If you’ve made the decision to get married, congratulations! You’re probably thinking about all the happy life changes to come and that’s exciting. With those changes come some decisions around money. Are you ready to have a discussion with your partner? It’s a smart idea because it can help you prepare (and protect against) some of life’s surprising moments.
Here are some good things to chat about:
Joint finances: Having at least one account that you both deposit into each month for shared expenses makes good sense. When discussing this, ask yourselves if you’ll split costs 50/50 or base it on income. How will you approach gift-giving? Maybe you can start a savings account for things like holiday expenses, vacations, and big-ticket items.
Kids: Having children costs a lot of money, from before they’re born until they’re out on their own (and maybe even past then)! Here are some things to consider together: private vs. public education, daycare, and health insurance for the children? Also, who will take family time and when? An important topic that deserves a candid talk.
Debt: One or both of you probably have student loans, car loans, and credit card balances—maybe even a mortgage. Tell each other about any debt you may have and look at it as a whole. (After all, once married, you take on each other’s load.) Next, create a plan for helping each other. Maybe you can refinance and consolidate. You may be able to save on insurance, phone bills, and other expenses too.
Future goals: Back to the fun part—dreaming big! Think about what you’d like to achieve and assign some numbers to those goals. Maybe you want to buy a car, save for a house, or start a family. Thinking about these goals will help you decide how much you should save and where you’re willing to spend.
In all of these chats, try to recognize and appreciate each other’s differences. Your ultimate goal is to come together to create one money lifestyle, so compromise will be an important component. Good luck in this next, exciting step you’re about to take!
Wondering where to start? Get on your way to planning the big day and beyond with our help.