Hearing wedding bells? Make sure the next thing you hear isn’t collectors’ calls!

Many people get engaged over Christmas. Are you hearing the sounds of wedding bells? Are you in a serious relationship? Love is a wonderful thing. I don’t know what I would do without my husband. He is the light in my life. Do you know that feeling? If so, you are one of the lucky ones.

If you are in that feel good part of your life where you’ve met “The One”, make sure your finances do not come between you. Have you discussed your financial lives yet? Do you know you are on the same page?

I’m a huge fan of communication. Probably the most important conversation you will have with your significant other is a big money discussion before you get married. You need to have this conversation. It’s as important as the “Do you want kids?” discussion. Maybe more so.

So, this is where you all think I’m nuts again. You both have good jobs, nice cars, nice clothes. You’ll come together and everything will be “nice”. Well, until he finds out about your credit cards or you find out about his student loans and car payment. Maybe not so nice now? Before you get married, it’s a good time to sit down and have each of you do a financial inventory. List out all your assets and your debts. Have your significant other do the same. Ask yourselves some basic life questions:

  1. How do you want your life to be?
  2. Where do you want to live?
  3. Are you planning to go back to school?
  4. When do you want to have kids? Will one of you being staying home with them?
  5. Will your kids go to public or private school?
  6. How often will you take vacations? What kind of vacations?
  7. How, where and when do you see your retirement?
  8. What are your must-haves?

Some of these questions may seem a bit strange, but they are so important. For example, I have two must-haves. I must have a stash of yarn so I can make a pair of socks at anytime. This really requires more yarn than any sane person would think is possible. I probably have enough sock yarn to make about two dozen pairs of socks right now but that’s not the point. It’s a must-have. My other must-have is a nice laptop. I do a lot of work on my laptop so I need to make sure it’s in good working order and it has to be FAST. Ergo, my must-haves cost me about $400 a year. This includes budgeting for replacement of the laptop every three years and about $150 a year for yarn for my stash.

Now, what if your significant other’s must-have is a new BMW every three years or $2,000 worth of shoes every year or a cruise every year? These things need to be budgeted for. If you are a saver and your significant other is a spender, or vice versa, this could cause serious fights in the months and years to come. Let’s get everything out on the table now. You spend how much time discussing your wedding plans? Fit in some time for your life plans.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.