Recently, studies published by Utah State University showed that one of the main causes of divorce in the United States is money problems.* Incidentally, we assume that money problems begin when the honeymoon stage is over. The truth is, as early as the wedding planning stage, money problems can already begin.
Here are 5 financial nuggets to consider before walking down that aisle.
1. Financial Planning
Before any building is erected, its foundation must be sound and strong for it goes into new heights. That is what financial planning is, it allows you to create a rock solid foundation for your financial wedding plan even before your first peso is spent. I know how much emotions will be flying around as preparations progress through the months and your financial plan will be your anchor on how you stir your wedding’s finances forward.
2. SAVINGS – Start as early as you can, the earlier the better
This may sound crazy, but I started to save up for my wedding years before I even had a girlfriend. My mentor once told me that if I saw myself getting married sometime in the future I might as well start saving for it at the very moment! I started to save small amounts of money every month. When I eventually had a girlfriend I decided to add more per month anticipating that I might get married sooner. Eleven months later, I proposed to my then girlfriend. What’s amazing was because I prepared earlier, six months prior to the wedding, my fiancee and I were all set budget-wise and our focus wasn’t any more on saving but more on preparing already for the wedding and what happens after.
Some of my friends and clients have asked me if I placed bulks of large money along the way. Not really. It was just saving early and saving right. The earlier you start, the lesser money you have to put monthly and the lesser pressure you have as you come closer to your wedding day.
This may sound basic, but it is very important. What my fiancee and I did was to decide on a fixed amount that we wanted to save for and also spend for our wedding. We decided to stick to it no matter what and to let go of some expense items that we felt were beyond what we allocated for or unnecessary. We decided to rank our wedding expenditures according to what we believed was the most valuable to what we thought was the least. The ones we valued the most we held on to while the ones we valued the least we slowly said goodbye to.
4. No Debt
It would be best to start your life together owing no one. I always tell my clients if you can’t afford it then don’t get it! Try to stick to your financial plan and budget and see it work wonders for you. The most memorable experience you can get from your wedding is not based on how expensive the food was or who designed your suit or gown. But rather the person you are standing next to on the aisle to whom you are committing your undying love to.
5. Be in agreement
Whatever financial decisions you make, do it as one. How you treat your planning, spending and saving is a dry run of what will happen to your finances from the time you get married onward. Never make a decision until both of you agree to it.
If like me, you’re a groom-to-be, what are you doing to prepare for your upcoming marriage? Share with us by posting on the comments below.
Photo used under Creative Commons from RavenU.
Marvin Germo, RFP, ECE, is a Registered Financial Planner and personal financial consultant who is one of the up and coming personal finance experts in his generation. To read his money blog, go to www.marvingermo.com
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