Why Women Need Personal Financial Structure Before Marriage

Newlywed African Descent Couple Kissing Hands

Marriage is one of the craziest decisions anyone can make in life. It usually seems like grabbing hold of someone you can’t live without. When the time is right, getting married has an emotional element, but there’s also a financial side to consider. Nowadays, more and more people are beginning to realize that marriage is not what we think it is. To many, it is death of freedom and happiness and to others, it extends to their finances, careers and sanity.

Having a proper personal life structure, understanding your own independent existence is one of the true blessings anyone can walk into marriage with. For women, there are harder consequences of going into marriage in the name of love without self assessment. Just like the late Nigerian author titled one of his famous books “Things Fall Apart.”  There are many cases a lot of things start falling apart in marriage. In men, financial responsible triples, bringing obvious unrest in their pursuit for money and could negatively alter their behaviours in marriage. In women, increase domestic responsibilities could lead to depression, confusion and unhappy life. In cases like this, if the woman has no cash inflow and the man’s cash outflow becomes more than his cash inflow, then the marriage would be really crazy with lots of random mad moments.

With every birth of a child comes an increase in financial responsibilities. There is one thing that scares poor married couple: giving up their youthful dream lives to carter for the needs of their family. The very day couple takes their toddler to creche, that one-step action is the beginning of 25-27 years of financial responsibilities, considering children educational duration in Creche, Pre-Nursery, Nursery, Elementary, Secondary and University and to a further extent, Masters.

In Nigeria, a recent research has revealed that most people are in marriage either because of the shame of walking away from it or just because of their children. Marriages do face serious challenges but there has never been a marital challenge worst than the one faced without money. Women who rely on their male partner’s businesses to consider marriage are the most traumatized married women in Nigeria. You don’t have to walk into marriage with little to no serious paying career. Making mistake of relying on someone’s pocket for your survival in marriage is a grave mistake. Never let someone else’s financial failure become the reason to realize you need a paying career and solid financial status. There is no fulfillment in the life of anyone who can’t pay some of their bills. If you can’t pay most of your own bills through the works of your hands, you are indeed creating a nightmare that could haunt you for the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter if you are being supported by the richest person on earth, unless you are a disabled person,

Understanding the importance of personal financial stability is enough reason for anyone to delay marriage to a more reasonable time.

Merging your finances with your significant other requires some planning when it comes to things like setting up a household budget, saving for the short- and long-term, buying a home, and paying down individual or joint debts.

Age can also play a part in the decision-making process. Whether getting married earlier makes sense versus waiting until later depends on your financial goals and overall money situation. If you’re planning to tie the knot, here are some important things to weigh in the balance.

The average age of marriage has been trending up, as more Nigerians wait longer to get married. According to the most recent statistics for 2018, the average age at which women get married is 27.8 years. For men, the average age of marriage is 29.8 years.

That’s an increase of nearly a decade over the past century. In 1920, the average woman got married at 21.2 years old while men married at 24.6 years of age. While men have historically gotten married later than women, the age gap between them is closing. On average, women are two years younger than men when getting married for the first time.

Single Life Vs Married Life

Single Life

  • Help with debt and savings

  • Save for retirement

  • Keeps spending in check

  • More affordable insurance

  • Easier to get a home

Married Life

  • Conflicting ideas can create tension

  • Uneven balance of debt

  • Pressure on household income

  • Money goals can be delayed

  • Child planning can be a point of tension

How to Decide When to Get Married

Pinning down when the best time is to get married can be tricky and it involves taking a look at your individual and joint financial picture together. Having an ongoing conversation about your finances can help you decide whether it makes sense to get married while you’re younger or wait a little while until your finances have improved.

Ask yourself these questions to help decide whether the timing is right for a marriage:

  • How much debt do we have individually and jointly?
  • Would the way we’re paying those debts change after marriage?
  • Would getting married yield any savings for me?
  • How much do we have in savings, individually and jointly?
  • What matters most to each of us where saving is concerned?
  • Do we share common savings goals?
  • How do our incomes compare?
  • If there’s a wide gap in our incomes, how would that impact things like budgeting, debt repayment, and saving?
  • If one or both of us have debt, would either of us feel more comfortable waiting until that debt is repaid to get married?

While you can use the average age of marriage as a guideline, choosing when to get married is ultimately a personal decision. If you and your significant other are still trying to find common ground financially, consider talking to a financial advisor. Getting a third-party perspective on your finances and money goals can help you decide whether it’s better to walk down the aisle sooner, or later.

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