Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! With so much planning and energy going into the actual wedding day, there is one aspect of life after the wedding that is hardly discussed. Finances.
Yes, I know that word strikes fear into the strongest of couples but it is something that you should discuss with your future bride/groom as finances will play an important part of your life as a married couple. Studies have shown that couples who discuss their finances prior to the marriage have healthier, happier marriages. Having discussions about finances and financial plans will eliminate the surprises of hidden debt or wayward spending habits. Too often have I counseled couples who never realized that the other was tens of thousands in debt or liked to go on the occasional multi-thousand dollar shopping spree.
I wanted to offer a few things you can do to prepare for your financial future as a married couple. Don’t be worried! Couples going through these exercises often report a higher level of satisfaction in their relationship and are more prepared for their life together.
- Full Disclosure: While there are few things scarier than full disclosure, there are also few experiences that are more rewarding. Be transparent with your partner about finances. Discuss how each of you view money and what your financial goals are. You’d be surprised that each of you may view financial security completely different. One may see $100,000 as financially secure and the other may see $10,000,000 as financially secure. Trust me. I’ve seen it happen. Have the discussions now and share your insecurities about money with each other. Let your spouse know any debts lingering in the background. Believe me, he/she will find out about it sooner or later so it helps when you disclose this information before the wedding.
- Make a financial plan. It is never too early to start planning for your retirement, first house, children’s college fund, etc… so start planning today. Do you want multiple children or do you not want any children? Your financial plan will look drastically different depending on which route you take. The number of children will also change how you’ll plan for your financial future. Five children require a different plan than one. Each child will cost you around $250,000 to raise from 0-18 and that doesn’t include college, so plan accordingly.
- Make a budget! This one is obvious. Write down your expenses and make a budget for meeting those expenses. Factor in any saving or investing that you’d like to do as well. You may realize you can’t afford to take that $10,000 honeymoon and instead should opt for a $2,000 honeymoon instead. It is getting more common for couples to delay their honeymoon so they can use the money to pay down debts or put a down payment on a house. I know that sounds boring but having your beautiful home sure beats a trip to Jamaica!
- Discuss combining your accounts. When you get married you become one. Why not become one financially? Newlyweds report that combining their accounts into a joint account helped them bond as a married couple as they worked to build for their financial future. Having “his and her” money can create an atmosphere of separation and anxiety.
- Don’t stress! All of this may seem like too much to handle right now but don’t worry! You definitely don’t have to get everything in order right this minute before the wedding but you can start your financial planning now. If you plan accordingly and invest wisely, your financial future will be secure and you can avoid one of the most stressed about aspects of a marriage.
If you want to work with me to discuss any or all aspects of your financial plans, goals and dreams, don’t hesitate to book a FREE no obligation consultation at BespokenWealth.com. I’m looking forward to working with you and helping you and yours start this exciting journey as newlyweds on the right financial foot!
FREE Initial Consult: www.booknow.so/bespoke