Whether you’re in a serious relationship or just planning for the future, preparing well for marriage takes a lot of effort. Of course, you could just get married now and deal with the consequences later. But putting the work in to make sure you’re really financially ready is going to pay off in the long run and will most likely make your marriage a lot easier. Here are a few tips for getting prepared for marriage, financially speaking.
- Have a Finances Discussion
First things first – if you are in a serious relationship, it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page about finances before taking the next step. It’s a good idea to do this before even getting engaged, since having huge differences about finances can end up being a dealbreaker for most people. Remember, one of the biggest reasons for divorce is money problems, so you want to make sure you’re set up for success.
Sit down with your significant other with a list of questions for both of you to answer. You should aim to learn about their current financial situation, whether they have any debt, their current savings, etc. You should also discuss priorities – would you both want to spend money on traveling every year, or would you prefer to save that money for retirement? Do your spending habits mesh or clash too much to be compatible? When it comes time to talk about cushion cut engagement rings and the wedding, you should be aware of your partner’s expectations and whether they meet your own values.
- Create an Emergency Fund
When you’re getting ready for marriage, you’re also most likely getting ready for a barrage of big expenses. The engagement ring, wedding, and honeymoon can quickly add up to a massive chunk of change. You and your partner might opt for economic choices, but even so, having an emergency fund during this time can end up being a lifesaver. Half a year or so of savings can be enough to really save the day in case of emergencies. Anything can happen leading up to the big day that could end up losing your deposits or reservations and it’s important that these losses won’t be able to totally tank your finances.
- Get Your Spending In Check
Consider this pre-engagement time as an opportunity to audit your own finances. Getting married isn’t going to magically turn you into someone who is financially responsible – in fact, you’ll probably end up with a lot more expenses than before. Taking the time to sit down and learn what you’re really spending your money on every month will most likely reveal a lot of unnecessary expenses. Ideally, you should aim to know where your money is going before it’s spent. Subscriptions, eating out, entertainment, groceries, etc. should all be pre-determined as much as possible. That way, you can spend your money as you like without having to worry whether you’re staying under budget.
- Save For Retirement
If you’re getting married in your 20’s or even early 30’s, you might feel like it’s too early to start thinking about retirement. But the truth is, it really is never too early. The more you can have saved before you get married, the more stable you’ll be in the long run. Plus, getting married means your ideal retirement plan is going to look a little different than it would if you were single. Y
ou’ll want to make sure you and your partner are both provided for and can have everything you need to be happy as you age. Being financially ready to get married is all about knowing where you are now and where you want to be in the future, both as an individual and as a couple. While all this planning seems boring, it can really bring you and your partner closer once you are aligned in your goals for the future.