So you’ve gone through all the premarital milestones with your partner: you’ve talked about the future, you got the engagement rings, and you or your spouse finally proposed. What’s next? Marriage, of course! But before you go full steam ahead, there’s still one more thing you need to discuss: money.
Preparing for marriage is an incredibly blissful yet stressful time for most couples, and one of the biggest stressors during this period is money. Take the edge of yourself by making sure you’re financially prepared before the big day. Here’s how you can settle money matters before marriage.
Plan and save for your wedding and honeymoon
The first and perhaps most costly order of business is your wedding and honeymoon. Depending on how lavish you want your ceremony and holiday to be, you might need to start saving and planning these things as soon as you get engaged. Prepare a rough estimate of how much you want to spend and try to stick to it as much as possible. It’s recommended that you put aside at least 10% of your combined salaries for your wedding budget every month.
Get a prenup
You might think that a prenup is unnecessary, but they’re actually becoming more and more common among younger couples. A prenup will help you determine financial and property rights between you and your spouse should you decide to divorce. Of course, nobody is hoping for that to happen, but it’s still good to have in the event that things go south. It protects both parties and assures that you’ll have less troublesome divorce proceedings.
Determine your financial goals
Financial milestones like buying your first property, tackling your debt, traveling, starting your own family, or saving for retirement fall under financial goals that you and your partner should work to achieve. Talk about it as a couple and determine which ones you’ll concentrate on and how you plan to fulfill them.
Assign financial responsibilities
You don’t always have to do things together. The best part of marriage is that you can share the load when it comes to your finances. You can assign financial responsibilities to each other according to your income. For example, someone may assume the responsibility of bill payments while the other person works on saving for a downpayment on a house.
Be open about your debts
Surprises are great for birthday parties, but not for financial debt, especially when you’re already bound to the debtor by marriage. It’s important to be transparent with your partner about any debts you have or purchases that you’ve made as early as possible. The more you hide things from one another, the bigger your problems will be. Being open and honest will help you resolve any current financial issue you have and will equip you with the knowledge and preparedness to tackle any money problems that will arise in the future.
Set up your wills
There’s nothing morbid at all about preparing a will early on in life. It’s an incredibly responsible thing to do, and you and your spouse will be thankful to have done it in the event that something happens to either of you. It’s especially important if you already have or are expecting to have kids any time soon.
Enjoy as much of your pre- and post-marital bliss as possible by taking care of the most pressing financial affairs before your big day.