If you go to the street and ask strangers their names and what they do for a living, you will get many responses. But if you ask your close friend their bank balance or how much they earn, it is highly unlikely that they will disclose that information.
Mr. Wahome Ngari, a financial consultant says that in our socialization money is very personal and that’s why most people enter marriage without full financial disclosure from their partners. They rarely know the financial obligations of their spouses because it wasn’t discussed in the courtship stage.
“When you were courting you knew this person had money but you didn’t know how much and they didn’t tell you what loans or investments they had. You get to know things slowly in marriage and it becomes a difficult thing to deal with until the two people learn to open to each other.”
Speaking with James Okumu on the Jam 316 show on the topic Financial Clinic Love and Money, Mr. Ngari urged couples to open up regarding their finances. “Let your spouse know, these are the resources I have and this is what I want to do with it.”
He cautioned couples against financial infidelity where one person spends money without the other knowing.
“When you do your budget, have some spare amount of money that the wife or husband can use for their pleasure, a small allowance that you can spend without reporting, like buying lunch for a friend. Plan the bigger things together with a view of the resources at hand but understand that it take time to get there because sharing money is not natural.”
Having assets that only one person knows about is dangerous because they can be lost in case of death.
According to Mr. Ngari, wives should be involved in their husband’s investments. They should know where those plots are. Husbands should be invited to chamas to see what their wives are investing in.
Before marriage, it’s vital to go through premarital counseling because dealing with money as a couple is one of the sessions that’s handled there.
Research shows that married people eventually do better in finances than singles, especially when they agree to be partners, because they will discuss things, get different perspectives and see things better. When one makes a mistake, the other is able to correct them. You miss that when you are alone.
Below is the full interview with James Okumu on Jam 316