Two celebrities, head over heels in love,
Broke a zillion hearts!
And then, one day
Love lost when
Money tore them apart!
‘For love or for money,’ an article from business insider.in talks about the most common money related issues for splitsville of some of the world’s most talked about celebrities.
Money is the No.1 thing couples argue about and it goes hand-in-hand with stress. So, it is no surprise that money related conflicts are frequently cited as a reason for divorce.
What are the common financial issues that are tearing not only celebrity couples apart but also unraveling the marriages of everyday couples? Are there ways to preempt or deal with these challenges?
1. Opposing attitudes towards money
Spender vs Saver
I knew a couple where the wife was a saver to the point of being a miser and the husband was gregarious and overly generous. There was nagging and daily arguments. He remained unaffected and continued to bet at the horse races, shop in bulk for snacks, fruit or sweets, feed anyone he met and lend money to friends in so-called need! If not for the social obligation of staying united in a joint family in a vastly different decade, the couple’s marriage with two children, would definitely have gone down the hill.
Fix it: Today, couples take enough time to know each other, including their spending or saving personalities. It is easier to opt out of a relationship early if your attitude towards money is contrastingly different compared to your partner’s, without expecting that the other person will change over time; something that is less likely to happen.
2. Financial infidelity
Financial infidelity is a part of emotional cheating ‘that can have devastating consequences. Secret bank accounts and credit cards, undisclosed debt, hidden purchases or gambling addiction can build financial tension and ruin a fairly good marriage.’ The article quotes celebrity Kim Kardashian, reported to have paid off husband Kanye west’s $53 million debt with her video game, megabucks.
Fix it: Trust and honesty are the cornerstones of any marriage so if you are not open about your habits, assets and debts or unwilling to work on addictive tendencies, you are heading for trouble in your relationship, sooner or later.
3. Overextending budget
Though many couples combine incomes; poor financial decisions or commitments can put their plans in the backseat. Anu and Paul took a loan that took away most of their monthly income, to own a beautiful 3 bedroom house. They now had little left to do the things they used to in their courtship such as, driving away on short weekend holidays and going dancing together. Perennially stretched for money, vulnerability and frustration crept in and they were constantly arguing about the other not doing enough to pay the bills.
Fix it: The article advises that whether you are taking a mortgage or renting a home, aim to spend no more than 25% of your combined take-home pay on this monthly expense. Also the old adage of cut your coat according to your cloth is pertinent here.
Financial advisers advise their clients to complete monthly investments first and think of spending/ buying an asset only with the left-over money, hence big decisions require much thought in order to not adversely impact an otherwise loving and enjoyable marriage.
4. Major impulse buys
A lady friend got carried away by all the discounts around Women’s Day and gifted herself an expensive, red car. The husband was fuming as he was left out of the decision. They had been discussing for a while about the car brand that might suit their taste and budget however this was not it! He blocked her out of his bank accounts and credit cards. Sure enough, a few more tit for tat spends by both and they filed for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
Fix it: Think atleast thrice before you make a sudden and expensive buying decision. Is the purchase a need or a want, have you discussed it with your partner and what could happen if you don’t buy it? Another friend visits the showroom thrice over a period of time to assess again and again if he really needs the expensive item or can live without it and only then makes a choice.
5. Inability to compromise on spending
Again, some of us are incorrigible spenders. Saaransh has this irresistible urge to buy branded watches wherever he travels; Sara splurges on big brand clothes and bags. They live by the top brands and cannot think of economizing on their wardrobes and accessories. This has become a way of life and at the end of the month they are usually borrowing from family and friends to pay the bills or get the home needs met.
Fix it: Avoid comparing yourself with others. The models and items you see in mags and gadgets are dressed up and photo shopped to lure you to buy! Set boundaries on your spending and get better at saving, step by step.
Having targets of ‘quality’ investment like spending to learn something new that can help you in your career, a remunerative hobby or investing your hard-earned money into a well thought through financial plan could be options. Your budget for shopping and spending can be cut down if you are mindful of your spends.
Often couples overlook basic but important outlook of money and wealth and marry for love, till money takes over. The success of a marriage also depends on agreeing on the financial decisions, sticking to them and compromising to keep the marriage healthy and happy. Not recognizing this is the downfall of many couples, according to the article.
If you wish to add to any of the money reasons listed above, that are potential hazards to a successful marriage, we’d be happy get your perspective in the comments section.
Life & Money in collaboration with the Garrett Planning Network has launched Asia’s only Women Financial Advisers Network (WFAN) with a vision to empower Indians to lead a ‘Rich’ and ‘Balanced Life’ and this includes couples who would like to get professional guidance and support with their life and wellness goals. To know more, please see the Introduction video and go through our Online learning courses.
WFAN is now also on SHEROES, a women’s social and economic empowerment community platform. If you have a question, you could contact us through our website or WFAN on SHEROES and we will be happy to provide the answers.