Marriage is the coming together of two lives and two separate financial histories and situations. And while your financial history may continue to influence your finances now, you’re also facing a lifetime of money-related experiences and decisions together. The key to success is preparing yourself and your spouse to handle the unexpected, while also learning to communicate with each other about financial matters.
Talking About Finances
Financial problems are a factor contributing to many divorces. So how do you keep marital finances from putting a strain on your relationship? First, get to know each other's financial histories, strengths, goals and challenges. Discuss your experiences with money, saving and credit. Ask about your partner's financial history and what he or she expects when it comes to marital finances and financial planning.
Before you tie the knot, it can be useful to see a qualified, objective financial planner together. A financial planner can help you develop financial goals as a couple and create a shared budget. This is also an excellent way to ensure you are in agreement about important financial topics.
Planning an Affordable Wedding
Weddings are expensive and the event runs the risk of saddling couples with relationship-crippling debt for years to come. Here are a few tips for planning a memorable yet affordable wedding:
- Develop a budget, prioritising the parts of the wedding that are most important to you and your spouse-to-be; then cut back on expenses in other areas.
- Limit the guest list to close friends and family.
- Hold your ceremony and reception in one location – it will cut down travelling time for suppliers you pay by the hour.
- Shop around when looking for wedding attire.
- If you love a particular photographer but his or her prices are not in your budget, ask them if they have an associate who may be able to photograph your wedding for less.
- Substitute less expensive seasonal and local flowers for more expensive options, or use more greenery.
- Order a small one or two-tiered cake for display; then supplement with a larger sheet cake served from the kitchen.
- Consider a weekend honeymoon nearby and then have a more elaborate trip for your first anniversary.