Have you had the finance talk yet? #planforthemarriage not just the wedding

You’re getting hitched and so many things require your focus, but don’t neglect the really important things. Many couples focus on the plan for the wedding instead of the marriage, so make sure your planning involves both. Financial concerns usually arise when you are figuring out wedding budgets, where to live and what to put in your home so start with this question:

How are you going to buy things?

You might be thinking, ‘Duh – at the shops of course!’ But that’s not what I’m asking. How are you going to buy things? – not where from!

Seriously, are you both on the same page when comes to making those important purchases? An immense amount of stress and pressure can come into a relationship because of financial constraints. You need to take the time to discuss how you are going to buy a car together, a house, simpler things like television, stereo and furniture.

Discuss the following viewpoints on how people purchase things:

  • We can only buy what we can pay for up front
  • Why buy when we can rent / lease it?
  • Put it on the credit card and pay it off later
  • Put it on the credit card, but the balance has to be paid off in full at the end of each month
  • Borrow the money from family and friends

Get on the Same Page

It’s important to answer financial questions. Imagine the following scenario. While you were single, you diligently saved for the things you wanted or needed before buying them. Now you are married you find that your husband or wife can’t (and doesn’t see the point in) waiting until the required amount of money is in the bank. Why wait until then when you can have it now? But that means putting the amount on a card. Their philosophy is entirely different than yours! All of a sudden, instead of having a healthy bank balance and a savings plan you are faced with a considerable amount of debt on your joint credit card. That’s stressful!

What if you both use credit cards but you have different preferred ways of paying off the card. One may insist that the balance is paid off in full at the end of every month. The other may only ever pay off the minimum amount and treat the interest charged as being a small price to pay for being able to have everything now. You need to talk about these things because they will have an impact on your relationship.

One book we wish had been available years ago is Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover. #planforthemarriage

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