Congratulations! Getting married is one of the biggest achievements in a person’s life. You have put a lot of thought, time and love into this big decision. But have you thought that you need to put a similar effort into your soon to be combined finances? Before you get married there are a few financial conversations you should have.
If you are already married, congratulations to you too! Maybe you have already gone over these topics and are totally on top of your financial game. Don’t write these conversations off! It’s always a great idea to keep these topics at the center of your finances to make sure you are always on the same page.
Combining bank accounts
According to Dave Ramsey and a bunch of highly respected relationship counselors it is never a good idea to have completely separate bank accounts in a marriage. If you have separate hobbies and have room to budget a little extra into those areas, then go for it! But before you say, “I do” on the big day, make arrangements to marry your bank accounts.
It’s a simple step that you can remove pressure from the individual and provides a new financial perspective for your relationship. Combining your accounts is also going to make budgeting and bill paying a lot simpler for your future.
Put it all out on the table. It would be a good idea for each of you to sit down and write out every single monthly expense you have. Then combine the list together to create a master list. This is what will be coming out of your joint bank account. It’s important to know in detail where the money is going.
Now compare your combined expenses to your combined incomes. Are you spending too much? Do you have a little leftover? Discuss where you can cut back as a couple and as individuals. Talk about what you want to do with the extra income you might have. Go over this area in detail. Don’t forget to include any debt you both may have!
What’s mine is ours
When my husband and I were married one of my favorite pieces of advice was, if you put each other first 100% of the time, then you both will be first all the time. Isn’t that so perfect? If you both make sure to put your spouses needs before your own then you both will be taken care of. The same goes for your finances.
If you are both putting the needs of each other first then you don’t need to worry about where the money is coming from. Saying that “this money is mine” is only going to cause issues. I’m not saying that you can’t budget in a little “extra” money for clothes, or for car parts (that’s for my hubby!), or for new shoes. You just need to be careful when it comes to drawing a line in the sand and saying that “this half is mine and this half is yours.” That won’t work! You are a team now!
Financial goals, long term and short term
Okay team. Time to make a game plan! Marriage is a team event. You and your hubby need to decide what your financial goals are for both long term and short term. Do you want to buy a house? Where do you want to settle down? Where do you see your career going? Do you have debt? How are you going to get out of debt?
Pretty much any question you have related to finances is going to influence your stress level and as a result influence your relationship. So this topic is kinda a big deal! Come together to set these goals. Make a list of what you guys would like to accomplish in one year, five years, and in ten years, then prioritize that list. Keep it somewhere you can both see it to be a reminder and motivator for you both when the temptation to break the budget comes.
What do you think?
So when’s the big day? When was your big day? Did you or will you be having the financial DTFR (determine the financial relationship)? Let me know in the comments below! Let’s chat!