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So, we’re married. Now what?

Question: We just tied the knot and are excited about our future adventures together. Would you have any advice on how to make our marriage smooth-sailing, particularly when it comes to money? Answer: I will just share with you a wedding toast given by the father of the bride.

“Congratulations and best wishes to the newlyweds. Now that your marriage is official, I’m sure that there will be sweet music to fill your days.

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Marriage is magical. A husband will see how his share in your clothes cabinet magically shrinks at a seemingly insignificant but constant annual rate. By retirement, all the space he’ll have left is a pigeonhole. It is by design, because as they say, you cannot bring your possessions to heaven anyway.

Marriage makes time magically stand still for a husband, especially when his wife is out shopping.

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Husbands like to buy toys for the big boys. They buy mountain bikes just to see up to what age they can still mount them. They buy treadmills for hanging towels to dry indoors. And their formula for the maximum number of guitars to own is N = N + 1, where N is the maximum number of guitars they claim they need to own. Go figure.

Seriously, when it comes to money, manage it like a corporation would. Have a yearly budget meeting that would separate your ‘must spend’ from your ‘may spend.’ Always have your long-term goals in mind when formulating and spending that budget.

Do not try to save a percentage of your income. Instead, try to live on the complement of that percentage of your income. Spending in excess of the budget needs to be approved by both of you. Remember that by law, assets received after the wedding, with the exception of inheritance and donations, are absolute community or joint property of the husband and wife. But for the ‘may spends,’ do have separate discretionary funds that can be spent without the approval of the other, provided that spending is kept within budget.

Marriage is not a game of thrones, for as of today, that game is over. There will be no more ‘stranger things’ as you will get to know who is truly the lord of the wedding rings.

Talking about rings, after nearly 33 years of marriage, it was only this year when I took notice of how dirt accumulates in the grooves that were designed around my wedding ring. You see, I’ve grown so accustomed to wearing my ring that I would hardly take it off even when I was doing filthy handyman jobs around the house.

So, to get the dirt off, I tried to soak my ring in powerful hydrogen peroxide and even boil it in water with laundry powder. They were epic fails and I was almost resigned to having my ring brought to a jeweler for replating. But with dogged determination, I was finally able to make my ring sparkling clean again just with gentle and regular scrubbing using the rough side of an ordinary kitchen sponge, laundry soap and tap water.

Marriage is a work in progress and yours will be no exception. But whatever rough patches you encounter, these can always be overcome with the constant gentle scrubbing of your relationship, so that it shines all throughout. Do that and there will be no need for any drastic action.

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You’ve only just begun to live—white lace and promises. You may not get a mansion on a hill, mink coats and diamonds by the score. But if you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and then love each other and others as much as you love yourselves, your marriage should turn out just fine.

May the Lord our God bless your union!” INQ

Send questions via “Ask a Friend, Ask Efren” free service at www.personalfinance.ph, SMS, Viber, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.

Efren Ll. Cruz is a registered financial planner and director of RFP Philippines, seasoned investment adviser, bestselling author of personal finance books in the Philippines and a YAMAN Coach. To consult with a YAMAN Coach, email [email protected] To learn more about personal financial planning, attend the 97th RFP Program this August 2022. To inquire, email [email protected] or text at 0917-6248110.

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