Aida Zabidi
Despite only being in the workforce for a few years, I have come across too many women who have undergone divorce and been left high and dry by their husbands. There are too many stories, too many real life incidences where husbands have cheated on their wives while abusing the joint assets that they have had during their marriage, often leaving women to fend for their children. 

It is a scary reality where women make the sacrifice to stay home and care for their children, only to have their husbands leave them in the future, or have them trapped in a situation where they are dependent financially on their husbands and forced to endure emotional or physical abuse. 

It makes me wonder if there is a certain naiveté among women, of if they just lack the financial savviness to protect themselves and their families. 

While being in a relationship, there is a natural tendency to want to please the other person, finances is one particular issue that can make or break a relationship – and it is really important that couples should discuss before embarking unto a serious relationship. 

In Islam, there is a responsibility of the husband to provide for his wife and family, which is all fair and good – but it is an expensive society that we live in, and often it is not possible to sustain an income on one wage. I’m not even getting started on leeches who live off the income of their spouses and don’t contribute, cause that’s a whole other rant I could get started on there. 

These are some practical tips that women should learn to live by: 

1. Be aware of your partner’s income. 
I’m not saying that you should keep track of every single dollar he owns, but there should be an honest discussion about the family income and what allocation is given to the home. An open discussion between both partners about family expenses is useful to help with planning a budget, so that both parties are aware as to the bills that need to be paid and the amount allocated for savings. 

2. Negotiate money for yourself. 
Working or not, this should be essential. Part of this money should be put in savings, insurance or invested. God forbid, but if anything should happen to your partner, you need to plan to make sure you are able to support your family unit on your own. 

3. Make sure you have a skill or a qualification that will allow you to work. 
 Once again, case in point if anything should happen to your partner, it is important to be able to provide for yourself and the family. Even venturing into a side business for some extra income should be encouraged. 

4. Include two names on your property grants 
 It is always a good idea to include both you and your partner’s name for your shared property (unless it is your own, then by all means only include your name). Always get a second opinion from a trusted source about changing names to a single grant, as this makes it easier for the other party to sell off or conduct other transactions without your knowledge. 

There are a whole other heap of useful tips to go by, but in the very least, these are some simple things to live by.

While I don’t mean to sow discord or go on a man-bash, finances is one of the most important things to be aware of in your relationship and being financially savvy puts you in a stronger situation for yourself, and in a lot of times, your relationship. These rules aren't necessarily specific to women, but as I was thinking specifically about the sad situation that many women are in, I guess this was geared towards them.

Be smart, and always think – if I were alone tomorrow, where would I be financially?
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