So you're planning to get married: congratulations on deciding to take the leap! While we know that you're more than ready to move on to the next phase of your life, importante pa rin na mag-focus sa mga detalye that could either make or break your relationship down the line, and one of these issues is money.
While the hopeless romantic would say that "love will keep us alive," the fact is, you'll need money to keep your household running. Moreover, a survey done in Britain reveals that money is the number one reason why marriages end, and it's not too far-fetched to think it's also one of the reasons why people separate globally.
Mahalagang mapag-usapan niyo ng future spouse mo ang finances niyo. After all, it's one of the things that you'll both be managing once you're Mr. and Mrs. Here are a few questions you need to answer as a couple bago kayo magpakasal.
1. Magkano ang kinikita niyo every month?
You'll have to know what each one is making so you can financially adjust to the kind of lifestyle you'd want to have as a couple. From here, mapag-iisipan niyo na kung paano niyo i-bu-budget ang pera niyo para makabili ng bahay o mapag-ipunan ang pag-aaral ng inyong magiging anak (kung balak niyong magkaanak.)
2. What are the benefits your employers offer?
Health coverage is so important since it really buffers your emergency funds when it comes to sudden illnesses or accidents. Maliban dito, dapat ring pag-usapan ang mga bagay tulad ng bonuses, car plans, and other benefits you can both pool together and utilize.
3. Balak niyo ba kumuha ng joint account?
Sharing and managing your finances really depends on the kind of relationship you have. May mga couples na comfortable magkaroon ng joint savings account, while others would rather keep their personal accounts to themselves and then create another savings account for bills. Halimbawa na lang si Solenn Heussaff at Nico Bolzico: "He knows naman how much I earn, gan'on... but he doesn't know kung may savings ako or kung wala," Solenn previously explained. "May joint account na every month, same 'yong amount na nilalagay namin. So 'pag kailangan kong magbayad ng bills for the house or ganun, d'on ko kinukuha."
Ang point ay makapag-agree kayo sa isang systema para hindi kayo magkaroon ng financial friction sa hinaharap.
4. What are certain money quirks and habits that each of you have that the other should know about?
Maging open kayo sa isa't isa para maiwasan ang hindi pagkakaintindihan. Does your partner splurge when he feels bad? Are you matipid to the point of depriving yourself of little things that are actually alright to enjoy? Kailangan niyong malaman dahil maaaring lumaki ang maliliit na bagay at pagmulan ng away. That brings us to the next question...
5. Do either of you have any expensive hobbies or extra-curricular activities?
You may have an expensive gym membership you wouldn't want to let go of, while he might be into upgrading cars for track racing—kung pareho kayong may mga hilig na activities na medyo expensive, then you'll need to be honest with each other about them as these will affect your finances. This isn't to say that one should ask the other to give up a hobby (because that will really be unfair and may even start deep-seated marital issues); pero dapat maintindihan ng bawat isa na may mga pagkakataong kailangang mag-compromise, and you should be prepared for these as a couple.
6. May investments ba kayo?
If you or your partner have invested in stocks, bonds, or any other money growing vehicles while you were still single, then kailangan niyo itong i-disclose sa isa't-isa, as you'll eventually need to update papers to include your spouse as a beneficiary should something happen to you. You can, however, still decide on what to do with any returns: would they go to your joint account? Can each keep his or her earnings as his or her own personal savings? Again, it depends on how both of you deal with money.
7. Do either of you have any utang?
Probably one of the most important things to talk about, debt can easily affect a marriage especially if one will ask the other to shoulder a huge amount without prior notice. Sometimes, debt can even spell the end of an engagement, mas lalo na kung ang isa sa inyo ay baon pala sa utang.
When discussing your utang, you need to lay everything on the table because once you're married, one's debt will be both your debt. Pag-usapan niyo kung magkano pa ang kailangan bayaran at magkano ang kailangan niyo i-set aside every month. Being honest pays.
8. Balak niyo ba magka anak?
Whether you'll have a child or through adoption, kailangan niyong paghandaan ang mga expenses na kaakibat ng pagkakaroon ng isang pamilya. Remember that the cash-out doesn't end when you've paid off your hospital bills or adoption fees: you'll be spending for education, health care, and many more for decades to come. Importanteng magkaroon ng plano at kahit na maliit na financial headstart before you begin that phase of your life.
9. What are your plans in the coming years?
Now that you'll have a partner for richer and for poorer, kailangan niyong magplano ng maigi para sa hinaharap—and it's not just the rose-tinted-glasses version of the future we're talking about. We're talking about where you'll be financially in the next few decades, how much life and health insurance you'll need to invest in, as well as how much you'll want and need to have saved by the time you've both retired from your careers. It's never too early to plan for the big milestones of your life together. After all, being financially free will help you enjoy your marriage even more.