Woman&Finance is a platform that educates and inspires women to take charge of their finances. We empower our clients with financial tools, tips and techniques through our 1-on-1 personal finance coaching, employee financial wellness programs, workshops & webinars.
Today I want to talk a little bit about marriage and your finances. This topic is inspired by the fact that 3 of my friends will soon be walking down the aisle…exciting!!! While a lot of detail goes into the actual day of the wedding, little to no attention is paid on how the couple will handle their finances once they are married.
From parents to friends, little is spoken about personal finances in a marriage. Couples are left to figure it out themselves in the hope that their love and bliss makes the topic of money easy!
These are some of the topics around money couples should address before they get married:
Marital regime and contracts
I think the first and foremost conversation is the marital contracts, as a couple, you must decide which marital contract you will enter into. Educate yourself and speak to a lawyer to draft your contract for you.
As a couple, you can either get married:
In community of property
Out of community of property with the accrual system
Or out of community of property without the accrual system.
There is nothing more powerful than having someone to share your goals with and see those goals come to pass. When you work on your financial goals together, it becomes a team effort and inevitably, you are each others accountability partners.
Being one another’s accountability partners not only sets the tone of trust when it comes to your finances but creates room for honest and sometimes difficult conversations around money.
Agree on how to split financial responsibilities
Making assumptions and having expectations about what your partner/spouse will do or not do financially can put a strain on the relationship. The best way to deal with this is to have an honest and frank conversation about each others expectations and work backwards to what is reality.
Majority of us do not come from families that discussed money and with this comes pre-conceived ideas of what a man or a woman should do financially…but damnit we all know it doesn’t work that way.
How will you deal with ‘black-tax’?
Black-tax or the ‘sandwich generation’ is a real thing. A lot of millennials are not only supporting their immediate family (i.e. parents and siblings) but also their relatives. This is definitely one area a couple needs to discuss because one is always sure to bail a family member out from time to time and or be it a monthly commitment.
As a couple, you have to decide what works and set boundaries when it comes to family.
Knowing how your partner deals with money helps you mitigate the good and challenging financial times in your relationship.
Your assets and liabilities
I have been in coaching sessions where people are married and yet they do not disclose to one another how much assets or liabilities they have, sometimes one or both partners are heavily indebted and they are married in community of property, so effectively legally they are both indebted! Talking about your assets and liabilities not only helps get a clear picture of your financial situation, but also gives you the opportunity to set goals and work towards financial independence together.
Tribe, I wanna hear your thoughts: how have you handled money in your relationship? What has worked and do you feel you are both working towards the same financial goals?
This blog post is almost two months overdue! My intention is to write a blog reflecting on every quarter of the year. For me it is important to reflect because how else do you know if you are still heading in the right direction, whether it be in your career, finances or relationships etc? We all need to reflect from time to time, it allows us to evaluate what is working and what isn’t.
“a life lived without reflection is not a life well-lived”.
The year started off to a good start, doing a lot of one-on-one coaching which I really enjoy, I get to meet the tribe face to face and help them become crystal clear about their money and goals. In hindsight, I think I did so many of these one-on-one coaching sessions because of the “January goals /New Year’s resolution” where most people want to focus on getting their finances in order…And this continued well into February.
I also had the pleasure of speaking at The Money Fam event alongside with Cikida Gcali (founder of The Money Fam) and Nicolette Mashile (aka FinancialFitnessBunny)
In March Woman & Finance hosted it’s Money Bootcamp, which was a huge success. All thanks to the brilliant speakers and sponsors, Allan Gray, Lindt and G.H. Mumm.
If you have ever attended any of the workshop or events, you will know that the atmosphere is very relaxed, non-judgemental and educational. Here are some images from the day
From March, I have noticed a shift from doing a lot of one-on-one coaching to group financial coaching and facilitating workshops in big corporates and SME’s. This has not been by accident, I have focused on reaching more people and the easiest way is via companies. This is a shift I have enjoyed and has stretched me by far at this point!
Herewith some images of facilitating workshops and group financial coaching:
Another exciting experience was winning my first award as a Personal Finance Educator in March, the awards were held at Emperor’s Palace attended by more than 350 people. The awards are held on an annual basis by Woman of Stature. I was nominated in the category of women in education, alongside women who are doing phenomenal work in their fields. The awards are adjudicated by Nedbank and Sage.
For some great exposure for the Woman & Finance brand, in April, we got some airtime on SA fm, eNCA and Afternoon Express on SABC 3.
I must say April was a big time for introspection in terms of which areas I want to focus on going forward. Running a business is no easy task, I have had to introduce proper accounting systems, get an accountant, re-evaluate my pricing model and face areas that I am not comfortable with head on. I guess as the cliché goes, you cannot grow in your comfort zone!
….Some really exciting collaborations you will be hearing about next week. Together with this exciting collaboration, I have also shot my first online course (finally!!!) and now I am working on the worksheets and the general look and feel of the course!
Tribe, how has the first quarter of the year been for you in terms of your own personal, financial or career goals?
I am always trying to find ways to stick to my budget and if you have read some of my previous posts, you will know by now my downfalls are eating out at beautiful restaurants and shoes! After having reviewed our household budget, I realised that we spend A LOT of money on eating out, which we have since got under control (not easy at first but got it done eventually!)
How I did this was through the ‘envelop system’. Now what is the Envelop System?
With the envelop system, you draw cash for different categories i.e. eating out/entertainment or clothing or all those miscellaneous expenditures that throw off your budget. This means that you draw hard cash, put it in an envelop and spend only what is in that envelop for that specific category you have chosen.
I must say, it would not be practical to use the envelop system for paying your bond/rent, car repayment etc. The envelop system works best for those areas that you can’t just seem to get right and be completely in control of. As the saying goes, a small leak can sink a great ship.
This way of budgeting helps you mitigate against your weaknesses and makes sure you stay in check with your budgeting goals. There is something profound in using hard cash instead of ‘plastic’ money! It means you see every Rand as it leaves your envelop unlike just swiping your cheque card away, you physically see the money leaving your envelop! Trust me, it changes your behaviour!
Tribe, what tips, tricks and tools have you used to stay within your own budget?
In my podcasts, I normally ask the person I am interviewing this question: “growing up, what did you hear about money”? I ask this question because for most people, what they hear about money has direct impact on how they handle their own finances into adulthood.
As children, our parents are our biggest influences, whether they are conscious of this or not, children pick up and to some extend internalise this messages.
So, here are a few messages most people have heard about money growing up:
money does not grow on trees
money is evil and so are rich people
money makes people mean
we don’t discuss money with kids
Just work hard and you will make money
Just don’t get into debt and you will be fine
You must be thankful that you can at least pay your bills
You only live once, spend it all before you die
Don’t ask for money, we don’t have it
Money won’t make you happy? etc
Whatever you heard about money growing up, especially if it was negative, you have to work towards depositing new positive messages about money into your consciousness. This is why positive money affirmations are so important. Positive money affirmations, once your subconscious mind believes them, your relationship with money improves for the better. This not only helps you but your kids, siblings, nephews and nieces too to have a good relationship with money through the messages you put out.
Here are some positive money affirmations to counter all the negative messages you heard growing up:
I have more than enough money
I am willing, ready and able to receive money
I see abundance everywhere
I am a money magnet
I am grateful for what I already have and for all that I receive now.
I have more than what I need
Money now comes to me from unexpected sources & I am grateful
My income is growing higher and higher
I am a rich child of a loving universe
I have the power to attract money
I receive money happily now
Money flows to me easily
I am sensible with money and manage it wisely.
Tribe, what messages did YOU hear about money growing up? (Have you managed to overcome the negative messages?)
Here’s a little more information on the speakers and what you can expect to walk away with from the Money Bootcamp.
Mapalo is a personal finance expert and the founder of Woman&Finance. She truly believes in the words of Mahatma Ghandi when he says, “educate a woman; educate a nation”, and that is why she started Woman&Finance, out of her desire and passion to educate women about personal finance.
As a money coach, she will be talking about “how to create a solid foundation for financial success”
Hlubi is an award winning film and tv actress, activist, sponsored athlete, thrill seeker, educator, social entrepreneur, scholar and our MC for the day.
Her energy will and passion will sure make the entire day electric.
Meet Paula Quinsee, as a relationship expert who works with individuals and organisations by providing insights, tools and skills to immediately and positively enhance the quality of their human interactions in their personal and professional relationships.
Paula will be talking about “Relationships and Money, how to improve your relationship and build wealth together”
Meet Oletilwe Mogashoa, client relationship manager at Allan Gray.
Ole will be talking about investing, why it is important to invest and the investment options available in the market.
Meet Michelle Dickens, our Property Expert. Michelle is the MD and co-founder of TPN.
With Michelle’s extensive knowledge and expertise in property investment, it sure is going to be packed with useful information for first time home-buyers and those wanting to purchase property for investment purposes.
Meet Mbali is an Independent Hospitality Consultant
Mbali Mngomezlu is a seasoned traveler of the African continent having looking after various brands in the hospitality arena in the market.
17 years later she has visited 25 African countries driving sales and marketing strategies for hotel brands in the region, tasked with growing market share and revenue she represented Protea Hotels and Sun international across key African markets.
She will be talking all things travel..on a budget of course.
If you ever need to access credit, hopefully for good debt, i.e. to buy Property, a student loan or to fund your growing business, lenders look to your credit score. You should know what they will see even before they do. It is easy and quick, you can request it online and receive it within minutes.
…are just some of the few that offer free credit reports
2. Automate your savings
I am certain this is the 3rd law in the ‘wealth creation bible ‘( I haven’t read this bible but I sure have read a lot of books on finance). Automate, Automate, Automate. When you automate, you are simply mitigating against your own self and any ‘unforeseen’ situations that may occur and throw you off budget and savings goals. AUTOMATE
3. Shop around for a high interest rate on your savings account
Even though we can agree that savings accounts do not give very high returns, it is still worthwhile to shop around for higher interest bearing savings accounts for money that you will need in the short-term or general savings. No need to be loyal to institutions that aren’t necessarily loyal to you sis! They are in the business of making money; you are in the business of keeping and making your money work for you. Shop around!
***disclaimer: the websites above are not recommendations, they merely provide a guidance to an array of websites available on the market for credit reports***