If you’re getting ready to tie the knot, then one thing you definitely want to talk about with your honey is money!
You probably have lots going on, and emotions are running high. But believe us: now is the time to get on the same page about money. Money fights and money problems have been the leading cause of divorce for decades—but the good news is that these issues are preventable! Getting on the same page creates a strong foundation for a healthy, lifetime marriage. Plus, you’re stopping money fights before they start!
A lot of couples find that being unified with their money increases their intimacy overall. Like Dave says, “When you can talk about money, you can talk about anything.” Talking about money is easier than you may think—especially if you start before you say, “I do.”
The process of bringing your money together doesn’t have to add stress to a time of pre-wedding bliss. It can actually be fun! Here is a quick five-step checklist to get you started building a solid foundation for your life together:
Transparency is the key! Lay out exactly what your current individual situations are openly and honestly, including how much debt you still have and what your views of money are. You might want to discuss what your parents taught you about money—and what you do and don’t agree with—kindly, of course. Criticism and judgmental attitudes are not welcome from either party. Read more about communicating effectively with your spouse.
When you get married, combining your money into joint accounts is a crucial step. You are becoming one. Keeping one area separated can lead to others, and you want to set a precedent from the get-go. Working together from a shared account brings honesty, unity and a sense that “we’re in this together!”
Once you are married, it’s time to put your combined income and expenses on paper, on purpose, and determine what a typical month is going to look like. It's good to go ahead and practice budgeting together once you get engaged. That way, you can go ahead and make adjustments so things are set up to work smoothly when game time finally comes. After the wedding, revisit the budget each month at the Budget Committee Meeting to make adjustments as needed.
Once everything is on the table, determine what Baby Step you are on—as a couple! If you were on Baby Step 4, but your bride-to-be is on Baby Step 2, then guess what? You’re on Baby Step 2 now. But that’s all right! You love this person with all of your heart, so taking “their” debt as “our” debt is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. Set priorities together and make a plan for moving through Dave’s Seven Baby Steps as a team.
Whatever you do, don’t stress! It’s just money. Your relationship is so much more important. Getting on the same page with money is extremely helpful, but it’s not the ultimate end all, be all. Just keep that in perspective when you come to the table together.
As you begin navigating these things together, you’ll be building a stronger marriage, future and family tree! Congratulations on your decision to make this a priority from the beginning, and blessings on your marriage!