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Couples and their money management

, March 15, 2016, 0 Comments

couple-money-management-marketexpress-inThere are numerous examples of how divorce has ruined financial life of man and women, both. In the western world, the couples sign agreement called as pre-nup before saying ‘I do’. This agreement comes into picture in case of separation or divorce. Things like who will take how much and what will be the other financial terms and conditions are included in such an agreement. However, in India, there are no such agreements.

In a complete contrast, there are couples who achieve financial independence together. Their goals are concurrent, meaning both agree on the goals and their way to achieve the goals are also similar (if not same). This story is about one such couple and their money management ways.

Mr. Deepak Desai turned 28 and his parents were looking for a suitable bride. Desai family met a girl by name Anju. Everything clicked instantly and they got married. Like all other couples, Mr and Mrs Desai too did not talk about money prior to their marriage. The only thing that they asked each other was how much they were earning. Deepak booked a nice hotel in Manali for honeymoon. Although, Anju wanted something better, she settled for Manali.

After the honeymoon and honeymoon period was over, the reality stuck them.

The couple’s parents (both in-laws) stayed in their respective hometowns. The couple was living all alone in Mumbai. Both of them came to Mumbai for higher studies and then settled here for a job. Deepak was typical khadoos or kanjoos guy. On the other hand, Anju was kind of happy go lucky. Her mantra was to live life king size (or rather queen size). For queen size living without actually being a queen, you need to borrow money. Credit card was her friend. In her circle of friends, she was known as bubbly and a girl with a lot of money. She enjoyed spending not only for herself, but also for others. If any of her friends was in need of money, Anju was there to help. Everybody thought that Anju belonged to a rich family and hence always asked money from her. This made Anju live on pay check to pay check. However, all the friends were honest and returned the money without any reminders. Post marriage, she bought a plasma TV and music system. The kitchen was filled with the latest gadgets and appliances. She thought that all these things will make Deepak and her life luxurious and easy. All these months, Deepak had no guts to stop her from endless shopping. She was using her own credit or debit card for all these purchases. Deepak thought that stopping her from spending her own money will make Deepak look rude and sexist.

Deepak was known to be kanjoos in his friend circle. Deepak neither borrowed any money nor lend any money to his friends. Credit card was taboo for him. Although, he was not aware of the pros and cons of the credit card, he thought why to borrow when I can spend my own money. Frugality was his stronghold. However, eventually, he crossed the fine line and from being frugal he became cheap. He stopped living in today. He stopped all activities which required him to spend money (except for basic necessities). In cricketing terms – He went into a shell.

Stuck with exactly opposite partner, both understood their own weakness and pros of living on the other side. Deepak had no memories and only few lakhs saved in his account. Anju was full of memories, but without a single rupee in her account. Finally, when they talked about money, they understood what each of them were missing. They decided to mix and match their approach. Once the problem was identified, counter action was not difficult.

Taking cue from Deepak, Anju burned her credit card (well, not literally). They (together) paid her credit card dues. Critically short of any fun moments, Deepak planned few outings with Anju and some with friends. Both of them spent their money judiciously. For any big ticket purchase, they would research over it and buy it if absolutely necessary. They both enrolled in some recreational activities. Anju has joined guitar classes and Deepak is pursuing short courses in interior design. They plan to pursue these activities as hobbies and then if suitable for both of them, they could make money out of it too.

Both of them have designed a financial plan for themselves. The plasma TV and other expensive (but rarely used gadgets) were advertised and sold on e-commerce websites.

Their old TV (which they forgot to throw after buying a plasma) is back on the shelf. They are now following the minimalist approach. Deepak has understood that life is not only about saving money and Anju has understood that you cannot survive only on memories.

Anju and Deepak have used their opposite nature to complement each other. In following years, they are hoping to achieve their financial independence.