You’ve heard the statistics, and you know just what money means in relationship to marriage.
If you talk about money and aren’t afraid to address it, you tend to lean in the opposite direction of divorce.
The truth is money can drive a wedge between you and your partner if you don’t talk money and know who’s in charge of what and particularly if you’re struggling to find a budget or have little or no money saved.
The idea behind marriage and money happens well before the wedding bells and the “I do’s” but instead should begin with an up front back and forth as soon as the relationship gets serious. The biggest downfall is that you have, up until this point, lived single when it comes to finances; you’ve always paid everything yourself and perhaps have a budget in place that works for you.
There’s a good chance your partner also has their way of doing things financially as well. You also have to talk about debt, and who has what so that there’s some understanding as to what you’re assuming when you marry.
Furthermore, the budgets need to marry into one as well, so you can now look at total household income versus combined expenses. When you do that, you may realize that despite how well everything worked separately, you are a little short on income when you put together everything from car payments to credit card debt or even school loans.
Let’s not overlook too the cost of the wedding and how to manage that so you’re not newlyweds that never get off the ground and immediately start life together in debt to the tune of $20,000 or $30,000 in debt.
Two other important factors also play into the money and marriage debate: credit scores and retirement. The latter is pretty simple in that you and your significant other need to come to some sort of game plan on retirement or figure out what each of you have been doing prior to getting married, checking to see if there are any pensions, 401K accounts or IRA’s that you can begin planning for your golden years together.
Credit scores also will let you know what kind of opportunity you’ll have to purchase a car or, most importantly, a home if your marriage is starting in an apartment but you’d like to own a house someday.
In the midst of wedding planning and marriage talk, you can’t ignore the elephant in the room and talk money. In the long run, and as much as the conversation might seem out of place, you’ll be more apt to have smoothing sailing and less likely to head toward divorce is the conversation is deemed important by you both.
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