The Money Talk – Before ‘I Do’

by Ryan Yates

Paying for your wedding with a credit card?

If disagreement about money is one of the top 3 reasons people end their marriage, it’s probably smart to have some serious money discussions before you say your vows.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s much more easier said than done – for sure. But even the tough stuff needs be talked about.

If you don’t tackle the money talk before marriage, it’s going to be even harder (with possibly worse consequences) after.

What’s Your Philosophy on Spending?

Marriage will be hard if you and your soon-to-be spouse are unequally yoked when it comes to how much you spend. Couples need to hit this topic head on.

Discuss how each of you spend your monthly paycheck. What are your similarities? What are your polar opposites? What sort of changes and compromises need to take place?

This is a great time to find out if anyone in the relationship is spending more than what they earn. Sure, it’s intimidating to talk about, but it’s necessary! Believe me.

Shine the Light on Your Debt

This one will probably suck, but the earlier you discuss your debt issues, the better prepared you both will be to tie the knot.

One thing that will wreck a marriage faster than just about anything is bringing in a significant amount of hidden debt to your new marriage. The fact is, your debt will need to be dealt with eventually.

It may take the form of paying of down, or incurring more. You might win the fight or lose the fight, but debt will always be dealt with. Hiding debt or avoiding dealing with it before you get married starts you off in a hole.

Don’t let debt ruin your chance of a wonderful start to the rest of your life. Talk with your fiance about how much debt you have and how you plan, together, to get out of it.

Budget, Budget, Budget

Ok, so you’re probably not going to finalize a budget that you’ll live by for the rest of your married life. But discussing what you expect your budget to look like, or talking about how integral a budget should be in your life is such an important step.

Budgets will change with the changes in your marriage. Jobs and kids will definitely make some financial ripples.

Talk about what you expect to spend, how you plan on making spending decisions, and define your wants vs. your needs. This topic will help each of you get on the same page when it comes to your money.

Saving, Investing, Retirement, and College

Just discussing these things doesn’t mean you’ll start investing money when you get back from your honeymoon. And thinking about saving for college won’t magically make you pregnant, thank goodness.

But even though these things may be a while down the road, it’s still important to lay some groundwork about your personal views.

If there’s one topic out of these four that will have an immediate impact, it’s savings. Even if you’re not saving for retirement in year one of your marriage, you should still start a savings account.

Look at it as an emergency fund. Saving up some extra cash at the onset of your marriage can help you from using credit cards when faced with a financial emergency. And that’s always a good thing.

Photo By kimberlykv

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