Money is important when your single, so it’s of even more importance when you are about to take the big leap. Money becomes an issue in many marriages. Either couples don’t have enough or don’t share enough. Many of these issues stem from a lack of communication in the finance department. So I advise you lovebirds to remember to talk about finances before you say ‘I do’. If not, then you may be setting yourself up for financial misery and marital stress.
Talk About It: It may not be easy, but bringing up personal finances as well as inquiring about your partner’s finances will help you and your relationship in the long run. Your partner may already have good budgeting and spending habits, or they may have terrible habits ransacked by student loans and poor money management. Either way, you can take note of this if you listen to how they respond in conversation regarding finances. Do they seem to pay their bills on time, or do they seem to be always running from a creditor or trying to hustle a quick buck? If there are any parts of your partner’s finances that you are unsure about, do not hesitate to ask.
Try It. You two should start out by budgeting a trip together, like an African safari, or a cruise off the waters of Honolulu. Or another possibility could be to plan a vacation as a prize for monitoring monthly expenses and prompt bill payments. If you two succeed at completing similar short term goals, such as going on a cruise, then buying large ticket items like a house or car should become easier.
To Keep It Together or Separate. Once you know the ins and outs of your partners’ debt, it is up to you to make a decision of whether or not to keep separate credit cards and histories or to merge them. Many advisors will advise against joining accounts, but couples should talk about whether they prefer joint accounts or to retain their financial individuality.
Adhering to your future financial goals. Analysts recommend that couples save at least three to six months’ of their living expenses in case of any emergency. As an engaged couple, you two should work towards this. If as a couple you are attempting to save money, you could start by regulating the costs of dates. Once you cut back on certain expenses such as excess dining out and other recreational activities, in favor of less expensive activities, your finances can grow together.
Debt comes from everywhere, so don’t worry if your partner has tallied up some along the way. Just remember to remain understanding and comforting as they work their way through their finances. If there are questions that you still haven’t asked or answers that you’re still searching for, don’t hesitate to sit down with your financial advisor and your partner.