You’re engaged. Congratulations. The best is yet to come.
Now, you and your future spouse can start preparing for your wedding day. Fortunately and unfortunately, there are a lot of things both of you need to discuss before tying the knot. One of those is finances.
Finances can make or break a marriage. They can also make or break an engagement. Many people find it difficult to discuss money with their partners, especially if they aren’t married yet. But it’s one of the most important things to talk about.
Believe it or not, getting on the same page about money is key to success in marriage.
Whether you're discussing who pays for what for parts of the wedding, what to do to stay within your wedding budget, or something else, you need to be able to talk about money with your partner, especially once you're married.
In this article, you'll learn the following tips:
- Why you need to treat money during your engagement differently than when you're married (it's really important!)
- Ways to work through money issues and questions with ease (it's not as difficult as you think)
- How to navigate your finances in the best way possible!
6 Things to Do with Money After Engagement But Before Tying the Knot
Here are some of the key money tasks you need to tackle during your engagement.
Set a Budget
The first thing each of you should do is review (or create) your personal budgets.
Setting a personal budget will help each of you to see what you have to spend on your wedding, and how much each of you will have to pitch in.
Sit down with your partner and really look into your individual finances to set a joint budget. This will allow you to go into the wedding planning stage with confidence and knowledge, which is good to have because weddings are expensive.
Look at your income and expenses, and see how much you have left over that you could potentially put towards the wedding. Once you've tackled your personal budget, time to move on to your wedding budget!
Read this: Setting Your Wedding Budget
The time between your engagement and your wedding is a great opportunity to save money. Saving as a couple shouldn't wait until after the big day. Make a plan to save together and find ways to reduce your personal expenses in order to save more for your wedding.
Whether you cut back on your trips to Starbucks or use coupons when you go grocery shopping, now is the perfect time to start saving money as a couple.
When you work as a team, you'll find that saving money is a lot easier than if you were going it alone.
Talk about your budget and brainstorm different ways to save money on a daily basis as well as earn some extra money to save. Planning and saving as a team helps you build more trust in each other and work towards a common goal.
Review Each Other's Credit Report
Before you walk down the aisle, it's good to know what you both are working with when it comes to savings and debt.
That's why you should always make sure to review each other's credit reports before moving towards marriage.
It’s a personal matter that can be uncomfortable to discuss. But that's even more reason you should do it because you're becoming life partners. You should both be aware of each others' true financial situation so you can decide how to handle repayment of debts together.
By being completely transparent with your finances, you'll have the full picture of income vs debt and other monthly expenses to accurately allocate your household budget.
Don't Combine Your Bank Accounts Just Yet
Even though you may be tempted to throw all of your cash and earnings in one single bank account, don't do it.
Keep your money separate until after the big day.
That doesn’t mean you can’t start saving money as a couple. You can and you should. If you want to set up one joint account that you each contribute to for the wedding, that's a great step. Just hold off on fully combining bank accounts until after the big day, when things are made official.
Not only will doing so keep things simpler for the time being but it will give you time to figure out your income and monthly payments and work with those items as a couple.
Once you get married, you can then combine your funds in one bank account if you so choose!
Pay Off Debt
While you shouldn't combine your bank accounts just yet, you should be working on individually paying off your own debt with your own money after the engagement.
You don’t want to start your married life with a big debt burden on your shoulder. Not from personal debt or from wedding debt! You don’t want your future spouse to carry your debt burden when you can pay your debt off before you get married.
Student loan debt or mortgages are one thing, but credit cards are another. Get a handle on your finances and pay off your debts to put your best financial foot forward with your future spouse.
Perhaps this will mean for a longer engagement, but that just gives you more time to build a solid foundation as a team.
Find a Side Hustle to Pay for Your Wedding Expenses
Weddings can be expensive. Especially if you want that Pinterest-worthy, dream wedding look! They often come at a hefty expense money-wise, or time-wise.
It is a once in a lifetime event, and you deserve the wedding you want, but everything comes at a cost. There’s a solution to that. It’s called side hustles!
There are tons of side hustles out there you can do from home and/or at your free time where you can earn some extra cash in little time and boost your wedding prep funds.
From taking surveys online to writing articles, you can pick up a side hustle gig and gain some extra cash with ease.
The best thing of all is that you can earn this money from the comfort of your own home, especially when it comes to online side hustle jobs. Pick up a side gig and start socking away extra money for your big day!
Getting married is an exciting and wonderful thing, but it's important to tackle these important money tasks before they become issues!
Handle these money items between the engagement and the big day, and you'll be setting yourself up for financial and marital success!