June is a popular month for people to get married. The weather is beautiful and there is all the excitement and anticipation of a beautiful life ahead for the happy couple. But after the big day has come and gone and after the honeymoon is but a sweet memory, reality sets in. Have you, as a couple, planned for the daily activities that accompany your new life together? One of the biggest adjustments newly married couples have to make is how they will manage their finances. Below are some things to do before the big day.
1. Include money in your discussions and planning. No, it’s not always fun, or romantic but you need to be honest with each other about your current financial situation. What are your attitudes towards spending and saving?What assets will each of you bring to the marriage? What debts do you have?
2. Develop a monthly spending plan. How much money will be coming in each month? How much will be going out in expenses? Will you have enough money each month to cover your expenses? If not, you will need to modify things to help keep you living within your current means.
3. Schedule a weekly or monthly “money date” where you can discuss money issues and pay your bills together. Do not leave it to one person to shoulder the burden of paying the bills and making decisions. You are a team now. It’s a lot easier for couples to be successful when they “team up” on their finances.
4. Develop joint goals for the future. Is there debt that you want to pay down? Will you save for a house or a new car? What about saving for retirement? Insurance? These are all things to discuss and on which to reach agreement.
5. Plan on putting aside some money for an emergency fund. Because when you least expect it……
6. Agree to celebrate your successes and triumphs with money! Support each other when struggles arise. You are only human. There will be good times and difficult times. But there should be one thing that you both feel confident in–that you will be there for each other during the good and the bad.
7. Consider working with a financial counselor before the wedding day. Just a few sessions can help you understand your relationship with money and how it impacts your relationship with each other. He/she can then help guide you through the steps I mentioned above and help get you started off on the right foot!
Congratulations and Best Wishes for your new life together!
Mitch Korolewicz, MBA, AFC
Accredited Financial Counselor
OK Money Coach, LLC
“Just Imagine…..A Life Free of Money Concerns”