14 Jun Financial Planning Before the Wedding Planning
June is a big month for weddings, so we have nuptials on the brain! While future brides have plenty to think about when it comes to budgeting and finances, most of those thoughts are for the wedding itself. As important as it is to manage your money before the wedding, it doesn’t stop there. Studies show that 70% of couples say that money is contributing factor to disputes. However, putting financial planning ahead of wedding planning can do a lot to head off those arguments and lead to a happier ever after.
You probably knew you needed a budget when you first started planning your wedding, but did you think ahead to financial planning for life after the wedding? (And we aren’t talking about the honeymoon.) Work together with your spouse-to-be to see what you assets you will have to work with as well as what expenses you will expect to incur. You may not have had any college debt, but if your future spouse does, you may not have realized that would need to be accounted for. Plenty of websites are available to help you track all the expenses you might not have thought of to add to your combined household budget.
In most social situations, there are certain things people shouldn’t discuss: politics, religion, sex, and money. But when you are preparing to share your life with someone, these are things that really should be brought to the table.
Beyond just budgeting, it’s important to take a look at other aspects of your financial life together. What goals do you have? How do each of you feel about travel, vacation, children, education, etc.? It’s helpful to have both partners on the same page as you work together through daily life. When you are working toward the same goals, it’s a little easier to get there. So, don’t hold back. Make sure you know where you both stand.
One way to assess your financial compatibility is with the Money Profile quiz. The results will give you both an idea of how you approach money—whether you’re a Funster, a Champ, a Tortoise, a Chessmaster, a Whirlybird, or a combination of these. You’ll also learn how to overcome challenges and work together with your strengths.
If you have never lived with someone before (other than your parents), if you have never shared a purchase with a roommate before, or even if you don’t yet feel comfortable with your own salary yet, you may want to think about looking to a professional as you prepare to join incomes with your spouse-to-be. Many newlyweds are living on their own for the first time with their first jobs and are not familiar with what the years ahead could look like. Calling on a professional could help to prevent difficult discussions in the future that stem from the unawareness of financial strain that is bound to come when the honeymoon is over.
Enjoy your big day. But make sure you are ready for the days that follow by getting your financial planning sorted before the wedding. Have a good talk or two with your partner to see what you will have to expect. Once you’ve done that, you’ve set yourself up on the right foot for a successful marriage.