Archives For premarital finiancial education

Men, share the financial stress and be a "Knight in Shining Armor" for your wife.

The wedding ceremony is almost over and the new couple turns to face each other.

The officiant officially proclaims. “I now pronounce you a joint venture, you may kiss your business partner.” Romantic right?

This sounds far fetched, but many couples treat their new spouse like a joint venture instead of ‘becoming one’ financially speaking.

Becoming One Financially

If this thing called marriage is going to work, then you’ll need to merge your financial lives. This is going to take some trust and respect as you learn to talk about money.

Here are a few steps you can take to “become one” financially:

1. Change your mind set. ‘Your’ money is now ‘our money’. ‘Her’ debt is now ‘our’ debt. If someone is brining debt into the marriage, don’t hold it over their head. BOTH of you now owe the debt and BOTH of you will need to share the responsibility and stress of paying it off.

2. Add each other to ALL financial accounts: checking, savings, stocks, bonds, etc. No hidden side accounts “just in case”. Separate accounts signal lack of trust and commitment.

3. If you haven’t already disclosed all your income sources, assets, and debt, time to disclose and the sooner the better.

4. Get to know each other financially speaking. Here are some helpful questions to review on your next coffee date to spark discussion.

5. Make a budget together. This will ensure both of you have a vote in how to spend “our” money.

6. Share the Stress. Share any dealing with any collection calls and stressful negations. Husbands, this is a way you can really be a ‘Knight in Shining Armor’ for your new bride.

I realize some of these might be difficult to do, especially if you’ve been single a long time or getting remarried. A great marriage and financial life will be well worth working through these steps and tough conversations.

You and your spouse are on the same team, time to wear matching jerseys.

What have you done financially or relationally to ensure a great marriage? 

Photo credit hans s via Creative Commons.

What financial baggage do you have?

Stop. Before you buy the ring or say “I do” take some time and see if you and the love of your life are compatible. This is a process of further discovery to see if they are the person you want to commit to for the rest of your life.

Marriage takes more than just love to be successful, just ask the couples celebrating their 50 year anniversaries.

There are many areas to discuss before you get engaged or walk down the isle: values, dreams, goals, kids, past relationships, spirituality, career, many other topics, and money.

Why is money so important to discuss before you are married? Money is #1 reason for fights in a marriage and also the #1 reason for divorce. This is serious.

So let’s take a deeper look at money and marriage and some steps you can take before you fully commit to your sweetheart.

Your Money Baggage

We all have baggage that we need to unpack before our potential spouse (PS). Some of us have an overnight bag, while others might need a baggage cart. Do it too early and you might freak them out (like on the first date). Do it too late and it seems like you’ve tricked or lied to your PS.

You’ll have to decide when to unpack  your money baggage, but please talk about these issues at some point with your PS.

  • Parent’s View of Money– The way our parents viewed and used money will affect ours. We will either embrace their patterns or rebel against them. Were they savers or spenders? Coupon clippers? Did they have debt growing up? Do you remember your parents fighting about money as a child? Did your parents teach you anything about money or were they silent on that subject?
  • History with Money- Did you start a lemonade stand when you were a kid or did you spend every dime on candy? Did you get an allowance growing up? Did you work growing up or did your parents pay for everything? Did you grow up extremely rich or poor and how did that affect you?
  • Your View of Money- Do you believe money is evil, neutral, or good? What is your view of the poor and rich? How do you view money?

Show Me Yours and I’ll Show You Mine.

You’re going to have to show your cards at some point before marriage, usually later in the relationship. Time to get them out on the table and discuss any issues and impacts on a potential marriage.

  • Income- What do you make? How do you make it? How often to do you get paid?
  • Assets-  Savings? Do you have any major stock or savings holdings? Are the heiress to your families millions and home in the Hamptons?
  • Previous Marriage- If you were married previously how does this affect your future financial situation? Alimony? Child Support? Court orders? Moral obligations?
  • Budget- Do you know how much each other is saving and spending on things? You did do a budget when your single right? If not click here.
  • Debt- This is biggie especially if you’re about to tell your potential spouse (PS) that you have 50K in debt and if they marry you, they’ll have to help pay that off. Do disclose any debt before you get hitched, you’ll both be glad in the end.
[This is part of the Premarital Financial Series]

Photo Credit: Tom Magliery

Money can be a touchy issue. Maintaining healthy relationships is also challenging. Mixing money and relationships is a recipe for conflict! Welcome to marriage!

Dealing with money inside of marriage is a skill unfortunately many people don’t learn. This series will help you to get to know each others values and beliefs about money.

It will be tough work, but time well spent. Help divorce proof your marriage by getting on the same page financially.

1) Premarital Financial Advice– Unpack your financial baggage and “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”.

2) Premarital Financial Priorities Exercise– Take a financial inventory and also 25 Financial Compatibility Questions

3) How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring?We’ll look at this questions and give some advice to both the guys and gals.

4) Budgets, Weddings, & Prenups Oh My!– How much should you spend on a wedding? Is a prenuptial agreement right for you?

5) Our Story & Premarital Resources


Did you like this series? Be sure to check out our How to Budget Like a Pro Series.