April 22, 2024

Money is a sensitive subject and the majority of couples in Nigeria do not tend to discuss it openly as a major topic.  As a result, this can lead to less-than-ideal financial outcomes and in some severe situations, it can also become a hindrance to marital bliss in the home.  

In marriage, couples should learn to discuss their  financial principles and develop a shared basic strategy that best works for both parties. This may include financial goals that they plan to accomplish as well as a worked out blueprint for fulfilling each one of their goals.  

That being said, in this article, we will highlight some few tips for maintaining finances as a couple in Nigeria.  It doesn’t matter if you are a frugal spender and your partner is the direct opposite of you when it comes to spending money, this article will help you meet your financial needs through proper planning.  

Here are some pointers to help you maintain finances as a couple: 

1. Have Money Talks with Your Partner 

This is undeniably one of the most effective tips most people don’t consider in their marriages. Having honest and transparent communication with your spouse or partner is not only healthy but very essential in a relationship, especially when it has to do with money. 

Before successfully combining finances as a couple, you must first have a heart to heart discussion with your partner on how you both can spend and save your incomes. It is important that you find each others’ financial situations, spending habits, strengths and weaknesses.  

If you are a judicious spender and your partner is a profligate spender the best thing you can do is to discuss better ways to manage your finances as a couple. Listen and speak about your past experiences with money and discuss any debts or challenges you may have. 

In the meantime, try as much as possible to find a solution to get them fixed. Meanwhile, for the debts, you both can come up with a way to settle them so as to avoid recurring interests. As couples, you both should discuss the best spending habit to exhibit so as not to crumble your finances.  

2. Set Financial Goals 

Likewise the first tip, this doesn’t seem like a new tip either. One thing is to set financial goals and another is to stick to them, but first, set the goals and see how many you can achieve. You need to understand that setting goals is as important as discussing them with your partner.  

Whether or not his or her priorities are the same as yours, it’s important to discuss financial goals to ascertain a starting point on which to agree on. After that, you can curb out a way to put together these ambitions to propel your finances towards achieving collective goals.  

No doubt, setting financial goals can be helpful to couples in Nigeria in diverse ways.  It can help them stay on track with their finances and make sure that they work towards achieving a common goal.  Hence strengthening their relationship and preventing bankruptcy in the home. 

Additionally, it can also be beneficial to set both short and long term goals, such as saving for a down payment on a house, paying off debts, or putting money away for retirement.  After much is said If you think you need to work on your finances then, you may want to set financial goals.  

3. Create a Budget 

Budgeting is as important as the first two tips on this post so it is important to take it into consideration. However, you need to understand that it is a step-by-step process, so you may not get the perfect results on your first try but that’s not to say you can’t improve.  

A budget is essentially a plan for how you will spend your money each month. It can help you track your income and expenses, and make sure you are not overspending. To create a budget, list all of your income and expenses, and then decide how much you want to allocate to each category. 

Your budgeting process could involve creating spending rules and boundaries, as well as being transparent and accountable to the other person. The rules don’t have to be too strict but at least something you both won’t compromise all the time.  It should be something you both agree on! 

By doing so, you can effectively balance your saving and spending habits without owing debts or running short of funds if need be. Budgeting can be a bit of work considering the fact that things are not always the way we plan them to be, but it can really pay off in the long run. 

4. Merge Your Accounts 

Some of the big questions that arise following this very tip are “Should couples merge their accounts?” “Is it a good financial practice for couples to get a joint account?” and so on. While this is a bit tricky, it all depends on the needs and preferences of the couple. 

For some couples, having a joint account can be a better way to simplify their finances and make it easier to manage their money irrespective of how much each person makes.  Whereas, some other couples may prefer to keep their accounts personal and separate from their partners.  

Whichever one you choose for your relationship/marriage is right so far you are aware of what you want and how well you want to maintain your finances.  Different things work for different people so it is important that you consider what best works for you.  

Consider the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. Merging accounts make it easier to pay bills, make budgets and share financial goals. However, some of its cons include loss of financial independence, and difficulty separating finances if the relationship ends. 

Bonus Tips: 

Use Technology to Your Advantage

In a technology era like ours, there are so many apps and tools that can help you manage your money like Piggyvest, Mint, PocketGuard, YNAB, etc. You can consider using a budgeting app or online banking to track your spending and keep track of your bills.

Consider Expert Advice

If you have problems managing your finances, you should seek the advice of your financial planner or advisor. Don’t claim you know it all –seek help if you think it is becoming a challenge.  A finance expert can help you create a plan to reach your financial goals and make sure you and your partner are on the right track.

Be Flexible with Your Budget 

Life is unpredictable and your finances may need to change over time. Hence, you need to be prepared to adjust your budget and financial goals as needed. Also remember to communicate openly with your partner and find solutions together when financial problems arise.

Prioritize Debt Consolidation

If you or your partner are in debt, make a plan to pay it off as soon as possible. High-interest debt like credit card debt can get out of hand quickly and cause more serious issues with your finances so it’s important to prioritize paying it off.

Decide how to Split the Bills 

Most Nigerian couples may not agree to this tip, but it can help improve your finances. As a couple, you can split everything 50/50 based on your personal income or income percentage. In all fairness, it’s important to find a system that works for both parties and settle with it.  

Keep Your Credit Score Clean 

Do you know that your credit score can either aid or affect your ability to get a loan, rent an apartment, or even find a job? With this in mind, knowing your credit score as well as that of your partner and working together to improve it is necessary.  To do this, you just have to make it a habit of paying bills on time, keeping credit card balances low and avoid opening new credit accounts unnecessarily.  

Should Married Couples Discuss Personal Finances?

Yes, married couples should discuss personal finances transparently with their partners. It doesn’t matter if one person makes far more than the other. Your spouse is supposed to be your teammate. After marriage, everything should become “us” and “ours” not “yours” and “mine”. 

Most often than not, couples who do not put their money together for the greater good and are not transparent with their personal finances tend to struggle more financially and have a harder time reaching their goals. In such a situation, it means only one thing and that is one person isn’t all in when it comes to their relationship.

What Happens if one Partner Makes More Money than the Other? 

In this situation, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation about finances and how to make decisions that are fair to both partners. It may be helpful to split bills like we rightly mentioned earlier on a percentage of each person’s income, or to have a joint account where both partners contribute equally. 

It’s also important to remember that money is not the only factor in a relationship – love, respect, and communication are also essential to strengthen a relationship. Meanwhile, if you’re struggling to manage finances as a couple, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to seek the help of a financial advisor 

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