Wedding invitations, bridesmaid dresses, and the dinner menu… so many decisions to be made in the months leading up to your wedding, and yet so many leave one of the most important discussions for weeks or months after their wedding: the discussion of how to handle their personal finances as a married couple.
Because you are forming (what you hope to be) a lifelong partnership, it’s important to share your feelings around money and its management. This discussion is vital to the ongoing success of your relationship. That means being up front about financial tasks you’re comfortable with, and tasks that fall outside of your comfort zone.
When it comes to preparing financially for marriage, there’s a lot of great advice out there. Here are just some discussion points that will help the two of you sort through and prioritize your feelings around money, its management, and your long-term financial goals as a couple and eventually a family.
Both parties should be up front about their current financial situation
- Debt (no matter how large or how small)
- Student Loans
- Collection accounts
- Credit Card issues
- Credit scores
It’s great to share your knowledge and what your parents and others have taught you about finances. Not to mention, discuss the similarities and differences you have with your partner.
Next, it’s time to take all of this information and put it on paper to help you determine what a typical month will look like. Review the budget every month to see what’s working, what isn’t, and to make adjustments.
Once you have all of the details in your budget on paper, it’s time to make a plan. Your plan should consist of creating an emergency fund, paying off debt, setting aside 3-6 months of expenses in savings (an expansion of your emergency fund), retirement investment and home repayment. Plan for these, but accomplish each item one-by-one. Start off with a plan to save $1,000 for your emergency fund, and move through each step.
Although listed last, this should be consistent in all your conversations regarding finances- it refers to relating to each other. Although this article focuses on money, your relationship comes first. Don’t let talks about money stress you out; it’s about your loved one and your relationship. Remember, marriage first, money second.
There's an account for that!
We can help new couples like you find the right solution- from auto and home financing to checking and savings accounts- to help you achieve your financial goals and strategies. Contact us at 505-292-6343 ext.5 to speak with us about budgeting, planning and other steps you and your loved one can take to secure a solid financial future.
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