate savings account, even if you had to keep it from your husband. Lots of women in the baby boomer generation went through vicious divorces. This was the only way they knew how to make it through.
Of course today usually both people in a marriage are working and pursuing their careers. Also, the court system has changed. Assets are, in theory, divided more equitably. Whether this holds up in practice however usually depends on who you are asking. Today we also have prenuptial agreements which can protect both parties. Though even with a prenup you can still end up in a protracted legal battle. The case to stow a little scratch away for a rainy day then is often for men or women who want to treat themselves but avoid fighting with their spouse about how much they are spending. Some people think this is completely rational while others, ludicrous. So should you keep money on the side that your wife or husband doesn’t know about?
Most marriage experts counsel against it. Part of any good marriage is an underlying bond of trust. It’s through trust that intimacy and respect relies. But squirreling away a nest egg will damage that bond of trust. Most things don’t stay secret forever. If it comes out it will hurt and perhaps even sever that bond of trust. Once broken it will take great pains to repair your trust bond again. The best way to do it is to avoid it. If you are squirreling away a nest egg in case of divorce, think about why you are doing this. Is there a chance that you will actually become divorced? Is the marriage going through a hard time? This could be a subconscious cry for help on your part. Investigate these feelings and see where they lead. When you uncover the severe issues the marriage is having, let your spouse know how you feel and what you were considering and use it as a wakeup call to fix and reinvest in the marriage.
If you are doing it because of your spending habits, consider whether or not they are healthy. If they aren’t, talk about this with your spouse and seek help to overcome your problem. But if it’s just that you feel uncomfortable approaching your spouse about it, then think about what the marriage means to you. Talking about uncomfortable things should be alright. You are life partners sharing your future together. Build up the courage and let them know how you feel. For more financial advice read, Home Finances for Couples: Resolve Money Problems in Marriage and Learn Easy Steps to Manage Your Family Budget by Leo Ostapiv.
Do you suspect someone is going out with you, not for your good looks or radiant personality, but because of your net worth? Are you always picking up the check and always expected to? It may be alright when you are first dating, if you are just naturally generous or if you are a male and you are very old fashioned and traditional. But after some time you have to wonder, what’s the deal? If your financial spidey sense is tingling, you may already have gold digger radar. But if your internal gold digger detector is a little bit off or needs some fine tuning, read on my friend. You don’t want to be dating a gold digger if you are looking for a serious relationship. Even if you’re not, isn’t facing the problems each day bad enough? You don’t want to have to watch the person that you are dating carefully, too. It’s best to date people you trust. They have access to you and your things. Pretty soon you may find your credit cards maxed out, your bank account overdrawn, and your car missing. What will you do then? Instead, protect yourself from the gold digger lurking at a bar or a dating profile near you. First, watch out for anyone who talks excessively on dates, or when you two are close, about their financial problems. Someone subtly or not so subtly doing this is looking for a loan or a handout. They may even approach you for help. Beware; this is a manipulation. Their money goes towards fueling their lavish lifestyles, while yours helps them take care of all the essentials such as food, rent, and so on.
One little test is to tell them to sell their luxury car, jewelry, and other top shelf possessions. Most people would be sad. But a gold digger will get enraged or become appalled at the very idea that they should part with such possessions. Gold diggers have a tremendous sense of entitlement. They believe they are envied. Not everyone is like them; they are special and only understood by the chosen few who are lucky enough to be in their presence. A gold digger doesn’t have any sympathy or empathy for others, and little to no tolerance for those he or she feels are beneath them. See how they treat wait staff, hotel front desk clerks, taxi cab drivers, and the like. Notice what personal financial questions they ask about investments, whether you own your own home, income, and so on. These people are human calculators and can determine easily what you are worth. Talk about a little fantasy where you give all your worldly possessions to charity and live as a simple monk. See if they are horrified. Notice how much they appreciate your generosity; whether they say thank you and mean it. Do these things you pay for get a big response, or is it expected? Beware helping the gold digger. They may become financially dependent on you and what then? Watch what types of questions they ask and keep your eyes and ears peeled. Take note of their behavior. Your gold digger radar will soon be able to spot them for miles.
Is the dark cloud of debt hovering over your marriage? Or are you married or about to be and wondering what you can do to avoid financial difficulties? There are many simple, but important steps you can take to keep your marriage in the black instead of in the red. One of the biggest stressors on a marriage is finances (Huffington Post). Debt and other financial burdens are the biggest stressors on a marriage.
Live below your means, don’t get a house and struggle to pay the mortgage every month, find ways to cut corners, and pay off your credit cards and other bills before doing something extravagant. Communicate about who will handle the bills and how exactly it will be done. Each person should have the ID and passwords to the credit cards, bank accounts and so on. So instead of harping on one another to pay something, you each can check it on your own. You of course can splurge once in a while, but make sure it doesn’t break the bank. Communicate with your husband or wife before making a big purchase. Decide beforehand what a big purchase entails.
Set a limit on what you will each spend per month. Will you have one bank account or two? That is an important conversation. Many couples each keep a personal bank account and then one joint account for the monthly bills. You don’t have to do it this way, but it helps. If you follow this plan, decide how much each person is contributing. Income to contribution is an important factor. Today, many times one person in the relationship is making more than the other. In this sense, it isn’t advised to have both people contributing the same amount to the bills. Instead, decide what is a fair contribution from each person.