Is financial compatibility the new normal of Indian matchmaking?

Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder of LXME shares her views on financial compatibility and why, how and when one should broach the topic.
Weddings,financial compatibility,indian matchmakingIs financial compatibility the new normal of Indian matchmaking?

No one usually talks about money on the first date, but if there’s something that growing up teaches you, it is that financial compatibility is as crucial as any other kind of compatibility when choosing a partner. The question is, why, how and when do you broach the topic? There are truly a million things to talk about when it comes to money and marriage. The money between two people can be a real source of friction if both parties don’t know how to handle it. It can also be a deal-breaker for many people when they realize their partner’s financial habits are diametrically opposite to theirs.

While probing too deep into their partner’s financial condition is seen as a taboo in our society, it’s imperative for transparency to exist between both partners for a happy life to ensue. Secrets can kill a couple and more so when it comes to money. Mutual financial goals are a concern for both the people involved in building a secure future together and we have to normalize talking about financial goals before we enter into a lifelong arrangement with someone.

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It can also be a deal-breaker for many people when they realize their partner’s financial habits are diametrically opposite to theirs.
Priti Rathi Gupta

When is the best time to talk about finance when matchmaking? 

Get to really know each other- Ideally, it should be right after the “define our relationship moment”. Communication around money needs to be absolutely open and non-judgmental or rather, I say it’s time to ‘Normalize money talks’! Every couple should undergo a money talk before getting married but most of us are conditioned to not talk about our finances freely. Mostly, we are discouraged to talk about money with prospective partners as society has conditioned us to immediately think of the other as a gold digger or a potential dowry seeker. But, isn’t it important to understand the financial personality of your partner before you make a lifelong commitment? Absolutely!

Understand your own money personality and value system- Are you a spender or a saver. Are you an aggressive investor or balanced or conservative? Are you money mindful or money minded? What does money mean to you? More than habits, identify your general attitude towards money and investments. It is also crucial to understand what kind of investor are you: aggressive, conservative or balanced? In a society like ours, thousands of women are never even taught the importance of investing, bowing to societal notions that money is the man’s department in a household. Financial education is a must and women in our country must understand the importance of making investments from early on.

It’s a match!- Only if you are able to define your own financial attitude, would you be able to understand what you seek in a partner as well. It does not have to be similar financial behaviour as yours but you must know what kind of financial personality would you like your partner to have. Understand what is the value system they have grown up with and how they make certain financial decisions. If you’re very ambitious in your career, ending up with an un-ambitious partner would lead to frequent fights and arguments. 

Some financial advisers even believe it is better to have differing views when it comes to finance, as that leads to more balanced decisions. One has to decide where to draw the line with the differences. Make sure your ideas align somewhere, finding a middle ground.

Be transparent about debt - While thankfully, youth nowadays are still more open to a conversation about finances, it mostly doesn’t go beyond incomes and cursory chats about financial goals, expenditure etc. Issues like existing debt, dependent parents and sibling, and investment habits are rarely discussed. In fact, it is critical to know about your partner’s assets as well as any debts/liabilities. Ask questions about their liabilities, if any, as they can have a severe impact on your future together. One can always offer to share debt repayment as well but ensure you understand all nuances and enter such an arrangement in a very structured manner, ensuring you at least jointly own that asset. 

Ask questions about their liabilities, if any, as they can have a severe impact on your future together.
Priti Rathi Gupta

Dividing responsibilities- As one enters the later stages of courtship, it also becomes necessary to have a chat about how financial responsibilities are to be shared. Talk about joint bank accounts, separate accounts for personal spending and how you envision pay-outs of monthly bills. Retaining financial independence and having a safety fund to fall back upon are important for both partners to secure their personal futures.

Anything worth having for a lifetime is worth working for along the way. Life is about actively deciding what is worth in it for us and constantly putting time, effort, and love towards it. At the end of the day, everything is a choice, and if we don’t make a choice and simply wait for things to happen nothing likely will. Ultimately, radical transparency and understanding are the key to having financial compatibility and to build a happy, secure life together.

By Priti Rathi Gupta – Founder of LXME

ALSO READ: Here's how you can know if your partner is financially stable to start a serious relationship with you

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