Marriage should be an absolutely joyful time in your life. If you recently got engaged and you are looking to get married soon, there are some financial topics and money conversations you absolutely must have. If you don’t, then you might find that you’re actually not on the same page as a couple which can lead to friction. Instead, try to make sure you are both clear on expectations.
How Are We Going to Pay For The Wedding
In some very traditional families, the wedding is paid for by the bride’s family, but this is usually only the case in wealthy families, and there is every chance that this offer won’t be extended to you and your significant other. So, in current times, couples end up paying for the wedding themselves.
So, it is time to make a plan of how you are going to save and budget for the wedding. You both may already have some savings that you are willing to put towards it, but a conversation about who will be contributing to the wedding fund will make things clearer.
Discuss Financial Goals and Habits
What Are Our Spending and Savings Habits
You may not fully understand each others’ savings and spending habits when you don’t have access to one another’s financial affairs before you get married. Work out whether you are both good at saving and how tight your monthly spending is, before you decide what kind of wedding you want and how you will handle your finances.
Risk Tolerance and Financial Goals
You may want to invest or take some financial risks, especially while you are young. Have this discussion together, as this is the only way you will know what you are comfortable with. If one of you wants to start a business, you want to know that the other is on board.
Debts and Credit History
If you have any debts or a poor credit history then these could impact your partner. They might even be responsible for your debt if you can’t repay it so, before marrying, you need to discuss this and make sure you both know where you stand.
How Will We Plan for Emergencies
Sadly, emergencies happen. Someone might lose their earning power or even become very unwell, so it is reasonable to plan for these kinds of scenarios.
Create a Will
It’s a sensible idea to make a will with the help of an estate planning lawyer to ensure that any money left behind will be given to the other person or any children you need to look after in the event of your passing.
Appoint a Financial Power of Attorney
If you are not able to make financial decisions, who is going to do it for you? A financial power of attorney makes perfect sense, so you should add this to your will and make sure you have followed the legal steps to bring it into action.
Consider Getting a Life and Disability Insurance
Life insurance policies can pay for your house or other commitments if you should pass away, and though it isn’t a happy discussion for couples to have, it makes sense to know that you are covered should one of you pass away or become disabled. Policies can be relatively straightforward to obtain, too.
What about a Joint or Separate bank account?
Are We going to Combine Bank Accounts or Keep Them Separate?
Think about your different accounts and whether it makes sense to combine them or to each keep them separate. With the age of online banking upon us it is quite easy to have multiple accounts, so you could each have a checking account, and you can also have a joint account.
Discuss how you are both comfortable sharing money. If you figure that you are both contributing to the home and should have access to the same money, then there is not necessarily any harm in having one pot, but not everyone is comfortable with this. It’s an important conversation to have.
How Can You Each Maintain Some Money Independence
Chatting about how you can both still have your own money is perfectly reasonable. It doesn’t all have to go into one pot. Consider both contributing to a joint account and each keeping some money for your own purposes.
How Will We Divide Financial Responsibilities
Who is responsible for what expense? What comes under a joint responsibility? You may have a joint account for your bills and for things around the house. For example, if you want to buy a car or a new lawnmower for the garden or something for the kitchen, it would go out of the joint account. If you want to buy new shoes, this might come out of your own money, depending on your family budget.
How will we save up for children?
Having the conversation early about the costs of having children, including hospital stay, daycare, and school expenses. Discuss how you plan to set aside money and have a baby on a budget.
Discuss and track all expenses associated with having a baby, such as diapers, formula, clothing and medical bills. It’s also important for couples planning to become future parents to open a savings account specifically dedicated towards their baby’s future expenses and contribute regularly into it each month.
How should we prioritize retirement savings?
Are you thinking carefully about the future and what it entails? Do you have a 401K or another plan for your retirement?
Talk about how you might put money to one side for a rainy day. For example, investing in property is often a sensible way to ensure you have some money behind you, or you can choose to create other retirement plans and savings accounts for the future.
These are important discussions to have as a couple. You are planning to have a long and happy life together, so you need to know what you will do in retirement and how you plan to pay to get by.
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