Here is the complete transcript of the podcast
Welcome back to Success with Srini. Today’s podcast episode is a little different, very unique in the sense that a listener of this podcast, asked me a question, sent me an email, and asked me a question. So I am attempting to answer the question. I’ll record this, and I’m going to send this to them. If they like it, then I’m going to publish this as a podcast. If not, then this is not a podcast, as simple as that. Okay. But I’m going to speak as if I’m talking to the podcast, I’m talking to all of you. That’s something I’m going to address. So let’s go to the question first.
The question is, “Hi, Srini. I hope you’re doing well. I have a question for you and would appreciate your insight on this. What is the best way to keep financial independence in a married relationship? Is it okay to keep our finances separate? I realized that the main problem in some relationships is probably money, it may be possible that one person feels that they are being controlled by their significant other, it causes frustration and gives a feeling of being imprisoned. It also restricts the ability to take risks and explore various career opportunities, I thought, I to ask you this question because I know that your insight will be very helpful. Thanks.”
Thank you. Thank you for asking this question. And let me make an attempt to answer this. Let’s see. Now, every time a question like this comes in, any question can be answered from different dimensions? I can take a social dimension on this and answer this socially. I can also answer this religiously, philosophically, spiritually, culturally, and also personally, in different dimensions, it’s very hard to, to kind of retrofit an answer, in a way, because if I take one dimension, I’m gonna miss out on the other dimensions. But it’s very difficult for me to pick one and make you listen to it as if this is the only answer. It’s hard. That’s why a podcast is a great way to have communication when it’s two-way communication. And we are actually working right now, to make it a two-way, rather than a one-way thing. Today, I asked people to call me and leave me a message or email me with questions. But then going forward, we’re trying to see if we can make it the real-time thing. So let’s get into this. What I’m going to do is I’m going to first take a personal stand on this. So if I pick up in your shoes tomorrow, and if I’m going through this, how would I answer this question? Well, turns out that this happened to me personally, many, many years ago, we had a joint account. And I had an account, I got married, added my wife to the account. And all the money was coming into the account. And I was the guy who was spending literally, well, when I was asked multiple times, Hey, are you spending all this money? And my you know, my ego is? No, no, it all makes sense. But then I was does he spend happens unknowingly. And I had no control over my and didn’t have any budgets, I didn’t have any planning none of that stuff. So money was coming in, I was just freely spending the money, most of the money was going into business, and so-called businesses are not generating any return. Right? So there’s nothing for me to show.
This was a primary contention very early on. So a few years into this. We made a choice to separate accounts. We separate with accounts. And it’s not that I ever stopped asking her for money. It’s not that she stopped giving money. It’s just that you have to write a check now. So from her side, she had visibility on what checks she was writing to me. So she felt in control. See, it’s not about my behavior, even though my behavior in question was questionable. But it was more about a lack of transparency from my side, and accountability from my side, which was creating discomfort in the relationship. So knowing what I know now, I would highly suggest separating accounts. If one partner is feeling constrained, it’s better to separate the accounts. And this is also this is my experience, this also makes it culturally and socially appropriate in the sense that we are in times where we are advocating for equal rights, and everybody should have equal rights, everything. And the pursuit that we have got going is that we need to not only feel independent but also feel financially independent financial industry. NSC is one of the pillars of independence. And we are also seeking autonomy, we are also seeking a whole pyramid of things in our existence today, which was not the case back in the day.
Today we are in symmetric relationships. So anything I do, my spouse could do. Anything you do, your spouse could do. And there’s no difference. It’s in a good way. And I also made a point a long time ago, and if a species within the South Asian context, and I’m born and raised in India, people who are born in the 50s 60s men were born in the 50s 60s, and 70s, I think this holds true everywhere in the world, they haven’t really progressed as much, in the sense that they still behave and act as if they’re, they are the children of the parents. And I’m born in that timeframe. So, so I have not grown as much, but women in the last 100 years, have come a long way, which men cannot see. It’s a, it’s a weird dynamic man, woman have come a long way, men have not men are still stuck in the 60s and 70s, and 80s. So that evolution has not happened. And there is a level of you know, understanding that has to happen and some growth has to happen within that space collectively. As a a humanity, we have to grow. So that part is there. So back in the day, if I go and I talked about this multiple times to you know, my parents, I look at them and all, it was all complimentary relationships, what my mother did couldn’t she couldn’t do outside the house, what my father did outside of the house, you could not do inside the house and all that is very, back in the day, it all worked out that way.
But today, socially, culturally, we are in asymmetric dynamics when it comes to relationships. And in that symmetry, everything should be symmetric. So the accounts, you need to if you have control on the income, you need to have the control on the budgets and the spending, and all that you could have different opinions as a couple. Collectively, what do you need to spend on and how do you need to spend and how do you want to invest all that could be a collective decision. But then there has to be individual control on the money that’s coming in based on what I see now. Now, if you go back a little bit, spiritually, religiously and you pick up this question, depending upon which every spiritual book or religious book has addressed this question, this question has been addressed in Quran and Sunnah. This question has been addressed poveda if you study with us this question has been addressed in the Bible, also. And again, different ways to address this. But this has been addressed this question you know, what happens to a woman’s income, what happens to a man’s income and all that, and specifically quoting from Bible, you know, when two people come together to get married tools to become one, two souls become one soul, so all the pain, all the happiness, all the glory, all the misery, all the pains, all the suffering of yours becomes mine, mine becomes yours together, we are a couple. So that’s the gist of the story. So there shouldn’t be two accounts. Technically speaking, if you just follow the rules should be one account. Again, different angles to this question different dimensions to this. I believe the way I understood studying Quran is that a man has no right to a woman’s income. A woman can choose to give that to a man but a man has no right to a woman’s income. And then there is no reference to a woman’s income and Rigveda. But there are some references on trovi that I need to do some research on this myself. But then there isn’t much going there specifically talking about how the money is to be distributed and all those things. But there is a reference to this spiritually and religiously. And this is this has been addressed in different scriptures, socially, culturally, and where we live today, based on today’s context and the situation that we are dealing with today. financial control is an important part. And when couples do consult with me, I tell them that that’s what you know, it’s what it is. It’s what it is.
Now, you can have a joint account, where you put in some money for a specific thing, then it’s a different equation altogether. Sometimes individual accounts, sometimes, maybe one or two joint accounts, all those things you can structure it differently but then this is what it is. I hope I answered your question. And I told you exactly where I stand with it personally. And based on my understanding of or reading a few scriptures, or I understood, there could be some gaps in my understanding. But the more I work with people, the more I see that that control is important for them. And I’m taking today’s context as the context rather than the context that had been defined by my parents 30, 40, and 50 years ago. That’s all, hopefully, this is helpful, if please let me know. Thank you.