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Rule your own purse

By Zenoyise Madikwa | Jan 21, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

WHETHER you're married or in a vat en sit kind of an arrangement with your man, it's no secret that money often poisons relationships, more especially in our materialistic society.

WHETHER you're married or in a vat en sit kind of an arrangement with your man, it's no secret that money often poisons relationships, more especially in our materialistic society.

Independent financial adviser Boy Masiza says that issues of cash have wrecked many long-standing relationships.

He says the solution to financial battles in a relationship is for partners to have equal financial responsibility.

Lerato Makenete of Liberty Life says being an equal finance partner does not only mean sharing expenses and bills with your partner but involves being financially informed and empowered.

"Part of this includes understanding what it costs to run your household and what bills need to be paid, and when."

This will not only enable you and your partner to plan effectively, says Makenete, but also to save towards your common goals.

Makenete adds that financial equality goes deeper than this though it means having some level of financial independence and talking about money openly and honestly.

She offers the following advice:

l Independence

Ladies, there's nothing like it. The core of an equal partnership is maintaining a degree of independence.

You can't be equal without being independent; or you are trapped and dictated to by your partner.

Firstly, have your own bank account. Many women - when they move in with a partner or get married - make the mistake of thinking that they no longer need their own bank account.

You and your partner may have a joint account, but it's not a good enough reason to close your own.

As a free, self-sufficient woman, having a personal account is vital for a number of reasons.

It allows you to build up your own credit record. Also remember that if your partner dies, the bank will freeze his bank account (or your joint account).

You'll have no access to the account,which can have devastating effects.

l Where there's a will there's a way

Another aspect of being an equal finance partner is having a say in how your financial affairs are handled after you die.

A valid will is an important part of this. You may think you do not have enough assets to need one, but a will is the only way to have a say about what happens to your assets when you're gone.

It's really easy to draw up a will - you don't even have to involve a lawyer to get it done.

l Cover your life

Part of being an equal finance partner is making sure your partner and family will be looked after when you are no longer around.

The first step is to think about your liabilities like car finance, credit cards and store accounts.

Ensure you have enough life cover (by taking out a life insurance policy) to settle your debts quickly to ensure you don't leave your loved ones with a legacy of debt.

Conversely, if your partner dies, you don't want to be lumped with his debt, especially if you are financially dependent on him.

Consider the effect that his death will have on your financial position. A life policy (taken out to cover your partner's life) could be a valuable lifeline and give you the capital to get on your feet again should you lose your partner.

l Now what?

Talk to your partner openly about these issues.

Speak to a registered financial adviser who can take you through all of this step by step. It comes down to you being in control of your finances and your future.

This is how you empower yourself, and own your life.


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