Information provided by financial expert Kathy Stepp. Email her at Kathy@steppandrothwell.com.
Wedding season is upon us! Are you planning a wedding? While you may be busy thinking about flowers and music and dresses, you should also be thinking about your financial future as a couple. Your own assets, liabilities and cash flow are not as romantic as your wedding and honeymoon, but they will prove to be far more important to you in the future.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when two people make decisions about handling their finances as a couple. The key is to work together to communicate your individual goals, needs, desires, etc., so that arguments can be avoided later on.
Don’t wait until after the honeymoon to discuss your financial situation, goals, ideals, etc. Start immediately by outlining your current situation — with full disclosure! Make decisions about how to manage your cash flow in marriage and who will do it. Realize that any system can be changed if needed until you find one that really works for you. If necessary, get help from a family member or a professional. Someone can get you started in a system, then you can tweak it to meet your lifestyle choices and needs.
Discuss your short-term and long-term goals. Finally, come up with a plan for resolving disagreements about money. Arguments about money are the leading cause of divorce!