Love is a foundational element of life, motivating us to strive harder and weather challenges, especially when we have someone at home depending on our success. However, “happily ever after” isn’t secured by love alone; financial stability also plays a crucial role in maintaining a strong marriage. It’s a striking fact that about half of the marriages in Malaysia dissolve due to financial disputes.
Whether you’re contemplating marriage vows or embarking on a newlywed journey, PEGH offers some sage financial advice to keep your bond resilient.
Communication is Key
Open and transparent communication is the bedrock of any thriving marriage. Set aside time to discuss financial matters, such as spending habits, saving goals, income, assets, and debts. Honesty fosters trust and understanding, critical components for a partnership.
Consider Renting a Home
Owning a home is a common aspiration, yet renting can often be the smarter choice in the current economic climate, especially for the short to medium term. Let’s examine a comparative example to illustrate this point:
Imagine the opportunity to purchase a two-storey landed property in Petaling Jaya (PJ) priced at RM1,000,000 — a bargain in today’s market. Opting to buy, you’d need a loan of RM900,000 after the 10% down payment. With a 35-year mortgage at a 2.75% interest rate, the monthly repayment comes to RM3,339.
In contrast, consider the rental market. The same type of property in central PJ might command a rent of RM2,500 to RM2,800 per month — significantly less than the cost of buying. In outlying areas such as Setia Alam, the rent could be even more affordable.
Furthermore, with the government contemplating a vacancy tax to address the issue of unsold homes, landlords might be motivated to offer lower rents to avoid charges on empty properties.
Divide and Conquer
Leverage each other’s strengths by dividing financial tasks such as bill payments, investment management, budget oversight, and credit report reviews. This strategy reduces misunderstandings and ensures both partners engage in financial decision-making, essential for maintaining good credit for future needs.
Invest in an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is vital; unforeseen circumstances can arise at any time. However, instead of letting your savings stagnate, consider investing in assets like stocks that offer liquidity and the potential for growth, doubling as a retirement fund in the long term.
Marry Within Your Means
For those planning a wedding, it’s wise to avoid overspending on the day’s festivities. Marriage is more than a single event. Discuss financial expectations openly with family members, ensuring everyone is aligned with what’s feasible and sensible.
While numerous financial tips exist for couples, these foundational strategies can pave the way for a stable and prosperous life together. Remember, teamwork is essential, and with your combined strengths, you can overcome life’s challenges more effectively.
To further your financial knowledge, especially about investing, stay connected with us at PEGH. We discuss sustainability and investment opportunities in Malaysia, helping you build a better future and, by extension, a stronger marriage.