Marriage is one of the most amazing things that will happen in a person's life. Entering into a union and partnership with the person that you love, cherish, and care for is wonderful. However, like most things in life, entering a marriage requires and involves planning, especially when it comes to finances and money-related matters. Chances are that both people have their own financial histories; when entering into a legal partnership, total and complete transparency is absolutely paramount. Thankfully, there are a series of steps that both people can take as they prepare to say their wedding vows.
Be Honest and Communicative
As cliche as it may sound to some people, honesty, and communication are two of the most important factors in any marriage. however, this is especially applicable when money is involved. Before and throughout the marriage, both parties need to be honest about their financial standing and positions. For instance, if one individual has debt or loans that they have yet to pay off, they should be forthcoming and upfront about it. Entering into a marriage based on lies is extremely problematic and when money is involved, problematic can turn into catastrophic. The bottom line is to always be honest, omit nothing, and make sure that both soon-to-be spouses are on the same page.
Come Up with a Budget
As affirmed by The Balance, the
creation of a joint budget
is very advisable for couples. A budget matters because it allows both people to assess their financial standing and then come up with a plan to meet all needs. For instance, one (or both) parties might be bringing certain liabilities, assets, or spending habits into the marriage. There needs to be an understanding of incomes, expenses, payments, etc.
Many spouses sometimes also use joint bank accounts. Joint accounts are usually used for mutual expenses such as rent, groceries, car notes, etc. However, most people do maintain ownership of at least one separate, independent account. This is great for personal spending needs, such as eating out, shopping, going to the movies, or other similar fees.
Ultimately, a budget and an understanding of who controls which accounts and which accounts will be jointly controlled is a critical step before saying "I do."
Plan for Later in Life
Married couples who are interested in partaking in certain milestones should plan for them. Some of the most common milestones include having children and entering into retirement. The fact of the matter is that both children and retirement are very expensive. If parents believe their children will one day want to attend college, putting aside funds for their college tuition and other associated fees is a pretty good idea.
The cost of living is going up with each passing day and people need to be prepared. This is applicable to not only having children but also for entering retirement. Both parties should have enough money saved up to live comfortably without having to worry about running out of funds and having to rush back into the workforce.
A Final Word
Regardless of how much planning is done, marriage can still come with certain bumps in the road and hurdles. However, nine times out of ten, financial planning can considerably decrease and minimize the impacts of any problems which may arise.