Two people in love will likely get married, and when they do, their finances will become intertwined. Being open about money before then is only fair to your partner, and while it may be uncomfortable to discuss economic hurdles from your past, it is the smartest way to make a healthy financial plan.
Discuss all your past indiscretions and windfalls, be open about returns and discuss how you want to save for the future. Kids, houses, cars and vacations are all important things to chart out at the start of a joint endeavor. It may take more effort than you expect to make all these dreams a reality, and careful planning from the start can be a big help in making them happen.
Opening an accountGetting a joint bank account at the start of things can help manage money, especially if each of you intends to maintain some financial independence from the other. A joint account can be accessed by the other party, used to pay bills and save for the future. It also provides a bigger degree of trust in the relationship. Money Management wrote that the biggest part of a partnership should be having like interests in mind, and a married couple needs this resource especially.
Sitting down with an advisor is a great way to map out all the landmarks you and your spouse want to hit in your new life together, including all the major expenses. An advisor can help calculate how much you should be saving on a regular basis to reach those goals and can also review current economic fitness to make sure your financial plan is on track.
"Knowing what you're getting into ahead of time to reduce stress as a married couple [is essential]," Wayne Sanford of New Start Financial told Fox News.
Don't get married
It sounds extreme, but if you can't communicate, there is no chance for success in terms of money. What's more, if one of you is touting extreme bad credit or a mountain of debt, it makes more sense economically to maintain independence. Getting married provides some tax benefits, certainly, but the level of commitment indicatory to such contracts can put undue strain on a relationship if it results in financial distress.