When couples decide to say ‘I do’, there is nothing short of fairytale magic, love and adoration for each other. Even if you’ve agreed on your Gula Melaka wedding cake without batting an eyelid, the question is, do you agree on financial matters? Most couples save financial discussions for later, and some never have them at all. This is a fatal money mistake a couple can commit.

There are so many ways to work around finances when you’re a couple; there are joint accounts, separate accounts, splitting expenses and all types of financial arrangements that couples follow these days. Of course, as financial matters are still a leading cause of divorce, it is important to talk about your financial situation to avoid making common mistakes.

Common Money Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Money Mistakes 1: Not Setting Goals

You may be financially secure at the moment, but what are your long term plans and goals? Goal setting can be very important and has been proven to help many couples focus on their finances.  Whether it’s about kids, retirement, savings or just a rainy day fund, not setting long-term financial goals can have a significant impact on your financial and marital success.

Money Mistakes 2: No Accounting

Accountability is key, especially in a marriage when couples need to rely on each other and have a system in place. One mistake that is prevalent, especially with young couples who are starting out, is not deciding how accounts will are to be divided and setting strict guidelines on who pays for what. Some working couples prefer to keep accounts separate, which can make it easier for some. Traditionally, couples will join their accounts, but often make a common money mistake by not deciding how purchase decisions are made, and how much discretionary spending is reasonable.

Money Mistakes 3: Not Giving Your Spouse Some Credit Where It’s Due

In Singapore, when couples marry they become responsible for each other’s credit. Although many couples with joint accounts will share the finances, it is never a smart financial decision to let one spouse bear all of the credit. Sure, someone might have much better credit, but try to keep a balance, which might allow you to secure better future rates on loans, mortgages and maybe that retirement home.

Money Mistakes 4: Not Having Frequent Money Talks

We all know that communication is key in any relationship, whether it’s business partnership or marriage. However, when it comes to romantic relationships, people only tend to communicate about finances when there is a challenge or hurdle in the way.  Not keeping an open communication line with regards to reaching your financial goals can be a major money mistake and lead to the uncomfortable conversation down the road. Also, some couples will inevitably find themselves in a better financial position, making more money in the future as opportunities arise.  Decide whether you will put the money into savings or how your new income will be spent. Many couples take it for granted – don’t make this money mistake.

Not Looking Far Enough into the Future

If your spouse comes from a wealthy family, you may end up conveniently sweeping the retirement conversation under the rug. Even if you stay together as your wedding vows say you would, waiting for an inheritance is not something you should gamble with, no matter what. Consider starting your retirement plans immediately after marriage, it is never too soon to think about the future!

Sure, money can’t buy you love, but avoiding common financial pitfalls can give you and your spouse more time to focus on other, more important things.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


  1. I think during your courting days, you must have already know more or less by observing how she/he handles money. If you can’t understand or disagree strongly the way she/he handles money, why you still marry him/her. After marriage, of course both of you should share everything – The Good, The Bad and The ugly lah! Your destiny in life is entwined now. If you try to unravel of course, it’s a heartache.

    So are you the marrying kind (in the 1st place)?
    Always willing to look out for your partner?
    Is being love by someone better than to love someone?
    Or reciprocal love is the best?

  2. Thanks for commenting! I agree that we should be there thick and thin for each other. However. disagreements over finances are the top reasons of divorces. It’s always good to know and avoid the common money mistakes. 🙂


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