Tying the Knot – Without Getting Tangled
June 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
Getting married? What do you need to know about tying the financial knot- without getting tangled, which is also the title of my upcoming book (trademark symbol)?
Planning is half the battle – Hopefully, you have talked at least a bit about money and your general goals as individuals with the love of your life. If you haven’t had detailed conversations, may I suggest that you talk a bit more now, as a couple. I know how plans may change. My husband and I have been married for almost – well, for a very long time – and what we talked about before we got married is different from the chat we would have if we just met today understanding more about life and its ups and downs.
Things to discuss? What do you both think about debt and savings? How do you feel about career and family? What are your priorities for life? I need you to recognize, in case you think differently about this, that you shouldn’t believe you will change him. Have a firm handle on how your honey thinks and their life goals.
Though life has brought us many surprises, and not all of them delightful, our priorities have remained very close to what they were when we met when I was 19 years-old. So know each other’s priorities is an important talk to have with one another.
Communicate – So now you are together. How do you manage your finances once you are a couple? There are folks who lie about their spending. In fact the number of those who hide or outright lie about their finances to the person they love might surprise you. Studies show that there are significant numbers of folks who are not forthcoming with their spouse about their spending habits. Really, kids? That’s not a formula for success. You know in your heart that open communication is best. Revisit that talk about goals, and be open about spending. Keep talking about plans and dreams and get them realigned as circumstances change. Not all of your plans may materialize as life can be full of curve balls. But understanding what’s important to the person you love is vital.
Various approaches – As to putting your finances together there are several approaches you might take. For some expenses and savings are split as a percentage of total income. For other couples each person chooses what bill to pay. For others it’s all-for-one-and-one-for-all with money completely combined. Remember that you are a team now. You are no longer single and your finances should reflect that union. But there are many options available for you as you link your finances.
What’s right for you – Ultimately, I can’t tell you what might be the very best way for you. My advice? Use objective information as you think this through, talk to family and friends and then see what works best for you both.
One of the biggest reasons for divorce is folks fighting about money. This is a very worthwhile conversation to have and commitments to keep. You both love each other too much to ignore this topic. (CR9308)