Navigating Marrying into Wealth
The caviar, the champagne, the private yachts. It’s what happens when you fall in love with someone who comes from money. Can’t say it’s the worst thing—but who cares about private horse stables and fancy cars when you are
The idea of marrying someone with money might conjure up Gossip Girl-like visions of a lavish wedding, first-class trips to exotic locales, and other perks of joining the upper class. But while the glitz and glamor of wealth might seem enticing, beyond the sparkly surface, it has the potential to cause some drama as well.
Love can blind us in cross-class relationships. While it’s optimistic to say that money isn’t an important factor in a relationship—it can be. Money affects a variety of important decisions a couple will make and financial woes can cause tension in a relationship.
When marrying into wealth as someone who has had to work incredibly hard for everything they have, it’s hard not to feel competitive. Here’s a few ideas for navigating the financial aspects of a relationship.
Keeping the Financial Conversation Clear
Financial awareness on both sides can help a marriage between different social classes. Before considering different approaches to combining finances, it can be helpful to be transparent about spending habits.
So what, you like to treat yourself to a $2 tall iced coffee with no syrup (because that costs extra). Your boo might opt for the $6 triple venti caramel macchiato with an extra espresso shot (because why not?)
Keeping conversations about finances clear could be helpful as a couple prepares to handle finances in marriage. Honesty about financial concerns is an important factor in planning a future with someone.
Couples deal with money and love in many ways, but your financial past is important, too. What kind of financial baggage is each person bringing into the relationship? Perhaps one significant other is a big spender because money is viewed as an endless waterfall.
The other partner might still be repaying student loan debt and have more restrictive spending habits. Whatever it may be, bring it to the table and talk about it.
When a Butler Comes with the Marriage
While it’s nice to have a few luxuries, overspending can lead to financial arguments down the road. Figure out which things or services matter the most and would enhance your relationship, not riddle it with headaches and frustration.
For example, some couples might agree that having the fastest internet connection at home is worth the money, but paying for a housekeeper is not. They say marriage is about compromise, so it might be helpful to find balance between each partner’s wants and needs.
Who Says You Can’t Marry Rich and Eat Instant Noodles, Too?
Okay, maybe not every night, but there are certain things that might have shaped one partner into a more conscious saver.
Whether it’s as simple as buying generic versus big brand, or using the hand-me-down dinner set from your grandmother, there’s a fine balance of new and old to consider when you marry someone with money.
The key is to contribute to the relationship in meaningful ways, even if that means outside of a couple’s joint finances. One partner might not be able to contribute as much financially to the partnership, but that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute at all.
Instead, consider taking care of the grocery shopping or finding ways to invest surplus income in a well-managed investment account.
The really cool thing about being from different classes is that each partner can bring a different appreciation and knowledge to the relationship. Put those brains together and you could be eating those instant noodles topped with black truffle shavings.
When Classes Clash
Having different financial backgrounds can bring up a few awkward moments. For example, one person’s idea of “expensive” might be different than that of his or her partner.
Vacations on one side of the family might involve a trip to the lake and a deck of cards, whereas a vacation on the other side might involve an international flight and five-star restaurants.
Recognize that cross-class relationships can cause people to grapple with class discrepancies that might not have otherwise been apparent. When a person marries into a different class, there could be heightened awareness of just how different each person approaches day-to-day life.
A financial emergency such as a flooded basement might cause the middle-class partner to take out a personal loan or work overtime to cover the repair costs. But if the same situation happened to an affluent individual, they’ll likely feel less pain as the money comes out of their wallet.
Marrying into an affluent family can have its own set of stressors and complications. But blending two worlds might just make a couple more inclusive to how money shapes our lives.
The middle class and the ritzy 1% of top-earners might just be able to have their cake and eat it, too. But only if it’s a boxed cake mix topped with a chocolate ganache imported from Switzerland. It’s the best of both worlds!
When Life Hands You Organic Lemons
While cross-class relationships can have some financial difficulties, it’s not all bad. Take those lemons and invest in lemonade. One option for managing your investments is SoFi Invest®.
SoFi members also get complimentary access to financial planners, which could come in handy after joining finances with a new spouse—no matter their financial situation.
Learn more about how to get started with SoFi Invest.
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