Engagement can be an exciting time: you're choosing the flowers, the dress, the wedding bands, the food and more. But there’s much more to plan than just a wedding. Don't forget about a financial future?
Many couples struggle with “the money talk,” as it requires full disclosure of past and present spending habits and debt. You don’t want your fiancé to see you as irresponsible, but you also shouldn’t get marriage without clear knowledge of your finances as a couple.
To help ease the tension when discussing finances David Weliver of Money Under 30 shared some tips on how to talk money with a partner before walking down the aisle:
1. Money Pre-Wedding: Value
It’s easy to ask your hombre if he paid the electric bill, but it's not so easy to talk about how to divide and conquer daily expenses. Weliver suggests sitting down with your future mate and asking the following questions: How are we doing with daily expenses compared to what we hope to spend in a month? What are our financial priorities for the coming year? What are our financial values and our long-term goals? These questions cover your financial value as a couple. The higher the value, the better off you’ll both be financially.
2. Money Pre-Wedding: Relationship
Respect our relationship with money.
Whether you’re a shopaholic just like your mama or a thrifty chica, we all have a unique relationship with money. "You can’t expect your future spouse to completely transform their relationship with money after marriage,” Weliver advises. Our relationship with money is so intrinsically linked to our upbringing and sense of self-worth, it’s difficult to relate to it differently. “In some cases, being different can be a good thing,” Weliver continues. “If one partner is more of a spender and the other a saver, if you communicate often you may enjoy a more balanced financial life after marriage — saving for the future while enjoying little splurges here and there.”
3. Money Pre-Wedding: Talk On Date Night
Talk about finances on a chill date night.
There’s a time and place for everything — including when to discuss finances! You don’t want to bombard your man with money woes as soon as he arrives from work. And please don’t ask him for a credit score update over pillow talk. Instead, Weliver recommends talking about finances during an informal yet scheduled date night. “This gives both parties a chance to prepare the kinds of questions they want to ask the other, as well as reflect on the goals and priorities that they want to communicate.” Bonus tip: do something extra fun afterward to ease any tension.
4. Money Pre-Wedding: Money
Talk about money at least once.
Talking about money can be scary. To make things easier, Weliver says to have at least one financial meeting before getting married. Topics to discuss include “current state of finances, goals for afterwards, and expectations for combining (or not combining) bank accounts after marriage.”
5. Money Pre-Wedding: The Kid Talk
The kid talk.
When you talk money, you must talk kids. Having Mini You’s can get expensive, and it will change your finances. You should begin the dialogue even if you’re not pregnant. Unless, of course, you’re not having children at all. For those of you who do want to be a mama, Weliver believes it’s essential to tackle these questions: Would one parter stay home or return to work and pay for child care? Would you want to move? “The more you discuss these and other issues ahead of time, the more confidently you’ll be able to navigate these changes as a couple down the road," he says.
6. Money Pre-Wedding: Meet With A Financial Planner
Meet with a financial planner.
A financial planner can help you financially transition from single chica to married chica. “Not only can an impartial third party be helpful in diffusing emotion, but they can also focus on things you might overlook on your own, like life insurance and estate planning,” Weliver says. As terrifying as this may seem, there is no better way to begin your future as a married couple than with financial security.