Practical Tips

Relationship 101

Some of the most interesting questions on personal finance are about relationship. I’m no psychologist so I don’t actually master the art of analyzing people behaviour.

As financial planners, we usually work based on numbers. People, however, do not come in numbers!

There are 3 types of money relationships:

  1. PAPA/MAMA BOSS
  2. EQUAL PARTNER
  3. PRE NUP

Papa/Mama Boss refers to a relationship where one is very dominant as the single provider of the family and controls everything. For example, a husband regularly gives his wife Rp 5 million for household expenses. She doesn’t know how much he makes. She doesn’t know how much she will need for future expenses such as children education, pension fund, etc. Husband takes care of everything, everything is ok.

The disadvantage of this relationship is :

one of the spouses may become very dominant while the other one feels oppressed.

Equal Partner refers to a relationship where you talk about, just about anything. Nothing is hidden here. The husband is probably supplying the wife with his salary slip from the office. The wife is happily showing her latest bag collection from this month spending spree.

The disadvantage of this relationship is :

you just talk all the time, you forget to take action. No one is taking charge in this relationship. In some cases, the more financial literate spouse doesn’t pass on his/her knowledge into the relationship.

Pre-Nup refers to legal separation of a couple’s wealth. It is becoming more and more common to find young people deciding to separate their wealth. For some people this may sound ‘weird’, it’s like preparing for divorce at the beginning of your marriage. Actually it just makes perfect sense. You are used to your independence, you have built your own wealth, why not just separate it?

The disadvantage of this relationship is :

you are too busy with your own assets. In some cases, the Pre Nup couples are forgetting that they are actually sharing their lives together, so they should prepare their investment together.

Most Indonesians I met, fall under the 2nd type : Equal Partner.

People are very comfortable talking about money to their spouse. Traditionally, the husband is the main breadwinner for the family, he acts as the CEO. Meanwhile the wife plays the part of the CFO. Husband gives all his money for his wife to manage. In most cases, it would be budgeting activities, with very little investing activities.

Which type are you in?

My husband and I are very comfortable in type number 2. We share everything. I know exactly how much money he makes every month, including all the fringe benefits. Vise versa. We are very comfortable talking about what we want to do with our money and what we want to achieve. After TJ took the challenge and works on our financial plan, we also know how to invest our money properly. My husband does however, declares which assets belong to me, which assets belong to our little family – this is for ‘warisan’ purposes. That is an entire different subject.

Whichever type you are in, it’s all up to you.

This is Relationship 101, where there is no right or wrong answer.

Whichever works for you… as long as you are happy about it.

Finance Should be Practical!

Ligwina Hananto

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