Sex and money…

Sex and money, not just the premise of most television shows these days.  Sex and money are also the core (or so they say) of the arguments most married couples ever have…and end up divorced over.  True as that might be, I think there are many more problems in between the two issues that can accelerate the expiration date on your marriage.

But let’s start with money.

I have opened up about money issues before here , there, and here but this is still one of the most common email questions we receive and a number of our readers have asked us to talk about it.

I initially thought about discussing some of the topics that seem to obsess Nigerian social media on a weekly basis, such as:

“Should a boyfriend pay for you to go and eat Jibowu pancakes with another man?”

“Would you date a man who rides public transport to work?”

“Should you date a man who can’t buy a car for you as assurance?”

“30k runs, worth it or not?”

But then I realized that most of my readers are not 15 year olds pretending to be 25 year olds on the internet and therefore may prefer to hear something a bit more realistic. No shade to young people, but seriously….greater issues await you.

So here is a complete breakdown of how we handle money in our marriage. Keep in mind the following as you read.

1) My wife and I are big believers in acting as ONE when it comes to everything. Including finances. This is why we utilize the concept of joint money and pooled funds. We set our financial goals before we got married and have revised them as life progressed. We learned this concept during pre-marital counseling and have found it to be the simplest method and most effective method for us to handle our finances without any major arguments. You all know that she and I have plenty of other things we argue about so I am not bragging by any means.  But this is one area of life I can testify about. I know for sure that if I hadn’t joined hands with my wife, we’d be separately poor, rather than jointly well off. Moreover, it’s made us accountable to each other and to God, and practicing accountability has many positive consequences for us. Many couples do it differently, but this is how we do it.

2) As I’ve explained before…YES, my wife knows what I earn and vice versa. I wouldn’t be commingling funds with someone I didn’t trust.

3) NO we do not ascribe to the belief that a woman is not responsible for her family’s upkeep, and contrary to what some of the cast members of BKChat London might think, we do not agree that “a woman is an expense.” To the contrary, she is an asset.

4) The diagram below is just to show you a simplified version of our overall flow. The actual amounts depicted do not matter. Nor does the diagram take into account more complicated items such as income from various investments and properties.

How we make it rain with our money. We pay our joint accounts first. Then all things flow from there. Bills, charity, family expenses, trips, and personal allowances for things like movies, entertainment, gifts and dining out.

Now, because we had a number of very specific requests from readers in the UK, asking us to break our budget down using actual figures, and to also show what would happen in a situation where only one spouse is earning any income, I am including some charts below. The numbers are made up. I repeat. Made Up. So kindly revise as you see fit for your own specific situation. In short, please don’t get upset if I’ve projected a number that is unrealistic for your situation/country/setting. Moreover, given that the Nigerian currency has been possessed by an evil spirit, doing this chart in a smaller currency like GBP was easier, so that I can depict thousands, rather than millions. Disclaimers aside, the same logic applies no matter what currency you’re dealing with, how much you are earning, or who is earning more.

 

Scenario 1

Scenario where both husband and wife send their (rather significant) incomes into the joint account.
*Note - Rent in Nigeria is usually collected on an annual basis, whereas rent tends to be collected on a monthly basis in other countries.
 MONTHLY INCOME  MONTHLY EXPENSES
Naijawife (assuming she is balling)5000Rent/Mortgage (3 bedroom flat)1000
Naijahusband 3000Food/Provisions200
Generator Fuel & Servicing/Electricity Bill (for those of you abroad)50
Data Plan/Mi-Fi/Wi-Fi/Mobile Plan70
Personal Allowances (total for both of us) (this is used to pay for clothes, gifts, NW's expensive hair, etc)400
Staff* (housekeeping/cleaner/washerman/NW's personal masseuse/ whatever)100
Emergency Fund400
Monthly Savings4200
Charity/Offering/Tithe800
Health/Life Insurance40
Parental Support (elderly parents) /Child Expenses (for any present child)/Child Savings Account (which can be used towards expenses for any future child)500
Total Income8000Total Expenses (including what we put aside as savings)7760

 

Scenario 2

Scenario where only one spouse is earning an income. Due to job loss, illness, temporary leave, refusal of one spouse to contribute, or some other reason.

**Note - This one na odikwa risky situation but most couples will go through it at some point. Regardless, their budget can still balance if they are prepared and ready to make sacrifices. However, even if the sole earner is a multi-millionaire, the situation is still very tough for the non earning spouse, and requires a lot of sensitivity. If you plan to do this long term, it is wise to prepare a contingency plan in case something major happens to the sole income earner.
 MONTHLY INCOME  MONTHLY EXPENSES
Naijawife (assuming she is still balling but now has to support NH as well)5000Rent/Mortgage (3 bedroom flat)1000
Naijahusband 0Food/Provisions200
Generator Fuel & Servicing/Electricity Bill (for those of you abroad)50
Data Plan/Mi-Fi/Wi-Fi/Mobile Plan50
Personal Allowances (now less due to one of us not needing to be outside as much)280
Staff* (No need to pay staff when one of us is at home. Besides, NH cleans the toilet much better than our current cleaner)0
Emergency Fund100
Monthly Savings2500
Charity/Offering/Tithe500
Health/Life Insurance40
Parental Support (elderly parents) /Child Expenses (for any present child)/Child Savings Account (which can be used towards expenses for any future child)200
Total Income5000Total Expenses (including what we put aside as savings)4920

So there you have it. Sample budgets and flow charts to give you a bird’s eye view into how we make our marital finances work. I have just used some very loose numbers here but again, everyone’s situation (be you a chef in London, a Matatu driver in Nairobi, a politician in Abuja, or an instagram model in Pretoria) is different. As always, questions welcome below or via AskNaijaCouple.

Next Post….Sex.

 

 

NaijaHusband

Welcome to the musings of the “not so typical” Naijahusband and his lovely Naijawife. Follow us on Twitter: NaijaHusband and NaijaWife

28 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post. It helped greatly. I’m gonna share it with my husband.

    Anywaiz… Na wah o! You just came and acted like everything is fine! You didn’t even apologize for dumping us for many months. I’m not going to get too excited sha because you guys are in a habit of leaving us hanging after we get excited when you post. Let’s see how consistent you get.

    • You’re right. After all the apologies on social media over the last few months, I thought it might be best just to get straight to it.

          • I hope I’m Not coming off as a troll or whatever, far from it. I totally love your platform, love what you guys are doing.

            It’s phenomenal and that’s why I’m not gonna let you go off easy because its not just your blog, it’s “Our” blog.

            We learn from you, laugh with you, see how we can be better and do better through you and then you disappear for God knows when, come back with a post, we’re excited again but yet again you leave. Our feelings are going back and forth like a yo-yo! And then you’re “finally” back, we’re excited to have you but we’re like yeah let’s see how this pans out and then you think because you apologized on social media (twitter), (do a survey, a huge percentage of your blog readers are not there, I assure you) and then you linked your posts. So your blog visitors that are not on Twitter should be scrolling for an apology?

            NH be objective about this. It’s not cool!

            It’s like your bestie bailing out on you a couple of times and says because I sent your sister an apology, I thought we were cool?!?!

            You can choose to or choose not to. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t write this epistle.

          • No worries Tutu. I get this kind of epistle daily from NW, so I’m not offended at all. Rather, I find it encouraging. I think it means that people really did enjoy the blog and that there is still space for us in a world where people are used to more salacious content.
            As for the point about the internet presence of most of our readers, unfortunately, my wordpress stats over the last few years have shown that the vast majority of our readers are on social media! This pains me to no end as I’m not a fan of social media! The few who aren’t have sent us a number of emails asking what’s been up with the blog and we’ve spoken to them directly about it. We also continue to get a lot of private queries from readers about more personal issues, which we always respond to privately as well. All in all, we really do value each and every reader because you’re right, this blog isn’t just a private diary, it’s a conversation we’ve been having with others like yourself, who have supported this platform from time. So, if you’d really like to chew me out some more (i suspect you do!) feel free to send an email and we can chat more directly.

  2. This is soooooo us. My husband and i have been doing regarding finance. We will be celebrating our 8th anniversary in August. Just that in our own case we did not open a joint Account. We transfer into one of my account (we are both accountant but i’m more deliberate about spending) It benefits more and increase our bond. We certainly have nothing to hide from each other.

  3. I love that you guys have added on there care for extended family that is agreed upon before hand. This has been the source of many a drama here in the US between spouses. And as usual it boils down to lack of communication/ agreement.

    • Glad you noticed the “old parents” icon. We both knew the issue would eventually crop up given we both have parents who sacrificed everything to raise us, so we knew we’d have to care for them in turn. We wanted to budget for it so it wouldn’t feel like a burden. At times, we’ve also had to use it for other relatives in their time of need, but we always try to stick to budget on it so that helping someone else isn’t causing too much drama at home.

  4. Welcome back NH. Reading your post is always a delight and as usual, I have picked some lessons from this one. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Welcome back Naija husband. I had to look twice in case I was seeing double when I got your post alert. Its been a loooong time! Thanks for d tips. Xoxo

  6. Drum roll, I have missed you guys!!! Please don’t ball out like the other time.

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