Wedding season draws near as surely as Spring, so let me include one more thing couples should be thinking about – how are you going to combine your finances? Here is a checklist engaged couples should discuss before the wedding.
Pre-Marriage Financial Checklist
Discussion and coordination should begin even before the wedding – especially before the wedding. Discussing your finances and goals before getting married may seem hard, but will lead to fewer problems and surprises later. Here is a checklist to discuss and coordinate before getting married.
- Discuss your financial goals; for example, debt, children, home, saving, travel, etc. Be specific on near term goals and, as always, be prepared to compromise.
- Review your joint financial state, income, debts, and savings. Do not keep debts hidden; future surprises yield more mistrust than frank discussions.
- Know each other’s credit rating so if there are problems you know how to handle them.
- Decide how to merge financial assets and accounts.
- Agree who will pay the bills and balance the checkbook – one person, both alternating, or splitting responsibilities – but remember that both need to know where you stand financially regardless of who actually pays the bills.
- Determine if you need a pre-nuptial agreement because one partner brings substantial assets to the marriage.
Collaborating on the wedding can give useful insights as to how the partners manage money and can coordinate when married. Make the pre wedding financial checklist part of your wedding preparations to get your marriage off to a sound start.