Why couples should talk 'money' before getting hitched

Posted at 04/19/2014 4:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Love isn't enough, nor is money. This is why before getting married, couples should sit down and talk about money issues.

ANC On The Money financial advisor Salve Duplito said a growing number of Filipinos are now ready to confront money issues before going into a relationship.

Duplito said this shows that money is no longer taboo and questions like you have debt, no longer spark break-ups or misgivings.

There are now "Couple Finance" seminars to help men and women sort through various money issues.

Among the issues discussed during the seminar are:
1. Goal-setting as partners
2. Setting up joint and separate accounts
3. Financial accountability
4. Becoming each other's shopping conscience
5. How to determine whether one partner should quit working
6. How many children should they have
7. Financing the first car
8. Buying a house
9. Investing

Duplito said couples also need to agree on how they will act on sticky issues which cause marital tension. For instance, how much money should they give to a relative in trouble or how much regular assistance will be provided if needed.

Other "touchy" couple-finance issues include the possibility of legal separation, ensuring proper custody and financial support, handling a financial crisis, and when a partner passes away.

Duplito said couples should go through the "values" conversation.

"What are the things in life that are most important to them, and the connection of each of these values to each other and to translate them into a financial road map... Quantify these goals and situate them in a timeline," she said.

Couples should also discuss budgeting, create a statement of assets and liabilities, and compute their net worth.

"These are difficult conversations at any time of a relationship. Some couples choose to have these conversations guided by a financial planner to reduce conflict or in a seminar setting where the pressure of finger-pointing, nagging and blaming can be avoided," Duplito said.

She noted that "couple finance" counseling can help preserve marriages and family, sustain loving relationships through financial transparency, head off financial mistakes, build wealth faster and make parenting smoother.

"If you're planning to get married, find a couple-finance planning session, that should come before you even book a priest or a reception venue. If you have been married for a long-time, always remember with the cost of annulment these days, it's cheaper to keep your spouse," Duplito said.