As the peak marriage season arrives in early summer and while you may be in full wedding planning mode, it is as good of time as any to discuss finances before the big day. After all, your wedding day may be one of the most important days in your life, but long after the honeymoon is over, “thank you” cards are written, and begin your new life together, marriage may very well be forever but so are finances. You will need to discuss with your future spouse your funds currently stand, and grasp a plan for the future.
Review Credit History
Discussing credit with anyone may be difficult if you have had trouble in the past, but is a necessary conversation. As a married couple you may buy a house, a car, or have joint credit cards, so rather than have a surprise when you are declined for a loan, it is best to discuss any credit issues. If you are unsure where you stand, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year from the major credit bureaus, so now may be a good time to go line by line to make sure everything is in order.
Understand Your Retirement Goals
Do both, or even either of you, want to work until your 65? Maybe one finds their career fulfilling and the other can’t stand waking up each morning and going into the office. These are issues you need to understand right off the bat. It’s up to you both to determine how you will run your financial house in order to achieve your long term investment goals. Do you want to be overly conservative with your investments? Savings and bonds only?
Disclose All Debt
While you are on the credit topic, the next item for discussion would be debt. Make sure that all debt is transparent to your spouse, anything from a current mortgage, auto or school loans, and credit cards. If both partners have no debt, it will be a great start to build for their financial future, but if there is debt involved, then a payment plan will need to be carried out to eliminate.
Now a Team, Join Bank Accounts
What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is yours. Kidding of course, but now it is time to join accounts, for paying bills and spending accounts, but also savings. Now that you are a dual income family, you can begin to work on a household budget. See how much comes in each month, what the needed bills are, having some leftover for spending, and begin to learn what you can reserve in a savings account each month. It is never too early to begin to save for your future, so make sure that as soon as you start cashing the wedding checks that you put some into savings.