Wedding season is upon us and many couples are busy preparing for their big day. While you may spend plenty of time finding the right venue and caterer, make sure you spend an afternoon or two to discussing your post-marital finances, before you walk down the aisle. These conversations aren’t always easy to initiate, so they can be easy to put off. But there are important topics you need to cover:
Put it all on the table
It’s crucial to be frank and transparent with your partner. Discuss annual income and debts, including outstanding credit card and student loan balances, as well as spending. Having a firm understanding of these numbers helps you set a realistic monthly budget you both can live with.
For help creating a budget, use a tool like FinanceWorks, built right into Texans’ online banking.
Set a savings plan
Next, discuss savings goals, especially if buying a home or having a child is on the horizon. Getting on the same page when it comes to essential and nonessential expenses may help reduce tensions caused by uneven spending habits. More important, knowing how much money you can allocate for meals out or quick weekend getaways helps you budget for bigger expenses down the road.
FinanceWorks can also help you set and keep track of savings goals with your spouse-to-be!
Will your checking accounts also say “I do?” For some, a joint checking account may be a good idea, so you both have access to common funds for shared expenses, such as rent, utility bills and groceries. Joining your accounts doesn’t mean you have to lose your individuality, though; you may want to hang on to your individual accounts, too. These can be used for buying personal items like clothes and gifts for family members.
Money is one of the top subjects of arguments between couples, so before you tie the knot, it’s vital to get on the same financial page. Get the hard conversations out of the way now to keep your marital bliss intact long after the honeymoon.
As featured in Currents / eCurrents Spring 2015 edition
Tony Armstrong is a writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping consumers make smarter financial decisions.
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