Are you ready to get married… financially?
The decision to get married brings up many questions. Mostly, you are trying to figure out if this person is the “one.” Other questions may revolve around children, future in-laws, where to live and so on. With all those thoughts racing through your mind, it is easy to overlook the financial side of getting married. Finding out if your special someone has the same views on money can be important. Here are some questions to consider and discuss prior to walking down the aisle.
- How much is the wedding actually going to cost?
As there is always pressure to put on a grandiose or Instagram-able wedding, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of this day is to bring together a happy couple and not to appease others. According to The Knot, a popular wedding website, the national average for the cost of a wedding is upwards of $30,000. That is a hefty chunk of change for a newlywed couple trying to save for a house or a future family. Early discussions should include who will be paying for the wedding and setting a budget. Stick to your budget by making a list of your priorities and use this while making decisions. Establishing and agreeing to a wedding budget early on can make the wedding planning process run much smoother.
- Do you and your future spouse have careers with income that can sustain the life you want to live after you are married?
Given our extensive experience working with young families, CCMI understands that the first few years can be a stressful time financially. Establishing a reasonable budget together based on your incomes and building your financial foundation is a great place to start the discussion.
- Who is going to be the family CFO?
The family’s Chief Financial Officer will primarily be responsible for paying the bills, keeping an eye on the budget, and making decisions surrounding savings as well. Knowing who this person is going to be in advance can help alleviate some stress. It may also be that both spouses are responsible for taking care of their own finances. Whatever the situation is, talking about who will be primarily responsible for the family’s joint finances is extremely important.
- Do you or your fiancé have any idea how much money you each actually spend monthly?
Part of coming together financially means knowing how much you spend as a couple. Using tools like Mint.com or Quicken can help you track your expenses and keep you on the same page so there are no surprises.
- What are the living arrangements after getting married?
Part of the process of getting married is discussing goals, dreams and aspirations. Where you want to live and how you want to live are big topics of discussion and can lead to tension if ignored. Are you planning on renting or are you looking to buy a home? Buying a home may mean having to save towards a down payment. If the budget is tight or your savings goals are ambitious, are you willing to entertain more creative options like having an additional roommate, moving back in with the parents, or the possibility of tiny home living?
- Who’s got debt… and how much?
Debt can be a very sensitive subject but discussing it is imperative prior to getting married. Once you’re married, are you going to pay them off separately or together? Debt is a scary four-letter word for some, so bringing up the topic sooner rather than later can help prevent stressful situations once you are married.
- Is finance a topic that you both feel comfortable communicating about?
Aside from, “happy wife, happy life,” almost everyone will tell you that communication is the key to a long lasting, healthy, and loving marriage. With finance being one of the biggest stressors of relationships, reflecting on how you and your future spouse handle these discussions is important.
Hopefully, reviewing these questions together will help you learn about each other’s views and reduce the stress surrounding your financial future. Once you are together, if you find that you need financial advice and guidance, or want to create a financial plan for the next 10 years, you can find more information about our financial plans here.
CCMI provides personalized fee-only financial planning and investment management services to business owners, professionals, individuals and families in San Diego and throughout the country. CCMI has a team of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals who act as fiduciaries, which means our clients’ interests always come first.
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