S'poreans should marry for money, but not in the way you might be thinking

S'poreans should marry for money, but not in the way you might be thinking

They say money can't buy love. But you can't deny the fact that personal finance issues can't be divorced from the workability of any sort of relationship.

Anything we pay for or consume is essentially a personal finance decision, and your attitude towards money plays a large part in shaping where you hang out, where you eat and what you do for fun.

And your partner's attitude towards money can make or break a relationship-more so than the actual figures in his or her bank account.

Here's why you should "marry for money", though perhaps not in ways your average beehive-haired taitai would be thinking of.

Marry someone who doesn't have destructive money habits

Marrying a billionaire isn't a ticket to a happy life, as much as many people would like you to think. But marrying someone who has destructive money habits like gambling or a shopping addiction is a surefire way to end up unhappy and frustrated, even if you have more than enough money.

Any kind of addiction is bad news, but when it comes to money a compulsive lack of self-control can ruin lives. Just ask the many compulsive gamblers you see at the Resorts World and Marina Bay Sands casinos, some of whom borrow money from loansharks or pilfer cash from their family members to finance their gambling habit.

All this can seem very outlandish, but if you actually have friends or family members who are addicted to gambling you know that it's actually not an uncommon problem in Singapore.

The truth is, you never know what financial storms you'll have to weather as a couple. Maybe your spouse's new business will tank, maybe one of you will be retrenched or fall ill.

But there's a difference between weathering a storm together and trying to hold the fort when your spouse is unwilling to seek help for what is ultimately a psychological problem.

Marry someone who is proactive about investing and planning

We all have different views about work. Some women want to marry only men with the ambition to become high flyers in their corporate careers. To other couples, having a balanced life is more important.

But whatever your approach to life and work, one area your spouse absolutely needs to be proactive in is investing and planning the finances you do have. That doesn't mean he or she needs to be a wizard at stock investing or a property guru.

But it does mean he or she has to be willing to learn, understands the importance of investing and is willing to do the legwork to make your money work for you.

Marry someone whose self-esteem isn't too dependent on money

The average Singaporean's self-image rests squarely on how much money they make.

That's why parents whip their kids relentlessly to perform well in school so they can become doctors and lawyers, and why people are willing to work crazy long hours so they can spend everything on designer clothes and luxurious meals.

So when you're trying to suss out whether someone uses money as a crutch to boost their self-esteem, it's really a matter of degree. Only you know when to draw the line.

But if your date is afraid to admit they took the bus or refuses to wear clothes without a designer label stitched inside the collar, be aware that this might be a bit of a strain when you're actually married to each other.

You might both be young and beautiful now, but if you're together for the long haul, don't be surprised if at some point your partner starts feeling worried about how he or she has more wrinkles than last year or isn't as thin/cool as before.

When that happens, you'd better hope your spouse doesn't spend your retirement savings on a Ferrari or decide to reconstruct his or her face.

This article first appeared in MoneySmart at http://blog.moneysmart.sg/opinion/singaporeans-should-marry-for-money-but-not-in-the-way-you-might-be-thinking/

MoneySmart.sg is Singapore’s leading personal finance portal, and aims to help people maximise their money with powerful tools and engaging content.

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