As we have discussed in a previous post, engaged couples need to make a financial discussion a high priority. Unfortunately, money has had a long history of bringing division and despair to couples.
In order to have a true shot at a successful marriage, you need to be discussing how you will organize your finances and handle your money well before getting married.
You can’t talk about what you don’t understand so before you sit down and talk about it, both of you need to consider completing a financial wellness assessment. A financial wellness assessment will give you the benefit of starting on the same page, regardless of your personal financial history or experience. Doing a financial assessment will also help you identify and address financial weaknesses ahead of time. The first year of marriage comes with many challenges and it will help to manage finances ahead of time.
Discuss the Details
Once you have most of the numbers laid out, it’s time to talk about where you the numbers came from exactly. You need to discuss the details of your history and experience with money. It’s important that you understand how you each grew up thinking and feeling about money. If you eventually face a financial issue or concern, a little understanding on where the other person is coming from will go a long way. For instance, it might help you understand why budgeting for a certain category is important and worthwhile to your marriage.
Don’t Forget to Plan
Big conversations can often be emotionally draining for engaged couples. Nevertheless, those conversations are only the foundation for the real work ahead of you. It is so important to make a plan for how you will manage your money throughout your life together. Write down your goals on retirement, having children, travel, charitable contributions, and more. Build a first draft budget and experiment with it by following it as closely as possible for several months.
Communication and conflict resolution are skills that will help you throughout your entire marriage, not just with your finances. Can you see the value of strengthening your marriage before it begins? Consider taking Online Marriage Preparation course with the guidance of Rev. Dr. Frank Nelson, pre-marriage coach, and you’ll be in a much better position to say “I do” on your wedding day.