Why Making a Financial Plan Can Strengthen Your Marriage
Make a plan with your partner so you’re prepared for all your firsts as a married couple, from the happy moments to the tough ones.
When it comes to planning a wedding, there are so many firsts. From trying on your first wedding dress to having your first look and first dance, you’ll be experiencing a whole slew of new things leading up to the big day.
Post-wedding, everything you do with your new spouse will be a “first” all over again, because it will be the first time you’ve done these things together as a married couple. Think first date night, your first weekend getaway, first home, first pet… experiencing these events in life together with your soul mate makes all things feel new! I know, so mushy and sentimental, right?
While there will be many happy milestones and firsts in your lives together as a married couple, there are plenty of other firsts that might come up that aren’t so fun. From first fights to the first financial emergency, to the first loss… life can throw some tough stuff at you, so it’s important to prepare yourselves for better or for worse by making smart choices and planning ahead.
Making a Financial Plan for Your Marriage
To feel best prepared for all of life’s possible firsts, here are some important tips for making a financial plan. From managing money, protecting yourselves, and planning for all of life’s events, it’s important to have a game plan.
Decide on Your Money Management Style
To combine or not to combine? Have the money chat with your partner to decide how you both feel you can best manage your finances and if that means combining your accounts or keeping things separate. Decide who will handle paying which bills or who will be responsible for writing the rent checks each month. It’s important to share what each of you brings to the table not only in terms of your salaries but also when it comes to student loan or credit card debt, so you know where your financial priorities lie.
Create a Budget
Sit down with your spouse and create a budget together that reflects your shared values, goals, and dreams for your future. Look at the amount of income you bring in together and the priority expenses you have in a given month. With the remaining funds, make sure to budget for your short and long-term goals such as paying down debt, saving up for a down payment on a house, or putting money towards a fabulous anniversary vacation. Working together towards shared goals will strengthen your bond and bring you so much mutual pride!
Last, but certainly not least, check into the various types of insurance you may need. If you’re renting, you’ll want to make sure you have good renters’ insurance in case of damage or theft, and if you own your home you’ll want to make sure you have appropriate homeowner’s insurance. Another important (but not so fun to think about) type of insurance is life insurance. Now that you’re married, you may be living in a larger space with higher expenses that you would be unable to afford should something happen to your spouse. It’s important to make sure you’re protected in a worst-case scenario.
“But Jessica,” you’re saying. “We just got married! Why should we talk about all this heavy/stressful stuff?”
I’m sure you’ve heard the statistics about financial troubles and disagreements being linked to failed marriages. This is why it’s oh-so-important to get on the same page as your partner when it comes to money, particularly in relation to your values and priorities. If you follow this advice, you’ll be starting your marriage off on the right foot and setting yourself up for a greater chance of success. Working out these plans and details right away will help equip you and your partner to be well-prepared should something pop up. Life happens, so be smart and make a plan!