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November 14, 2016

In Sickness and In Wealth

Text by Ranjabati Das

Money management tips for a happily ever after…

I stand by the first half of the increasingly popular DINK philosophy — Dual Income No Kids. I am all for combining earnings, investing in art together and splitting holidays down the middle. And if the finances are to be separate, then why not just go ahead and say the P-word, the unutterable ‘prenup’? I’m a realist and a romantic and so, for all my independence, I wouldn’t take that quantum leap.

I believe that there should be no space in any relationship for squabbles over money. Except that they squeeze their way into conversations as innocuously as that unwanted pest of a guest who drops by for a drink but stays on for four — four glasses of the expensive sherry that you had been saving for a special occasion.

Rationally, a joint account makes sense. And monthly budgets — which must be adhered to, come hell or high water. Though there will be times when that dress makes you stray towards the cash counter or a particularly devilish shopping app murders your resolve. Further complications are born out of the fact that we are, by some quirk of fate, almost always predestined to fall in love with our financial opposites. I guess the saver should get to veto the spender — not very democratic, but then nor is this world that we live in.

I certainly wouldn’t be party to unfair, unequal spending. It’s just not fun to see a sudden drop in your bank balance that has gone completely unaccounted for at the end of the month. As for those so-called friends who look the other way when it comes to going Dutch…they can’t tug emotionally at my purse strings either, now that I’ve hit the big three-O. After all, I’ve got my own list of priorities, and trust me No. 5 is more like number one; Coco did say, ‘A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.’ She also warned, ‘Passion goes, boredom remains.’ Not very romantic, but there it is. Words of wisdom from the hautest mouth.

So, I’ll dip into the savings and gift him his dream Tissot, and he can give me those Louboutins that will make me feel like a gazelle, I mean, Giselle. Frankly, though, I’m far more interested in the things that money just can’t buy — like successfully circumventing shoe envy, and making the little compromises that will go a long way in creating a rock-solid bond.

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