Make Financial Planning Part of Your Wedding Plans

wedding finance, financial planning

This post is sponsored by Lexington Law Firm! Thank you! It’s companies like this that allows us to keep this website running.

Studies have consistently shown that the #1 thing married couples fight about is money. Having a frank and honest talk with your soon-to-be husband or wife before you “put a ring on it” can help smooth the road ahead.

“The Financial Talk” doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating, and it doesn’t have to take a big chunk of your time. In a nutshell, the big things you need to be sure you’re on the same page about are as follows:

  • Broadly speaking, what are your long term financial goals as a couple? If you want to buy a townhouse in the city and she wants to buy a farm in the country or a bungalow on the beach, that’s a problem worth talking out until you reach an agreement.
  • How good are both of you (individually) at handling money? Do you or your soon to be spouse carry high credit card debt balances, or do you pay them off at the end of each month? That difference really matters and can get you into hot water if you’re of one mind, and your spouse is of another.
  • Do you consider yourself to be a thrifty person, or an extravagant person? Which of those is the person you’re about to marry? Again – think “birds of a feather” here. If you’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, you can expect big, heated battles about money down the road!
  • Do you have a savings plan? Does your spouse? What percentage of your income do you usually try to save? How closely does that align with what your partner thinks is appropriate?
  • Are you actively planning for your retirement? Is your spouse?
  • What kind of lifestyle do the two of you want to build together?
  • Are either of you currently using a credit repair company? (and is that something you could both benefit from after the wedding?)

By answering these questions and talking about them, you’ll begin to see if you’re more or less on the same financial page. If you’re not, you need to be, and that needs to happen before the wedding.

There’s one more thing to consider: What’s your credit score? What’s your soon-to-be spouse’s credit score?

If the two numbers are wildly divergent, then you’ve got problems. Not insurmountable ones, but the reality is that if you want to get married and buy a house together, you’re going to need to work on boosting both of your credit scores, as both will impact whether or not you can get a loan, and how attractive the terms are.

There are a variety of credit repair services available to help make improving your score easier, but if you prefer to go it alone, use this approach as a general guideline:

  • First, starting immediately, make all payments on time, for both of you. That stops things from getting any worse
  • Second, focus on paying down your credit balances until you’re at, or below 20% utilization, each. Whomever is closest to that threshold, focus on their balances first.
  • Third, one at a time, starting with the lowest balance in collections or the cheapest derogatory item to remove, start tackling them.

Finally, know when to call in the cavalry. If all this makes your brain feel like it’s going to melt, don’t hesitate to call in a professional credit fixer and delegate some of the details!

This post is sponsored by Lexington Law Firm! Thank you! It’s companies like this that allows us to keep this website running.

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