The thought of finally settling down and spending the rest of your life with your partner can exciting. As exciting as it is, however, you need a lot of serious planning to have a successful marriage, both before and after your wedding.
One of the most crucial aspects of life you must plan for before marriage is your finances. A lot of things about having a successful home depend on money, so you need to be financially prepared before you marry. Here are some of the most important steps you need to take financially before getting married.
#1. Discuss Your Personal Assets and Financial Status
Getting married basically implies that you are combining your life with your partner and that includes your personal finances, too. Before you marry, it is recommended that you discuss your personal assets with your partner. This will give you a proper idea of what each person is bringing to the table in your marriage.
Talk about your salary or expected monthly income and your regular expenses, especially the ones that are expected to continue after the marriage. Consider your individual debt histories too. All this information will then help you to plan properly for your financial success as a family.
If you know what your spouse already has, both of you can then figure out better ways to combine, manage, and grow your money. Disclosing your financial assets and status to each other as partners also helps to build trust.
#2. Create and Discuss Feasible Long-term Financial Goals
Family financial planning is one thing you must do if you want to have a successful home. And, you do not need to wait until you tie the knot before you start planning your family finances.
It is possible that you have different long-term visions as individuals. So, discussing those long-term goals will help you harmonize them and by doing so, avoid possible conflicts in the future. In your long term plan, consider important factors such as:
How many children do you want to have?
How do you want to raise/save money for family expenses?
Are you going to rent, buy, or build a house?
What are your plans for retirement?
However, creating long-term goals is not enough. You need to break them into achievable targets and attach timeframes to them.
#3. Determine How You Will Manage Your Finances as a Couple
This is one of the most controversial aspects of financial preparations for most intending couples. Before you marry, you should be clear on how you want to manage your money and assets as a family.
Do you plan on having a joint savings account or separate accounts? Each method has its implications, so ensure you consider every option critically to figure out what best suits your couple goals. Also, determine how you are going to run regular expenses such as rent, utility bills, etc.
#4. Draw an Effective Budget For The Long Term
A budget helps you plan how to spend your income to cover your necessary expenses and possibly save some money. After setting your long-term goals, draw concise estimates of major expenses such as rent, savings, investments, etc.
What percentage of your income should go to investments? How much should you save at what interval? In your budget, do not forget to also have an allocation for emergency savings as it helps you cushion the financial implications of unforeseen circumstances.
The earlier you start taking steps to secure your finances for your family, the better off you will be. If you follow the steps listed in this article, you will be on a good path to enjoy a stable financial life with your spouse and family. It all starts with intention.