Getting married is a major decision that will change your life in a multitude of ways. Not least financially. That being said, it is still surprising how many couples never discuss (or actively avoid discussing) money before the big day.
Your financial future depends on the choices you make in the present and if you and your fiancé are not on the same financial page before you get married, you might find yourself facing an enormous hurdle to happiness sooner than you think.
To avoid financial troubles in your marriage, you need to know that you both treat your finances in the same way.
Start with these questions to see where you’re at:
1. What are your financial goals?
Going over your partner’s financial goals can quickly show you how they feel about money and its uses. If you want to save for an early retirement and they want to go on a splashy annual holiday, you probably don’t want the same things financially and this can cause tension if a compromise isn’t reached.
2. Are you in debt?
Credit card payments, student loans, a big bond… all these expenses form debt that you and your partner will have to deal with. Even if you are not going to pay off the debt yourself, it will have financial ramifications for your marriage and future. It’s best to be honest with your partner so you both know where you stand financially.
3. Are we going to combine our finances?
The choice of whether to combine your incomes, bank accounts, and insurance and investment products is a personal one. It’s a good idea to consult a reputable financial adviser before you get married to help you create a financial plan that takes into account your marriage, individual responsibilities and needs, and joint finances.
4. How much can I spend and on what before I have to let you know?
Especially if you have a joint bank account and share all the expenses in your household, you need to establish when you can go ahead and spend money on an expensive item or experience without prior discussion. Outlining the rules around the use of a credit card, for example, will go a long way to preventing arguments in the future.
5. Would you go for financial counselling if we needed it?
Some people shy away from financial help, especially if money is tight or they have already made financial mistakes. It’s important to establish how your partner feels about handling money and their role – are they in charge of their finances or overwhelmed by them? Are they willing to learn or stubbornly independent when it comes to protecting their wealth?
Finances can be a tricky discussion, even for the most financially savvy, but this talk does need to happen on a regular bias to ensure a financially secure future. Our team of professional advisers can help you and your partner maintain and grow your wealth as individuals and as a couple.