When you walk down the wedding aisle, you're also saying "I do." to a new way of handling your finances. Prepare for a financially happy marriage with these tips.
1. Get financially intimate before the big day.
Chances are you and your spouse will bring different financial backgrounds to your marriage. Being open and honest about your financial backgrounds and styles before your big day will help in the long run. One of your families may be more affluent, while the other may be more inclined to use credit cards. Or one of you may be very interested in financial matters, while the other may not care as long as there is money in the bank to pay the bills. Find out now!
2. Dig deeper by discussing a few key questions before tying the knot.
There are no right or wrong answers, and the discussion will be valuable!
Are you going to have individual checking accounts or a joint one?
How much of each of your incomes is going to be used for normal household expenses?
Who is going to be responsible for paying the monthly bills?
How are you going to approach things like how often to buy cars, how you're going to use credit cards, how much to spend on vacations, or how much risk to take with your investments?
3. Nip common problems in the bud.
Avoid financial friction with your spouse by agreeing as a couple to a healthy level of financial communication. Address disagreements on how much each person is spending, either on themselves or overall, before it becomes a big issue. It may take some time to find a comfortable level of spending. Even if one of you is more comfortable handling the finances, be sure to keep the other one informed. Not knowing how much money is in your account can lead to negative balances and a feeling of being taken advantage of. Weave long-term financial goals—like saving for a child’s college education or your retirement--into discussions of your hopes and dreams. Cheers to many years of financial bliss as a couple!