Getting married? 3 tips for avoiding financial arguments
Choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone is one of life’s most significant milestones. You and your partner have likely spent hours discussing wedding logistics, dreaming of honeymoon destinations and planning your new life together but you might be missing out on one of the most important discussions for a long-term relationship – finances. Approximately one-third of married couples say finances are the reason they argue. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Discussing finances and agreeing on a plan together now can contribute to many happy years together. Here are three tips to get you and your partner started to a happy financial ever-after:
If you don’t yet know your partner’s full financial situation, plan a time for an uninterrupted discussion to fill each other in. What are your spending habits? Which one of you will manage the couple’s finances, or will you split the role? Will you consolidate checking and savings accounts?
Conduct a financial wellness assessment
Now that you’ve started the discussion, it’s time to share your expenses, income and assets with each other. In some cases, a pre-nuptial agreement may be considered during this conversation. People who wait longer to get married/partner often bring more assets to the relationship than young couples just starting out. Being realistic about each other’s finances now can help set expectations, protect your individual assets, and set a foundation for continued growth together.
Create a financial plan
This is also the time to evaluate goals and begin prioritizing a list of wants and needs. Is buying a house your top goal? Do you plan to have children, or are you blending families? Is debt reduction a top priority? What are your retirement goals? Lifetime partnership is a team effort. Setting financial goals together now and meeting them down the road can be one of your great combined achievements, and prevent many late-night arguments.
Not ready to tackle financial assessments and goals on your own? Financial planners are experts in conducting financial wellness assessments, setting realistic goals and serving as an unbiased third party. Whether you seek outside help or do it yourself, remember to keep an open mind and provide an honest outlook. After all, you’re in this together now.