The promise of “for richer or for poorer” is always recited when a couple says their wedding vows, as they hold hands and look deeply into each other's eyes. It may seem the most romantic thing at the moment, but let's face it: the topic of money ranks low in the romance department. Yet it is one of the most influential factors on the success of a relationship.
In the Philippines, the concept of money takes on a more significant role in a marriage. The Family Code of the Philippines specifies that if you were married after August 3, 1988, then all properties, whether purchased before or during marriage, are conjugal properties. This strict application of "what’s mine is yours, what's yours is mine" makes financial issues even more glaring for couples.
Before the Wedding
Find out about the financial health of your partner and be transparent with yours. Debts or obligations to family, such as sending siblings to school, need to be talked about openly.
Even matters that may seem insignificant take on greater importance if you are sharing them with somebody else. For example, a luxury bag collection might not seem much to you, but it could be a problem for your partner.
As early as now, start the habit of being honest and making sure that money matters are not taboo topics. This also helps manage expectations about the marriage later on.
Planning the Wedding
Mia*, 36, got married eight years ago. Planning the wedding was a stressful time, and far from the romantic stage in the relationship she envisioned. “It was all about spreadsheets and negotiations,” she recalls. “My husband and I felt like business partners. In fact, my wedding designer told me that she [once had clients who cancelled] the wedding. Apparently, the wedding preparations forced the couple to confront that they were not financially compatible.”
The wedding signals the start of the marriage, but it is not the relationship itself. A lot of couples can fall into the trap of emphasizing the ceremony and not what comes after.
Celebrate in a way that is comfortable for you and your partner, so you start your marriage on the right foot, and not with crushing debt.
After the Wedding
The commitment of marriage gives couples freedom to pursue life goals together. Take the time to make a plan when it comes to your financial future. Does this mean cars, a house, or a family business? Before a couple can work together, they need to know what direction they are heading.
Another important money issue to talk about is insurance. Although money has practical uses, at the core of it is the idea that you want to take care of your loved ones. One way to do this is by making sure that they are cared for in times of emergencies.
Critical Care Max is a unit-linked health and life insurance plan that provides financial assistance during a critical illness. Linked with Philam Vitality, a health and wellness program that motivates you with instant rewards, Critical Care Max gives an additional 20 percent coverage. Easing the money worries ensures that the family can focus on recovery and care.
Much like the financial part of the wedding vows, the time when you promise “in sickness and in health” also indicates a lifetime commitment. The journey can have its ups and downs, but having the right skills and protection in place can ensure a more secure relationship.
Commit to live longer, better, and healthier with Critical Care Max. Visit any BPI branch nationwide to learn about how you can prepare for unforeseen medical costs, and focus on being there for your better half.