You need to have a financial talk with your soon-to-be partner before getting married and the money topics below should be a priority.
There is no question that tying the knot is an exciting stage in any relationship. But it also carries with it several items you need to cover to make it a success. You often start by setting the date and looking for a place for the wedding and reception. Locking in the date and venue will help you start sending out wedding invites.
Of course, you need to agree on the guest list first before inviting people to your special day. Normally, you start with a separate list of names. You then sit down and meet in the middle depending on how many guests you want at your wedding. Then, you have to decide what to wear, the food to serve, and other important details to make your wedding extra special. But in all these, you need to talk about your finances as well.
There are a lot of money topics to cover especially with your wedding. But more than that, you will be sharing a life together. This means that you need to have a deeper conversation about money other than the wedding expenses. You need to make sure that you are aligned with the multiple facets that make up your overall financial health.
Money Topics to prioritize
Though there is a huge focus on your wedding expenses, you need to make sure you cover other aspects of your relationship as well. The world will not stop after you get married. You need to consider the life you will share together for years after you exchange your “I Dos.” Here are a few topics you need to cover with that financial conversation.
One thing you should realize by now is that having debt is not at all a bad financial situation to be in. In fact, you can use debt to help you reach your financial goals. But nevertheless, you need to be very transparent with each other when it comes to your debt payments. You cannot keep your payments all to yourself and your partner should not have the same mindset.
If you do keep your debt a secret, it will eventually cause some form of financial disagreement down the road. By then, the trust and honesty in the relationship start to be put into question. You have to make sure that you sit down and take a look at all the debt payments each of you is bringing into your marriage.
But a lot of this also has to do with how you will treat the information. Choose to find a way to help each other out rather than call out and question each debt payment. Yes, it is important to understand the “why” but do not dwell on it. Create a plan to pay it down so you can both enjoy your time together rather than constantly thinking about debt.
One of the most important money topics you have to talk about is the income that will come into the relationship every month. This will not only help you understand how you can budget your money. It is also an exercise in trust and laying your cards on the table. You should not have any financial secrets from your partner. That is unless you are trying to give a surprise gift for a special occasion. Remember that money is the number one thing couples argue about according to BusinessInsider.
As mentioned, this is crucial in helping you craft your household budget. You know by now that your household budget is usually composed of 2 parts – your expenses and your income. You need to know first how you have to pay every month. And then look at your income to determine if you have enough coming in every month for your expenses.
This is where you need to start making adjustments to fine-tune your budget. If your income is not enough to cover all your expenses, you either cut down your expenses or increase your income. This is something you need to talk about and decide as a couple. You can work through your strengths and determine which route is better for both of you.
Long term goals
Money topics definitely need to cover your long term goals as well. Your dreams may not be exactly the same but they need to align with each other. More importantly, your present actions need to align with your future goals. In fact, you need to identify first what you want to achieve in the future in order to define your current actions.
This makes your long-term goals one of the most important money topics you have to talk about. Coming into a relationship, you could have different goals you want to achieve in life. And that is natural. Getting married does not mean abandoning your goals. On the contrary, you get to be someone who will support you and help you reach your dreams. And you need to be doing the same.
It is precisely the reason why you need to talk about this before getting married. This topic could have been covered in the past and you simply need to go over them again. Marriage is a commitment to be with each other and that means you are each other’s support system as well.
Other topics to talk about
There are other financial topics you need to cover as well before or even during your first few months into the marriage. Here are some of the more important ones to tackle.
At this point, you need to decide if you want to actively pursue having children or wait for a specific number of years. This is different from one couple to the next and the reason your finances should be a major consideration is that it is quite expensive to have a child. It’s not just childbirth but all the needs of the baby.
This will change your budget from the ground up. It will add more items to your list and your priorities will change. If you are waiting for a job promotion, to start up a business, or if you are moving to a new place, you might be holding off on having a baby. You just have to agree on your plans and make sure you come to a mutual decision about it.
Rent or buy a house?
This is perhaps one of the biggest decisions you have to make as a couple. Partly because your house payment will most likely be one of the biggest payments you will make every month. This is still the American Dream according to Forbes. Regardless if you are renting or paying a mortgage every month, it will be a considerable amount you have to pay out every due date.
This makes this an important money decision you need to agree on before the wedding. There are a lot of factors to consider before deciding on your living situation. Foremost would be your budget and what you can afford every month. You also need to consider your career. Do you want to rent near where you work, which could be a bit expensive in some cities, or pay a mortgage and live further away?
There are a lot of money topics to go over with your partner before your wedding day. Remember that your marriage will need several strong anchors and your finances are one of them.