Is sending money to your family back home causing some friction with you and your partner?
Foreign partners may not always understand our need to send money; it is an alien idea for them as they have a different set of values when it comes to work, money and family.
Whatever kind of relationship you are in, it is always best to sit down, discuss and set the rules. Money is always a sensitive issue but it should not be taboo in your household. Studies suggest that conflict due to finances is one of the reasons for divorce.
Here are some things to talk about, make sure to hold hands and keep an open mind:
Filipino Family Values
Talk to your partner about your family values, what your family back home expects from you and what you want to contribute to your family.
Make sure to talk straight to the point, being vague about anything will only cause more confusion – especially when talking about money and expectations.
Give your partner time to digest all these things, it may not be easy for someone to realise that they are having a relationship with your whole family.
Listen to your partner’s side of things too. Understand where he is coming from and picture his side of the story.
Your main goal should not be to convince him to give in to you but to find a balance and make your relationship work better.
Some couples agree to send money only if the one sending money back home has the money. In short, only one person will shoulder the cost of sending money.
Some send money as a team. These couples see each other’s family as their own so helping is the responsibility of both.
Whichever system you agree to use will depend on both your circumstances and how much you can spend. Always remember that the decision came after a good talk and you mutually agreed to do so.
As a couple, you need to find out how much you are earning and spending as individuals. You do not need to do this just because you need to send money to your family but because it is what couples in a healthy relationship do.
As a couple, you should know your partner’s
Income and earnings
Expenses (including what items and services)
Financial goals (like savings and investment)
Only then, can you effectively plan about your household budget.
Only then, can you combine your resources and plan together for your financial goals as a couple.
Only then, can you understand how much you really have to send. May be after having the talk you will realise that you have enough to share or that you need to rethink your expenses or find extra source of income so you can send money home.
When to send
Maybe when you were single you send money almost every month possible. Belonging to a relationship, you have to consider your partner and/or your own family’s needs now.
It is not being selfish but more being practical. Aside from talking to your partner, talk to your family in the Philippines too. Make sure everything is communicated well so there will be no room for misunderstandings and resentments.
Set boundaries about when and for what reasons you should send money to your family.
As a couple, it might help to try and define what an “emergency” means. Understand that for you, everything your family back home needs may sound like an emergency because you really care for them but it may not really be. Your partner may be able to see better not because he does not care as much but because he is standing outside of the picture.
How to send
If you already decided as a couple to send money, research the best way for you to send money. You may send traditionally through banks or you may choose a trustworthy remittance service.
Be sure to look for:
✔ Trustworthiness – We are talking about your hard-earned money so you have to make sure you choose the right service. Search online and check their websites. Look for online reviews and ask friends who may have tried their service.
✔ Transaction fees – learn about each service’ transaction fees, currency exchange and hidden fees, if any.
✔ Convenience – see if they offer service online so you do not have to go out and physically go to their centre unless may be you are just next door.
Make sure that your family is also near the bank or centre where they will get your money.
✔ Speed – find out how fast each part of the transaction is. There are services that offer real time transactions and your family can receive the money almost instantaneously.
✔ Quality of service – look for banks or remittance centres who are friendly and have 24/7 support so you can track where your money is if you need too.
I hope that you and your partner got together mutually understanding each other’s needs and are partners for everything.
If you are not on the same page, make sure to set a time to talk about money as soon as possible. Realise that money is an emotional topic so ensure you are both in a good mood as well.
Having a relationship is hard work that involves managing your lovey-dovey feelings with making smart and responsible decisions about almost everything that affects your daily life as a couple and/or a family.
Besides, I am sure your parents and family back home will understand if you really do not have the money to send monthly. They would understand that you are starting your own life and may be your own family as well.
Above everyone else, your family would always want you to be happy and wants you to have a great lasting relationship with someone you love.