16 Feb NEWLY WED’S GUIDE TO MONEY
Congratulations! You’ve tied the knot and your spouse has become your “For richer or for poorer”.
However, marriages that have been able to stay for richer have done so by working towards it
Yes, talking money with your spouse might be a bit awkward and an uncomfortable subject for some
people early on in marriage but it really is a rewarding way to build trust and grow closer to your
Here are steps to guide you on this financial journey.
DISCUSS MONEY OPENLY AND HONESTLY
It is best to talk about money before you get married but essentially, you must start discussing this
matter early enough. The both of you need to sit down and plan on your finances together. Talk
about how you manage your money individually and be open to learn new things from your spouse.
Also, be open and honest about your spending or saving habits including your debts. Remember, you
are not alone anymore, there are now two of you so you need to be on the same page.
SHARE YOUR GOALS AND VISIONS
Share your big picture with your spouse and understand each other’s financial vision for the future.
Frankly discuss what you want to achieve together, what you can afford for now and where you can
start from. Draw out plans and goals together; a six month plan, five year plan, emergency funds
plan, long term plans, the kind of school you want for your kids plan and so on. Whatever plans or
goals you draft, you two must be able to see it together so you can work as a team to get them
CREATE A BUDGET TOGETHER
Now that you’re no longer alone in this, you need to create a family budget with your spouse. The
budget should cover; Essential costs (housing, transportation, utilities and groceries), Discretionary
Review your budget every once in a while, this could be monthly or quarterly, to make sure that the
two of you are within the budget. If necessary, assign one spouse the responsibility of paying the
bills while keeping the other aware of the finances or if you prefer, share this responsibility among
each other. But remember to stick to the budget.
START FROM WHERE YOU ARE
As a young couple, not much is expected of you. Don’t be eager to please anyone or maintain social
status. Whether it’s an apartment or a car, work with what you can afford and start from there,
because it’s just the two of you for now.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN NEED OF MONEY
Usually, lending a financial hand to someone should depend on what you have as income surplus,
the frequency and the severity of the situation. The Nigerian tradition permits family and friends to
live-in with you but soon enough, you will begin to have kids and your family will grow. This will
increase the mouths you need to feed and might put a strain on your expenses. First, you need to
talk with your spouse. It might be helpful to set a separate budget for what you want to give to
family and friends. Agree together to take your stance on things and not let family ‘bully’ you into
what you don’t want to do.
TALK ABOUT LOANS AND BIG EXPENSES
One of the things strong marriages thrive on is respect. You are bound to make big expenses or
apply for cash loans and you must respect your spouse enough to let them know when this happens.
It is best to agree on a maximum expense or loan amount. For example, if you spent 50,000, that
might not be so much of a big deal compared to if you spent half a million at a go. Your spouse might
loan, you should let your spouse in on it. Secrets only cause unwanted frictions.
You’re a young couple and nobody is expecting you to be an expert on money management yet. The
best thing you can do is to remain open and honest with each other. Marriage is a journey and it is
important to move at your own speed.
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The RenMoney Blogger.