Money Wisdom between Engaged Couples: How to Manage Spending Habits
Are you one of those engaged couples who do not usually discuss money matters before they get married?
If you cannot discuss financial matters with a loved with before tying the knot, it is almost inevitable that you will have problems related to money while you are married.
It is not the amount of money that you have that matters but what you intend to do with it and how you manage it.
Perhaps an inheritance could set you up for life until you retire. But, nothing is sure in this world and all of that could just as easily be lost with mismanagement. Here are some questions that you should immediately address to help you achieve a blissful marriage:
How do you look at money?
The family environment you grew up in usually dictates how you view money. During the courtship period, your real personalities may not be immediately obvious to each other because you are showing your best sides.
Still, ask your partner on their idea of success or the role of money in that success. If incompatibilities exist, you will have a better understanding of how to accept each other or agree on how you can overcome your differences.
Who will pay for the wedding?
The groom's family normally pays for the wedding. However, given the hard times today, the best solution is for the couple to pay for everything equally. The families of both the groom and the bride can give whatever monetary gift they can afford and the couple can decide how much of these gifts will be allotted for the wedding.
Couples are not encouraged to spend too much for their wedding day. It is only one day and you have the rest of your lives together. Do not throw a grand celebration if you cannot afford it.
What would your lifestyle be like?
Understand how much money you both have and how much debt you each owe. If there is a debt, agree on how you plan to pay it. Be open about how much each of you earn and what you expect to be spending as a married couple. Do not leave the decision of what to spend on a day-to-day basis. This could lead to unnecessary misunderstandings.
Who will manage the money?
Even if a couple's financial well-being is a joint understanding, one of you has to be responsible for staying within agreed budgets; informing the other when there is any possible deviation foreseen.
You also have to keep track of all important documents and records. Both of you should make decisions on insurance, investments, and income tax return filings. Of course, you should do this in consultation with experts.
One of you also has to be responsible for properly maintaining and balancing all bank accounts to prevent penalties and not allow money to become idle without earning any interest.
How often will you talk about money issues?
Differences are inevitable. Work on a program of continuing discussion and communication with an open mind and sincere heart. Bring in an objective and experienced financial adviser if your differences seem major. This is the key to a long-term financial compatibility and a happy marriage.