The wedding is in a few days, and you’re feeling great. You have your outfit all picked out; the photographer has been booked; the cake has been ordered; everything seems to be falling into place. But there’s one thing that still needs to be addressed: your finances.
Money matters can be tricky to navigate, especially when getting married. That’s why couples need to have a serious discussion about their finances before tying the knot. Here are five considerations to keep in mind:
1. Review your credit reports and scores together.
Your financial records are essential because your credit score will affect everything from the interest rate on your mortgage to whether or not you’re approved for a loan. You need to know where you stand credit-wise as a couple and ensure your reports are accurate.
This way, there will be no surprises down the road. Understanding your credit history and score as a team will help you make better decisions regarding finances.
Plus, you’ll both know where to start if one of you needs to improve your credit score. If you don’t have a good credit score, you might want to wait to get married until you’ve taken steps to improve it.
2. Discuss your spending habits.
You may have very different spending habits, which can cause problems down the road if you’re not upfront about it. One person might be a spender, while the other is a saver. This situation can lead to conflict if those habits aren’t addressed.
Discussing your spending habits can help you develop a plan that will work for both of you. You might want to consider opening a joint bank account to track your expenses easily. Or, you could create a budget and agree to stick to it.
Improving each other’s financial literacy can help you avoid money-related arguments in the future. Plus, you’ll be able to work together to make intelligent decisions about your finances.
3. Consider a prenuptial agreement.
If you have a lot of assets, you might want to consider a prenuptial agreement. This document will outline who gets what in the event of a separation. It can be helpful to have this agreement in place, especially if one spouse brings more assets into the marriage than the other.
This paper will streamline the divorce mediation process, and both parties will know exactly what to expect. Remember that a prenuptial agreement doesn’t have to be a negative thing; it can show that you’re committed to your relationship and willing to protect your interests.
However, before you sign a prenuptial agreement, you should consult with an attorney to ensure the document is fair and legal. It’s also best to talk to your partner before taking this step, so there are no surprises.
4. Make a plan for handling debt.
If you or your spouse has debt, you’ll need to develop a plan for how to handle it. Will you pay it off together? How will you budget for the payments? What will happen if one of you can’t make a payment?
It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your debt obligations before getting married. This way, you can avoid financial problems down the road. If you’re not sure how to handle your debt, you might want to seek out professional help.
In addition, you’ll want to make payment plans for any debts you bring into the marriage. It can avoid arguments about money and keep your finances separate. You can enroll in a debt management program or set up a budget to help you get your debt under control.
5. Decide how you’ll handle financial disagreements.
No matter how well you plan, there will be times when you disagree about money. It’s essential to have a plan for how you’ll handle those disagreements. Will you talk it out? Go to counseling?
Some couples find it helpful to set up a “money date” where they sit down and discuss their finances. It gives you a chance to share your concerns and come up with solutions together.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re on the same page about handling financial disagreements. That way, you can avoid arguments and stay on track with your financial goals.
Managing your finances before marriage is a big task, but it’s worth it. By taking the time to discuss your finances, you can avoid problems down the road. Plus, you’ll be able to work together to make intelligent decisions about your money.
So, please don’t wait until you’re married to start thinking about your finances. Tackle this task now, and you’ll be on the right track for a successful future.