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Pre-wedding money conversation

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Pre-wedding talk: Things you need to discuss before you tie the knot.

Things have surely changed in the last decade or five. In the not so distant past, a man took a women, married her, made babies and took care of the whole family. No more!

Nowadays couples first live together and share expenses. However, getting married will tie their financial future together in a long-term way. It involves more than sharing the grocery bill.

Here is a list of pre-wedding financial issues to clear before taking the plunge:

1. Present financial position

Pre-wedding discussions of money are awkward. Most people don’t discuss how much money someone earns, or how much debt he has. This is a conversation you REALLY must have before getting married. You need to know exactly: the debt he or she owes, how much he or she earns, how much goes to savings, how much savings he or she has. That’s how you avoid nasty surprises later.

You need to create a financial plan that will work for both. Sizeable debt is only a problem if its not planned for. If one has a problem to manage money, you could allow the other partner to handle both of your finances. Marriage is forming a solid partnership to deal with life, and you both need all the facts.

2. Future financial targets

It is important to have pre-wedding talks about your financial goals. Once married, you’re a team, so your personal savings must change (if you don’t want to save as a team, you should consider why you’re getting married). Talk about goals for home ownership, retirement, reasons for short-term savings and then develop a plan to save for those goals.

Work through any differences to come up with goals that work for both. Find ways to compromise. Though tough, keep at the conversation until you have a shared vision for your financial future.

3. Manage day-to-day money matters?

You need a pre-wedding talk about managing the everyday realities. One will be earning more than the other. How will you deal with that? Will both add a percentage into a pooled account for shared expenses and the rest of is your independent money? Will you both put a portion of your salary to a shared retirement fund?

Who will be responsible for paying bills and keeping track of the budget? You need a joint budget that satisfies both and someone must monitor it.

Before you make commitments, make sure that these financial plans are working for both. The more effort you put into dividing financial responsibilities in a way that suits both, the better your financial relationship will be. As financial problems are a foremost cause of divorce, the investment of time and effort could keep your marriage boat afloat. Just do it.

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This article was published on www.first-for-women.co.za/ and reposted with permission.

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