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How To Keep Finances From Ruining A Wedding or Marriage

| April 10, 2018
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Getting married is a wonderful thing that will change your life forever for the better. On top of that, your wedding day is hopefully one you’ll never forget, I know I will always treasure the memories of mine. One important part of marriage that many tend to overlook is the financial aspect. As a Financial Advisor who has assisted clients in planning their financial futures in Jacksonville, FL, I recommend people go through some exercises to explore this aspect further rather than going into a life together uninformed and unprepared. Many times people believe the financial part of their relationship is just fine and that no conversation is needed, but statistics would argue against that as finances are the #1 reason for divorce in the U.S. Here are some tips to provide a solid foundation as it relates to the financial part of a relationship:

Clearly, understand if there are career choices down the road that could impact your partner’s income earning potential. The most obvious reason that money can damage a relationship is if it causes strain for either partner. Discussing each other’s career or education plans at length can help in creating expectations for each spouse’s income over the next several years. A common occurrence is where one spouse makes a risky career change that shows income potential, but has no guarantees. Serious consideration should go into whether both parties are on board with those choices, because those years of lower income many times create enough challenges to strain a relationship. The last thing needed is additional stress due to the lack of money. On the flip side, be wary of limiting your partner from certain ventures as it can cause resentment. Figure out how you want to split up accounts early on. It doesn’t have to happen right away, but the earlier you figure this out the better. A common practice that can be done in the engagement period is setting up a joint bank account to see if this is the route you’d like to take. This simple practice will highlight your personal preference for approaching your finances after the wedding. Some people like keeping cash flows to themselves and don’t want to feel beholden to their spouse for how they spend the money they make, while others are completely fine in sharing that information. A way to meet in the middle is maintaining a joint account for shared expenses and keeping individual accounts for day to day purchases. The important thing here is to come to an agreement as to how to handle it.

 Understand each other’s past debts. Student debt, credit cards, auto loans, etc. should all be discussed. Since we live in Florida, which is a common law state, you don’t inherit your spouse’s debts that were taken out in their name, but coming up with plans on how to handle those debts helps eliminate anxiety and financial stress. Certain repayment plans for student loans are affected when you get married so it is important to understand those changes.

Talk about values and goals. Most of our core values have developed by the time we turn 21 and are unlikely to change thereafter. Money at its very core is a store of value and a means to exchange it. How we go about disbursing our money should match up to our values, so if your values don’t match up with your spouse it can create friction once money starts being spent in areas that they don’t find valuable. Having a clear understanding of what each other’s main values are, and respect for those values, is key.

Discuss budgets and stick to them. One of the best days of my life was my wedding day. I know it’s a moment that I’ll cherish forever, but I also remember the fights that came out of how much to spend on all of the aspects of the wedding. With the average cost of a wedding sitting at $35,329, sparks are bound to fly on how much to spend on the venue, food, planning, music, flowers, decorations, etc.. My recommendation is to create a budget and stick to it as closely as possible. From there it’s a little easier to kick back and enjoy what should be the beginning to a long and happy marriage. This is also wonderful practice for other large purchases and investments down the road, as well as for developing a budget for your shared financial life.


If you have difficulty starting these conversations with your partner or need help with your financial planning strategies, contact Capital Analysts of Jacksonville to schedule a consultation. Our financial advisors understand what it takes to create a solid foundation for the financial well-being of your family for generations to come.

Disclaimer:  This content was developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended to provide legal or tax advice. You should consult your legal or tax advisor for information concerning your individual situation.


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