Getting married can be both an exciting and stressful time in your life. Couples are concerned with planning the wedding, the reception, the honeymoon and how all of it is going to be financed. There are many discussions that couples should have prior to walking down the aisle like career plans, children, and deciding where you are going to live as you build your life as a couple.
Things that are rarely discussed prior to marriage include combining the financial obligations of the bride and groom and what their views are on daily money management. Most people do not like to discuss finances, and financial discussions often lead to arguments within a marriage. In order to have a successful marital financial DNA, couples should have a healthy discussion about their financial future together. Try having the discussion in a relaxed environment, perhaps over a meal and make the discussion fun, but forthcoming. Having these discussions before your I Do's will eliminate financial surprises about each other after the euphoria of the ceremony is over.
We recommend the card game we have used for part of our identification of financial behaviors called Money Habitudes. It is a fun and easy way to discuss handling money and allows for couples to have a relaxed conversation about their money management habits. Generally, in a relationship, you will have someone that manages money well and someone who may be more of a free spirit when it comes to money and debt management. Playing the Money Habitudes game will quickly help identify what your role is.
Important discussion topics couples should ask one another before they walk down the aisle:
Financial Obligations – Once you are married, you become one with your mate and their financial obligations are now yours as well. Talk about any outstanding debt that each of you may have and how you as a couple you are going to handle/attack the debt.
Create a mock budget/spending plan - What will your budget look like once you get married and your income and expenses are combined. Think about what you can do to improve your financial situation before you get married.
Monetary wedding gifts - Many couples get monetary gifts as a wedding present. Talk about how you plan to leverage those gifts. One good option for the money is starting an emergency fund so that if an emergency arises, you don’t have use your credit card to pay for it, but you can pull from your emergency fund instead. You may also want to consider paying down debt or perhaps taking a portion of the money and investing it.
Financial challenges are one of the top reasons marriages end in divorce. Proper planning before you walk down the aisle can make a huge difference in the financial DNA of your marriage as you build toward your happily ever after.
(Excerpts taken from the upcoming book, "Before and After I DO).
Founded in 2015, DNA Financial Services LLC has pledged to Educate, Empower and Equip the financial DNA of its’ clients now and for generations to come. The company offers a number of financial services designed to bridge the gap in wealth building education while aiding and advocating for the financial literacy of people from all walks of life.
DEBT IS NOT IN YOUR DNA! TM