Posted on Nov 21, 2014 by Peter Huminski
Are you or a loved one thinking about popping the question?
The holidays are a popular time for engagements. Marriage is a wonderful thing that has many challenges, opportunities, and exciting moments. One of the challenges is MONEY! This is not a post about money mistakes to avoid. This is a column about advice I wish I had received because it would have reduced or eliminated roughly 93% of the arguments in my marriage. So before you go and “Pop” the question consider these 7 things.
- Compare your spending habits. I was (OK I’m still sort of) a spender. My wife Becky is a spender as well. This made for a challenging beginning that is still sometimes challenging. Watch how your significant other is with money. A free spender before marriage will be a free spender in marriage. Make sure your money styles are compatible. Not all free spenders are bad if you understand that going into the marriage..
- Empty the financial closet. Be honest about your income, debts and money problems. That is a lot of potential baggage to saddle your future significant other with.
- Get a copy of your credit reports.This will give you a clear picture of your credit accounts and how you will be judged by creditors when you begin your life together.
- Have an affordable wedding and honeymoon. We were fortunate but many young couples aren’t. That is why you should not take on more debt for the wedding/honeymoon than you can pay off within a year.
- Avoid credit card debt. I so wish I had learned that lesson early in life. The best rule of thumb is if you can’t pay for it in cash you can’t afford it.
- Pay more than the minimum.If you do have a credit card you need to pay as much above the minimum you can afford each month. Work hard to pay off your debt before you get married. You can use gift money, a bonus, get a second job to pay off your debt. You can even make multiple payments every month. Get it paid off!!!!
- Decide who will pay for what. If you have separate accounts when you get married decide who will pay which bills and know which account it will come from.
Getting married is one of the greatest things that happened in my life. If I could redo anything I wish we could have had some of these money conversations. So before your big day do yourself a favor and have a talk around these thoughts. It will save yourself many fights in the future. You will thank me later.
Another Thought from The Factory on Main
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.