Make Ends Meet: Money and marriage
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After over two years of pandemic shutdowns and wedding cancellations, ceremonies to tie the knot are booming again.
Now couples are planning even bigger and more expensive weddings than ever before.
The big day is important, but even more important are the decades you will spend together. Arguments over money in marriage are plentiful, especially if your finances are not.
However, if someone just takes time to talk about your financial obligations, goals, debts, dreams and more, they can stop a problem before it begins.
“It’s a tough topic to start talking about, finances, but it’s an important conversation to have,” Patrick Hicks, general counsel for online service Trust & Will said. “It’s helpful to at least be aware with your spouse’s finances.”
Differences over finances are one of the most common issues that lead couples to fight or even flee. Someone can always make more money, but finding the love of a lifetime can be much harder.
It is important to start out on the right foot.
“Getting married has legal consequences, and that’s not what people think about when their getting married,” Hicks said. “They’re thinking, ‘hey, this is the person I love. I want to start a family with.’”
A person can plan for just about everything as they prepare to get married, such as decorations, cake flavors, seating arrangement and music.
Shouldn’t someone give the same thought to their financial plan?
“Financial wellness is something couples should be aligned on,” Hicks said. “That’s something that is important throughout life.”
Money matters, and so does an honest conversation.
Couples should talk about their debt, their credit score, their spending habits and anything else that is monetarily meaningful to you.
Hicks also believes planning for wills and trusts should be right at the top of the priority list, along with the fun events for your nuptials.
“As you’re getting married, you’re going through this major life change; that is the time you need to be thinking, ‘what do I need to do to get my life in order,’” Hicks said. “Even if you don’t have a lot, you still have something and you might want to say where those things go.”
Estate planning is one of the most important things a person can do to protect themselves, their family, and their future.
“Once you get married, you have someone else that you need to account for and that spouse needs to account for you,” Hicks said. “There’s no one right or wrong answer but you should definitely have a conversation and make a decision intentionally.”
A person should get financially naked with their partner before they go down the aisle by baring all your financial hopes, fears, and goals.
If someone has a financial planner, they should ask for help to make sure they will be financially fit in life and as a couple.
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