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Do you and your partner argue about your finances? It wouldn’t be a surprise if the answer was yes, as money is the number one topic that couples fight about.
Lack of communication always leads to misunderstandings. When it comes to such an important topic as money, it can severely damage your relationship.
So, the secret is in openness. If you’re a soon-to-be husband or wife, communicate honestly with your partner about everything around money and marriage from the get-go.
So, how do you make sure you’re a part of the 60% of couples who speak about money and affirm to be happy?
Money and Marriage: How To Make It Work
Getting engaged is exciting! Seeing your partner going down on one knee and asking the magical question is a moment you’ll never forget. You start thinking about all the fun steps that come with preparing a wedding. Choosing a venue, taste-trying cakes, picking your best man and maid of honor. Going on your bachelor/bachelorette party!
But between all that, you’ll need to take time to discuss and take care of more serious matters. You’re officially starting a life together, after all.
When it comes to your money and assets, these are 4 things you should definitely do before and during your marriage.
Check the State of Your Finances
A wellness assessment of your finances will allow you to easily gather all the information you need to know regarding your financial situation.
You’ll know exactly where you stand at the moment that you get married to your partner. This way, it’ll be easier to make your joint financial plan.
Your financial assessment should include data like:
- Your income.
- Your net worth.
- Your recent expenses.
- Your savings.
- Any debts.
- Your financial goals and your progress to achieve them.
Communicate Openly with Your Partner
It’s important to make your financial wellness assessment not only for your own knowledge but so that you can be honest with your partner. If the two of you know exactly where each of you is in terms of money, you can more effectively plan your finances together.
68% of couples would rather talk about their weight than their money, so being this open isn’t easy for everyone. But it’s necessary for you to avoid unpleasant situations in the future. Remember that any kind of secrets – money-related or not – can seriously damage a relationship.
One word that a lot of engaged couples fear is “prenup.” There’s always a negative connotation attached to it, but the reality is that getting married is a big life change and you can never know for sure how it’ll go, no matter how in love you are now.
Getting a prenup doesn’t mean that you’re predicting the end of your marriage. It simply means that you’re both prepared for any circumstances life might throw at you. And if you have children, the prenup conversation is definitely one that you cannot skip.
A good idea would be for you to schedule an appointment at a pre-nuptial agreement law firm and make sure everything’s taken care of in the best way possible.
Maintain a Separate Bank Account
Even if you two decide to open a joint one as well.
Following the previous tip, let your partner know that you’ve decided to keep your own bank account and advise them to do the same. An easy way of feeding this bank account is by transferring a small percentage of your income there.
This way, not only do you know that you’ll be safe in case your marriage ends up not working out, but you also have some money that you can use in case any unexpected situation happens to you and/or your partner.
And of course, it gives you more freedom to spend money on things that you want, without having to consult your partner on whether you should do it or not. You’re still your own person, after all.
Be Open All Throughout the Marriage
Talking before the marriage is great, but not enough. You’ll have goals as a couple – perhaps buying a house or opening a savings account for your child – and if there’s no honesty about money, you’ll never know where you are regarding these goals.
Millennial couples seem to be tackling this issue very well, with 75% having weekly chats about their finances. And that’s definitely the way to do it.
Besides goal management and budget control, speaking regularly about your financial state will also allow you to surpass tougher times as a team.
If one of you is in debt, the other can step up and help. If the two of you are in that situation, you can find a solution together. But that can only happen if you’re both in the loop about it.
An Honest Couple is a Happy Couple
The whole money and marriage talk doesn’t sound fun, we know. But if you don’t decide how you want to manage your money as a couple, the chances of you ending up in nasty situations are higher.
Plus, you don’t want your marriage to be built on lies and secrets. If you’re getting married, it means that you’re both prepared to get to know and be a part of each other’s reality in a deeper way. Even if the reality isn’t the most positive one at the moment.
Openness allows you to move on to a better financial stage, to spend wisely, follow your budget and avoid unnecessary stress. And ultimately, to be happier!
We have an entire category dedicated to the wedding-related articles on our website, so if you want to read more pieces that might help you plan yours, explore our blog.