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Planning a wedding, especially here in New Jersey, is no small task. Outside of the wedding, there’s still plenty to be discussed before marriage. And while it’s not as fun as cake tasting, sitting down to discuss the expectations you have about your future finances is crucial. According to Psychology Today, 27% of respondents found money to be the biggest stressor in their marriage.

Having truthful discussions about money beforehand can help lay the foundation for an honest financial relationship. Trying to figure out how to fund your new life here at the Jersey Shore will be much easier.  Before you get married, take these five financial considerations into account first.

#1: Your Financial Influences

At this point, you should know what your partner’s childhood was like. But you may not know how finances were handled in their house.

Did their family grow up here in Monmouth County? Were their parents coupon-clipping savers? Or maybe they splurged on dinners out and vacations every year? Now’s the time to dig deep into how their parents may have shaped the way they think about money.

These expectations can be used to determine how your new family will manage money.  Or not! You can always choose to start fresh, or talk to a financial planner to help guide you in the right direction.

#2: Your Financial Triggers

Some people are stress-spenders, others spend when they’re bored. Whatever it is that causes you to overspend on unnecessary things, it’s important to identify it and make your partner aware. Accountability is key to financial success.  Teamwork between you and your spouse can make staying accountable much easier.

#3: Determine Joint or Separate Savings

Should you combine your finances after marriage? Or keep them separate? If you both earn an income, you may decide to keep things separate to make personal discretionary spending easier. However, paying bills could prove to be less complicated coming from one, joint savings account.

Whether you choose to combine or not, it’s important not to glance over this conversation.

#4: Decide Who Does What

Similar to a designated system for household chores, you’ll want to determine who plays what financial role. If one of you is more organized than the other, they could be in charge of paying the monthly bills.

When it comes to the financial planning process, we’ve found it most beneficial to have BOTH partners involved.  It helps keeps everybody on the same page and plugged in.

#5: Talk About Taxes

As a married couple, you’ll have several options including married filing jointly, married filing separately, choosing a head of household, etc. Sitting down with a financial planner and/or accountant could help make this decision easier. How you choose to file your taxes can have implications into other areas of your financial plan, so it’s important to have this discussion.

Marriage is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. It’s also a great opportunity to start a new financial journey off on the right foot! Having discussions with your partner will make transitioning into married life that much easier.

After having these discussions, if you feel like you need more guidance – talk to your financial planner.  If you don’t have one, we’d be happy to speak with you!  Click here to schedule an initial meeting with no cost or obligation.

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