I remember planning my own wedding even though it was many years ago. One thing I remember about making wedding arrangements was how fun and exciting it was. I really liked that my husband and I made the choices for colors, a theme, flowers, and everything else together.
Although we paid for most of the wedding ourselves, his parents and my mom did help out a little. Despite that, our budgets were still tight so our wedding was pretty frugal.
We were both still in college so we talked a lot about finances before getting married. Unfortunately these days not every couple has a financial discussion, like we did, before tying the knot. However, there are good reasons you should talk about finances before talking about forever.
Money Management Styles May Clash
Everyone in the world is different and it would be boring if we were all the same. Nevertheless, when it comes to finances, couples with totally different money management styles could face marital discord.
If you are a saver and your partner a spender, your future may be a difficult one. Resentment could build if you constantly deny yourself while your spouse spends money with no concern for your needs.
Worse yet, such opposing monetary views could land you in the poor house together. Of course, there’s always the possibility the marriage will end before that occurs. That’s why couples should discuss finances before getting married.
One Person Can’t “Fix” the Other
At times one person in a relationship will enter into it with rose-colored glasses on. That is to say, they think if they stick with their partner they can correct bad spending behaviors.
Many times this is a mistake. Extreme opposites in spending styles often cause relationships and marriages to break up. One partner eventually realizes their efforts to change the other are not working and they finally give up.
Goals May Not Align
There are times in a relationship when future goals must be discussed. Waiting until after the wedding is not one of them.
Before tying the knot both partners in the relationship should discuss if they want to buy a house or rent. They also need to talk about how they feel about debt and whether one car or two is better. Other topics of discussion are where they want to live and if they should have children.
Clearly all of these big discussions center on money and finances. Any one of them could be a deal breaker in a relationship. This is why couples should talk about finances before talking about forever.
Bills Could Get Overlooked
Without a clear plan in place for how finances will be handled, bills could get overlooked. Each of you thinks the other is taking care of it but in reality, neither one did.
Even though finance should be managed as a couple, one person may be the main bill payer. If this chore is shared clear communication needs to happen to ensure no payments get missed.
Resentments Could Build
As mentioned previously, one person in a relationship could become resentful of the other. But it isn’t necessarily only from differing spending styles.
What if neither partner really likes paying the bills? The one paying them may feel resentment for being placed in that position by the other person.
Investing May Not Happen
Ensuring a secure financial future is less likely if couples don’t talk about finances before talking about forever. If both people think the other is investing but neither are it could be a rude wake-up call later.
When the money is needed is not the time to find out there are no investments or nest egg available. Retirement accounts need to be discussed in advance. So do life-insurance policies and other investing options.
Help May be Needed
If neither partner in a relationship is financially savvy, outside help may be needed. There’s no harm or shame in seeking outside help to learn to manage money.
That help could come from a family member, close personal friend, or a professional financial planner. However, neither person will know whether help is needed without some discussion taking place.
Taking a relationship to the next level is an exciting time for couples. But as you can see they should talk about finances before talking about forever to ensure forever happens.
Jeanne is a married mother of 2 children who works as a full-time freelancer and virtual assistant. She also helps out occasionally on the farm she and her husband own together. Her background is mostly finance and medical office management. She’s currently working to improve her financial well-being and hopes to help others improve theirs as well.