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Relationships and Your Finances

Mar 21, 2021

by Carmen Gonzalez

When spring rolls in, the weather warms, plants begin to blossom and grow, and many people start taking their relationships to the next level. Our social media feeds fill with engagement pictures, and our schedules become busy with celebrations and wedding dates. If you are one of the happy couples planning on saying “I Do,” all of the celebrations and wedding planning can cause you to forget to plan for what life will be like after the big day. Engagement season is a great chance for you and your partner to learn how to best communicate with each other and plan ahead for what you want your future to look like.

 

When you and your partner decide to get married, you will need to prepare for how life will work together. Knowing how you both plan to handle your finances, personal belongings, and future can go a long way to making sure that you have a long, happy marriage. A good way to start the conversation is to sit down with each other and go over your current finances and budget. Deciding how the best way to handle your money together can stop arguments from happening in the future. Whether you want to keep your accounts separate or combine them, you both need to commit towards financial goals that you both will strive to meet. It may seem like a simple conversation but talking about money and budgets can highlight the differences you both have. “Opposites attract” is a cliché saying because it is so very true. Most times you will find that one of you view money and risks with a care-free attitude while the other is more structured and careful. Knowing how your partner is can help you prepare to find ways to compromise through out your marriage. If you and your partner have a hard time talking about your financial situation and goals, you can schedule a FREE financial wellness checkup with a Centric Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor and let them be an accountability partner for you and your partner.

 

After you and your partner know that you will be able to handle your finances after you say “I Do,” make sure you are planning a wedding day that won’t break the bank or leave you scrambling afterwards. Whether you and your partner are paying for your wedding or your families are putting up the money, knowing how much your budget is will help you make sure the important parts of your big day are covered. After you know how much you can spend, set aside money for the non-negotiable items that you want at your wedding. Not every thing you have dreamed for your wedding is as important as other things. For example, you and your bridal party can DIY things to decorate with or you can use pictures as table centerpieces to save money on decorations; but you probably want to make sure you can pay for an experienced wedding photographer so you can look back on your big days for years to come. With the money left over after paying for your wedding-musts, you can have a guide on what deals you need to look for. If you have friends or family that have special talents or businesses that you could use for your wedding, ask them to not give you a physical gift and either gift you their services for your special day or give you a discount. You’ll want to remember your special day for the rest of your life, and people who love you will want to help you with anything they can. Lastly, don’t go broke by picking the most expensive venue. If you are a member of a church, you can usually get a very low cost for using the sanctuary or chapel for your service. You can also find deals if you can get married during the week or during wedding off-season.

 

After your wedding day, you and your partner will get to enjoy the adventure of marriage and life together. As life goes on, you both will want to remember to keep dating each other. Whether you have kids who take up extra time and attention or you both get busy with work and hobbies, it is easy to forget that you need to spend quality time with your partner. You have to be intentional and plan ahead so you and your partner don’t drift apart. Choose a specific day of the week or a date of the month where you and your spouse know that you will spend time alone with each other on that day. If you plan this ahead of time, you can schedule the rest of your lives around it. Your dates don’t have to be super fancy all the time. You could go on a picnic together or cook a meal together and rent a movie. Just spending time together is what is important. Another good date idea is planning a budget date. Grab your favorite foods and drink, bring your schedules and budgets, and sit down together to review your budget, goals, and reevaluate as needed. This will ensure that you both continue to work together and agree on how money is being spent, invested, and saved.

 

As you and your partner are achieving your goals and dreams, don’t forget to think beyond the next five years. Spend time together dreaming about what you want life to be like when you are older. Do you want to have grandkids running around your home? Do you want to travel the world? Do you want to retire together and enjoy your golden years together? Whatever your dreams are, you have to start today planning for those days. Invest in your future by paying off debt, saving money, and putting money away for retirement. If you employer’s offer a 401k program, be sure to put in the amount of money that they will match. If you need or want another option for retirement saving, you can open a Roth IRA or traditional IRA. You can choose the best options for investing your future and Centric Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors can help you stay on track to your future.

 

Getting married is exciting and dreaming about what life will be like with your partner is fun, but you have to be careful to not let the love in your hearts make you forget that marriage isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Hard times will come no matter how much you plan and prepare, but managing your money does not have to be one of those things that cause your hardships. Plan ahead and save back money so if something happens, you can have some cushion to fall back on. If you plan your wedding effectively, you can save money back from your budget and use that to start your savings fund together. Allow you and your partners differences to pull the best from each other so you can keep a budget and still find creative ways to have fun together. No one’s marriage is perfect, but if you can figure out how to compromise about money, it’ll be easier to compromise on other things.

 

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