• Solenn: 'I Don't Know How Much Nico Earns. It's None of my Business'

    Each couple has a different take on the household budget. Which is yours?
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
  • Solenn: 'I Don't Know How Much Nico Earns. It's None of my Business'
    IMAGE @solenn/Instagram
  • It used to be when a couple gets married there's the unspoken "what is mine is yours and yours is mine" — including each other's money. Nowadays, we're glad to hear spouses do sit down and discuss what setup does "our money" means for them. Three "unconventional" financial setups we've encountered show that it is different strokes for different folks. 

    Setup #1: The wife keeps her money, he keeps his.
    It's an arrangement that is NOT unheard of, but not a lot of Pinoy couples do it (or, at least, they don't admit it). That's why Solenn Heussaff and husband Nico Bolzico are in the headlines recently because they said it was their setup. Solenn tells Pep.ph in an interview, "I don't know how much he earns. He doesn't know how much I earn."

    They do have a joint bank account for bills and groceries. But Solenn says their finances have been separate since the day they got married in May 2016. "I mean, we both work, [so] for me it's none of my business."

    She acknowledges it is a modern approach, and it might change when they have a child. But, until then, this current setup seems to be working for them. 

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    Setup #2: The wife manages both incomes
    This arrangement is common to most Filipino marriages, and it still works. For real estate broker Mitor and wife Kabbie Alipio, there was an agreement to be transparent when it comes to their finances. "Our agreement was simple: we both have access to our bank accounts, we both know each other's ATM passwords. All our funds are mutually owned," says Kabbie.

    "I handle the monthly bills because I'm obsessive-compulsive, and Mitor handles the investments because he's more knowledgeable on the subject, and so he knows where to put our money best," she adds.

    Setup #3: The husband gives the wife an allowance
    In our grandparents' time, the wife is the de factor money manager because it is presumed she is better at budgeting — and she can resist "temptation" better (luho, in short). Of course, the former is not accurate, and the latter is highly debatable.

    Ann, a mom of two, believes it's better that her husband Andrew is the one handling the budget. "Bills get paid on time, we stick to the budget, and everything is done in a more orderly manner."

    "We are now managing our business together so I don't have my own income now. I normally just get an allowance from him for my personal expenses.

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    "Basically my husband shoulders all our major expenses. For some minor expenses like eating out or small grocery purchases, I normally get from my allowance," she clarifies. 

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    As you and your partner improve or find a financial arrangement setup suit you as a family, here are important tips from seasoned couples how to never argue about money:

    1. Have an annual planning session. Do like corporations do and set targets, define goals, and discuss ways to achieve them. 

    2. Instead of asking, "how much should I save," when you want something, start asking, "what can I do to afford it"? It changes your focus completely when stated this way, because it's no longer just setting aside a budget, it involves lifestyle changes.

    3. List things down. If you're not a millionaire with unlimited sources of funds, it's okay to micromanage.

    4.  Create bank accounts per category to efficiently allocate the funds, and name each account accordingly. Have a travel fund, an emergency fund, a fund for the kids' education, etc. That way you know exactly where your money goes.

    5. Be transparent. Don't expect your partner to be a mind reader, and be open with your issues. Communication is key.

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