Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. It is also one of the most stressful life events. Not only are there initial worries of planning the wedding, but certain big decision have to made in a small amount of time. Examples of these are where you will live, how your household will be run, who will do what tasks, if you will have children and when you would like to start a family. One of the most important decisions that need to be made is how you will do your finances.
You are combining two totally different people that have possibly had a different upbringing, have different values and different views of finance. Just as many do before marriage in a religious intuition – meet with a counselor, priest, or rabbi to discuss the meaning of marriage and how the couple feels about marriage, the financial advisers at Numerico PC can meet with you and plan what the financial culture will look like in your union.
Review Your Credit History and Debt Together
Pull your credit scores and review each person’s history together. This may seem like an invasion of privacy, but long term your spouse’s past becomes your future. This will allow time, if necessary, to clean up a credit report that is not so stellar, rather than trying to clean it up when you are applying for a mortgage or car loan. Although not telling someone about financial challenges or mistakes in your past may not be lying, it will probably feel that way to your spouse if they did not know about it until after you are married.
Discuss Financial Goals
Find out each other’s financial goals and philosophies about money. Is one of you a spender and one a saver, or do you both have a tendency to indulge? How much of nest egg do you like to have to prepare for unknowns? Do you like to use credit or would you rather use cash? What kind of things do you like to spend money on – dining out, entertainment or clothes? What kind of thing don’t you like to spend money on – dining out, entertainment or clothes? Will you be buying a house and do you lease or buy your cars? It can be scary to discuss personal topics, but having different opinions does not mean you should not be married. In fact, some difference can be a good balance. You do not have to be like-minded to have like-goals that you work toward together. What IS important is figuring out a compromise before you get married which will help ease some of these challenges early. Sweeping these differences under the rug do not mean they go away. They will continue to fester and become lifelong struggles. Dining out differences? Find a compromise!
Decide Whether to Have Joint or Separate Accounts
Couples vary on how separate their finances will be. Some couples choose to keep their finances jointly, while others are completely separate. Some may even have joint household, but separate personal accounts. The important thing is to decide what will work for you. Either way will have benefits and drawbacks, but what is most important is honesty. Two people united in a healthy and transparent financial relationship are always stronger, regardless of where the money is kept.
Plan a Budget
You’re getting married, you’re in love and love conquers all right? Budgets aren’t sexy or interesting to most. They are not typically passionate and can be hard to follow. Planning a budget with a loved one can be even worse because you are vulnerable to different opinions. Often discussing finances spurs an altercation, even for love birds that mean the best. This should not stop you from creating a budget together. A budget is vital for your current and financial health. Numbers do not lie and a budget will bring partners in check with their individual habits and help to develop a plan for continued financial and emotional health.
Decide Who Is Going To Conquer The Finances
Although it is important for both people in a marriage to understand what is happening in their finances, it can also be easier not to have two cooks in the kitchen. Some times as a partnership goes on the financial duties will switch back and forth. Generally one person in the marriage has a natural aptitude with finances, organization or money. It is important that neither feels resentment when doing the finances. More than 50% of marriages end in divorce and more than 70% site financial problems or burdens as the reason or part of the reason. It is reported that 70% of Americans spend more than they earn every month. The steps outlined here, as well as the accountants at Numerico PC will set you on the right track for financial success.
Lack of Planning + Over Spending = Maritial Problems. Let Jay and his team of advisers at Numerico PC help to insure your financial future!