Finances are not always something that’s discussed during courtship and engagement. I mean, who really wants to talk about money when you’re enjoying a candle-lit dinner or a walk on the beach? But ensuring a secure financial future together is an important step to creating a secure, happy marriage, and that takes a bit of planning. Whether you are before of after tying the knot, the experts recommend sitting down together to develop a financial strategy that will help secure the long blissful financial road ahead. Here’s how!
Talk about priorities: Not everyone has the same financial goals. Have an open discussion regarding your philosophies on spending money and saving. For example, you might see saving for retirement as a priority, while he sees taking exotic vacations every year as being important. Teamwork and compromise are key words.
Review past spending: Together, review each other’s credit reports and monthly income statements.
Look toward the future: Decide whether you are going to mingle your bank accounts or keep them separate. Choose medical benefit policies. Write out wills. Assign healthcare proxies and powers of attorney. Look into buying life insurance policies to protect each other should anything happen to either person (this becomes more urgent when you have children).
Assign roles: Who will handle the day-to-day financial decisions like paying bills, budgeting and saving? Things you may want to set money aside for include kids’ college education, buying a home, and retirement. Who’s in charge of monitoring where the money is going?
Family matters: Many experts advocate discussing the financial aspects of having and raising children before you start a family. My friends and I, on the other hand, agree that if we had done this, we’d never have babies! My husband and I have three beautiful children… but they’re going out to earn their keep as soon as they learn how to read.
Write it down: Putting your detailed financial strategy down on paper will help you to actually implement it. You may want to employ the help of a financial professional who can make sure you’re covering all your bases and being realistic.
feature image: 5min.com: How to talk money with your spouse