I am the head of the home, why should I tell you how much I earn?

I already paid for the session with your credit card, in case you get a debit alert. Lola explained.

What? What do you mean in case I get a debit alert? Craig exclaimed. But why would you do that without my permission? I gave you that card just for normal house expenses and you know that we have a limit every month.

The payment is just $30, this is just a small payment to book the appointment. Don’t worry it will be worth our while. The main payment will come when she gives us feedback from our session with her, and this is optional. If we find her professional enough, we will then make the second payment and she can then work with us bi-monthly or yearly.

She was highly recommended by a good friend.

You know I have everything figured out about that card. Well, let me just see how this goes. Craig sighed again.

Financial Advisor: Hello Craig, Hello Lola. I am happy you made a decision to see me today. Planning your finances as a young couple can be a bit frightening and unsettling. I normally advise most lovebirds to start this early in their relationship before they get married. Nevertheless, you two are here so let’s get to it.

 

What are your major pain points right now?

Lola: Thank you so much. My number one question is how do we budget as a couple?

 

Financial Advisor: Good one. Craig, can I hear you as well?

Craig: I don’t have any pain points. I was dragged here, so let me just listen and see where this leads us to.

Financial Advisor: That’s a good way to start. On the application form you guys filled out, I am able to understand that your main objective here is to be able to “Plan your finances now and for the future when the kids come”.

There are a lot of financial contemplations that you both will need to deliberate on, things like – bank accounts, bills, spending money, buying property, planning for children, retirement planning, etc.  Most importantly let’s discuss your current financial situation. I have two basic questions at this point.

 

Do you both earn a regular income?

Do any of you have a valuable asset or any kind of investment before marriage?


Craig and Lola answered YES to the first question.

Lola answered in affirmative to the second question but Craig was mute. I have a property I inherited from my late Dad, located in Nigeria. I earn a rental income from it every year.

Financial Advisor: I am happy that both of you earn a regular income. That’s a good place to start. As I mentioned earlier one of the most important parts of a marriage is knowing how to manage your money together. Differing attitudes towards money can also pose challenges to a relationship. For example, what seems sensible and prudent to you Craig may seem stingy to your wife.

Planning ahead together can help you build a strong foundation for your marriage.

You are both scheduled for a 30-minute session today. These are the things I will advise you should do. My clients always come back to say Thank you after two or three sessions with me. I am optimistic that both of you will have a good time planning your finances with me.

Let’s know which of you is a spender and who is a saver. Please fill out this form so we can identify your spending habits. This will help us to find a common ground and agree on limits.

This other form is for us to draw up a budget together, with this both of you need to make an extra effort to draw up a joint budget. This will help you track how your salaries are being spent, and find ways to improve your finances.

Craig sighed as usual.

Craig interrupts the financial advisor to ask a question. Why do I need to track my salary with my wife when I don’t track hers? I am the head of the home, so I generally know what my responsibilities are and I have been meeting them to the best of my knowledge.

 

Financial Advisor: How much do you earn?

I am not obliged to answer that, Craig retorted.

Financial Advisor: Does your wife know how much you earn? Lola, do you know how much your husband earns?

No, I don’t. and he doesn’t know how much I earn either.

The financial advisor was taken aback by the responses of both of them. Oh, now I know where to start from.

It is against my culture to divulge my earnings to my wife. Craig explained.

Financial Advisor: Oh, I see. Kindly excuse me for a second. She excused herself to use the restroom.

This is why I didn’t want to come to this place. I don’t want any Oyinbo woman to come looking into my finances and telling me what to do. Craig exclaimed furiously.

She is only doing her job, Lola answered.

To be continued.

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