How to Prepare for Marriage Financially
Marriage is a life milestone that not everyone will be able to experience. It takes a partner that you trust and want to be with for the rest of your life. However, if you take this step in having another person in your life, you need to make sure you are on the same page financially. In fact, it is so important that according to W&F Family Attorney, couples that argue about finances at least once a week are 30 times more likely to get divorced. Finances can make or break a relationship. That is why it is so important to properly talk to your partner about what finances mean for your relationship as you two work together on goals for your lives.
Don’t Be Hesitant to Talk About Your Finances
One of the most important financial things to do before getting married is to have open communication with your partner about finances. You need to have a conversation with your partner to talk about where each of you stand financially, both from your debts to your assets. It is important that you know your partner’s financial standing because once you are officially married, these will be combined. You also want to go over spending habits that you two may have. If you find that you are very responsible with your money while your partner acts reckless then this can be another red flag that you may face.
Once you understand where both you and your partner are at financially, you can then set goals. You want to set goals for yourself as well as for your relationship. If a goal of yours is to save up for a new big purchase like a car, then that will be a personal goal. If a financial goal of yours within your relationship is to buy a home, then you need to understand that goal more in-depth. Are there two incomes going towards that goal? When do you want to meet that goal? How much should each person contribute based on their financial situation? There are numerous aspects that come into play when assessing financial goals set as a married couple. You also want to make sure that you distinguish between long term goals and short-term goals. If you take the time to talk about these goals as well as what would go into each goal, then you two can be entirely on the same page. It can also help to take notes, and physically write out what you want to do.
Now that you know each of your financial standings, as well as your goals, you can begin budgeting! You want to budget both separately and together. You want to look at your own budget and see which bills you need to pay and what you will have left over, and same with your partner. Once you and your partner budget yourselves, you then can set up clear spending guidelines that each of you have. These budgeting steps can seem unnecessary and feel like you are doing too much, but they can help you achieve great communication with such an important issue in marriage. If you use this checklist before getting married, then you will set yourself up for the best chance of success when it comes to your spouse and finances!
What to do When it is Time to Merge Finances
There are many ways that a married couple can handle merging their finances. One of the best ways that this happens is when each person keeps their own account while opening up one account that is joint. You want to make sure that your money isn’t completely tied up in your partner and the same goes for them. You are each taking on each other’s financial responsibility with debts, so you want to be careful. However, if you are feeling anxious about merging finances, you can speak to a financial advisor with your partner. They will be able to help you understand financial planning before marriage and financial planning after marriage!