Your relationship seems to be flawless and all goes smoothly. It seems to you that you have known your Slavic beauty for your entire life. However, let us caution you against jumping at this conclusion, unless you have thoroughly talked with her about your finances.
There is nothing romantic in talking about money with your wife, there is no doubt about that. But our financial well-being or our financial problems bear a huge impact on our everyday life. It largely determines our whole lifestyle, our habits, even the circle of our friends. The role of finances in our life cannot be underestimated. So much so that over 68% of the couples filing for divorce cite financial problems as the driving motivation behind their decision to begin living separately. This is very alarming statistics. It is also the reason for you and your Russian wife to sit down and to discuss the future finances in your family. Otherwise you will risk a lot of disputes and even bitter conflicts some time down the road. These are just a few issues that you and your partner need to be aware of if you are planning to lead a fulfilling life together:
- Your existing financial situation
It is safe to assume that neither you nor your Russian spouse are eagerly looking forward to discussing this, but it needs to be done. Brace yourself for a long conversation and do it when you both have a free day, some time during a weekend, after a healthy and hearty lunch together. It is preferable to discuss everything – your savings accounts, possible debts, retirement plans, ability to raise and to educate children and so forth. At first you may want to see where you are at now regarding this. Then you may proceed to make short-term, middle-term and long-term plans. Of course, unless you are a skilled accountant, you will not be able to foresee all the possible pending expenses. But it is also true that rough ballpark figures can and should be assessed. You are not a big corporation, so probably you will not need to worry about ROI and EBITDA at this particular juncture of your matrimonial life.
- Money personality as an assessment factor
It should be noted that there are six main money personalities with their individual characteristics: the Spender, the Piggy Bank, the Security Haven, the Risk Manager, the Dreamer and finally our favorite, the Sponge.
The Spender is an outgoing, generous personality who enjoys throwing the cash around. All his friends keep expensive presents from the Spender, received suddenly or on the most trifle of occasions. The downside of the Spender is that he can easily go “tits up”, i.e. become bankrupt. The Piggy Bank personalities are not known for accumulating insurmountable amounts of debt, but they are not popular with their thrifty attitudes. A Safe Heaven is an awesome planner, he takes into account all the major details and invests wisely. However, he lives mostly for tomorrow, unable to enjoy the life as it is at the moment. Risk Managers go all-in with their investments, sometimes reaping fortunes rather quickly, but sometimes also losing it all and going bankrupt. Dreamers don’t care about money at all, they exist only for the enjoyment of life and for sensuous pleasures of romantic relationships. As a result, they can be unreliable and usually are typical financial losers. Sponges can be understood well by their name – they syphon away all the resources of their spouses without caring to replenish the thinning accounts. Unless you have a lot of money, Sponges will ruin you and then will demand divorce.
- Evaluation of your financial goals
During the conversation about your family finances with your Russian wife you may want to touch upon the subject of your joint financial goals. It is important to ensure that your ambitions regarding spending your family money coincide at least partially. It may be traveling together, moving to another city or even another country, raising kids and so forth. If your goals are more or less the same, you are in safe waters and can go on planning your future together. If not, you will need to work hard to narrow this gap and to conciliate your points of view. In other words, you will need to work out a tangible compromise with your Russian wife.
- To combine or not to combine – that is the question
In reality most couples prefer to keep their cash separate just because they want to maintain control over their own finances. They don’t feel like giving access to them to anybody else, even to their loved ones. It often happens that separate funds soon become secret funds for some extra-marital activities, and that’s when real problems in a relationship barge in. The temptation for such acts is stronger when the accounts are kept separate. Think about it this way – if you don’t trust your Russian wife with your finances, how can you trust her with raising kids and even being faithful to you? It is a matter of trust, and if you are not ready to trust another person on principle, maybe it is better for you to remain celibate and enjoy life as it is, without bringing another person into it.
Resolution of conflicts
Even if you get along just fine with your Russian spouse, the time will still inevitably come when you will have an argument about money. The tricky part is that you may get into such an argument even without realizing you are debating a money issue with your wife. For instance, you are adamant to spend a vacation with your friends traveling around the country, your wife is pushing you to go to another country, say, for a vacation in Paris.
It is evident that traveling in your own country is cheaper and you would go gladly to Paris if everything was paid for by somebody else. So, it is a typical money conflict with Russian females, with subconscious undertones to it. The important question is – will you be able to listen to your partner’s reasoning with respect, will you be able to find a good solution together, will you be able to offer or to accept a compromise? If the answer is yes, then you and your Russian wife are compatible financially and are up for a great future together.
Talking about finances with your spouse may look repulsive and not romantic at all, but this conversation will pop up sooner or later. It is better to approach this issue consciously and not to be ashamed about raising this up. Mutual understanding is crucial for a successful life in marriage.