In the midst of wedding planning, there will likely be plenty of ideas and thoughts swirling through your head! From touring various wedding venues to selecting your dream wedding gown and taste-testing delicious food from catering companies, it really is such an exciting experience! However, one topic that comes inherently with relationships and tying the knot is money. In terms of money, we’re primarily talking about combining finances either before or after your wedding and the challenges it can potentially present. While everyone’s situation is going to be slightly different, your best asset is always going to be communication! In this week’s blog, we’ll walk through some of the key points you’ll want to discuss with your partner to ensure everything goes flawlessly.
If this is your first time stopping by our blog, welcome to Madera Estates! Based out of Conroe, TX, our wedding venue is a Spanish and European inspired luxury event space! While our primary service is hosting weddings, we’ve also had quinceaneras, bar mitzvahs, company parties and so much more! When it comes to weddings, we have venue rental packages, as well as all-inclusive offerings. All in all, our mission is to make your dream wedding become a reality, while doing so in a stress-free manner. Having said all of that, let’s go ahead and dive right into this week’s blog to discuss finances and marriage!
When Do You Have The “Money Talk”
“Marriage is about compromise; it’s about doing something for the other person, even when you don’t want to.” – Nicholas Sparks
As is the case with any relationship in general and even more so with marriage, it’s all about compromise. Having a successful marriage is going to be dependent on the ability to work together with your spouse. Since this week’s blog is going to be centered on finances, let’s kick it off by discussing when is the right time to have the “money talk.” Money isn’t always the easiest of matters to discuss and can even be a topic of discomfort, but it nonetheless is critical to discuss.
While you can easily wait until after marriage to actually start combining finances and bank accounts, it doesn’t hurt to start gauging each other’s view of money earlier on in the relationship process. This could possibly occur as early as six months into the relationship. A good first step is to ask general, icebreaker-type questions about money. “What’s one thing you are planning to save up for?” “Have you ever made a big purchase for yourself?” Remember, it’s all about getting a basic idea of how they value money. You certainly don’t want to wait until you’ve been married for a couple of months to figure out how your partner likes to spend.
How To Successfully Combine Finances
Several studies have shown that a greater percentage of couples actually opt to combine their finances after their wedding, as opposed to before it! While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this strategy, it does leave some potential up in the air in terms of being financially compatible. In any case, there are certainly a set of factors you’ll want to agree upon to ensure money becomes a topic easy to discuss with your soon-to-be spouse. Here are a few best practices to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Implement A Budget
Budgeting simply goes hand-in-hand with being an adult. This actually isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned budgets here on the blog, as we also did a step-by-step guide for creating your wedding planning budget. Click HERE if you’d like to check that out. Nonetheless, when it comes to starting your new life together as husband and wife, you’ll need some sort of budget in place. In a basic sense, this should include each of your expected monthly incomes, expenses and amount you intend to set aside for savings. If you’re truly going to stick to this budget and make it work, each of you will need to agree on this wholeheartedly!
Set Goals For Combining Finances
Just as is the case with anything in life, it never hurts to set both short-term and long-term goals, and figure out a plan of attack for reaching them. When it comes to money and setting your budget, think of big milestones like purchasing your forever home, retirement savings, and so on. Setting these early on and committing to them will help each of you stay on track financially as you continue your life together!
Honesty And Transparency
As we’ve mentioned a few times on this blog, there’s no denying that money can sometimes be a difficult thing to discuss. However, in order to ensure it doesn’t stay this way, there will be need to be complete honesty and transparency from each partner! Rather than not openly discussing it or on the other extreme, talking about it all the time, set aside time to have finance recap talks. This will provide the needed time to reassess the progress of your goals outlined above, as well as break down any frustrations either one of you may be having. In any case, even if you don’t agree 100% on a point, it’s important to recognize where they’re coming from and meet somewhere in the middle.
Next on our list, we have another point that varies from couple-to-couple. Throughout all of this, keep in mind that with combining finances, it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach. There isn’t one financial sharing system that is going to work for every single couple. MarketWatch quoted a survey from Policygenius that found “Around 20% of people keep all their money management separate from their partners. 30% of couples say they don’t know the details of their partners earnings. Around three quarters of couples share all their financial accounts, not even holding a single credit card or checking account separate.”
With those stats listed above, it would appear there’s roughly a 75-25 split between joint and separate accounts, respectively. For those that aren’t wanting to combine everything, it might not hurt to have one joint account. You can start small using this new account for any shared expenses you have at the time and gradually adjust this as you see fit.
Who’s Better At What?
Do you and your spouse have different skill sets? Is one of you better at staying organized and keeping on track towards savings goals, while the other is more adept to monitoring the market and deciding where to invest? If so, that’s certainly not a bad thing! Just like a normal job, delegate some of the responsibilities to align with what you’re more skilled at doing. This will ensure each partner is responsible for taking care of certain tasks and likely also put you on a better pathway towards financial success! Not only this, but it’ll also avoid scenarios where one partner may handle everything when it comes to money.
Still Wedding Planning?
Are you currently having the money talk with your soon-to-be spouse, but also trying to plan a wedding? If this is you, then you’ve come to the perfect place! Planning all of the details and finances associated with a wedding is a great way to practice money management for your future time as a married couple. Depending on where you’re at in the wedding planning process, we would love to show you around our luxury wedding venue.
As mentioned in the introduction, we’re based out of Conroe, TX, which is just north of Houston, The Woodlands, and Spring, TX. We often encourage couples that are interested in our event space to first set up a time to see the area in-person. To do so, you’re more than welcome to check out our booking calendar and select a time that works best for you. These private tours are designed to provide you with the opportunity to see the various spaces included at Madera Estates, chat with one of our wedding planning experts, and discuss pricing/availability. We look forward to hearing from you!