The Financial Engagement
Weddings are a financial planning topic. Every aspect of wedding planning revolves around a budget. In our area, the average cost of a wedding is about $38,000 –the same as the average cost of a new car or a year of education at a four-year university.
So, what’s the very first thing you should do when you’ve become engaged? Establish a wedding budget? Book a venue? Hire a photographer? The answer is none of these. The first thing you should do is consider some financial counseling. Couples that have lived together prior to engagement have a better understanding of each other’s spending habits – but discussing financial beliefs is important to understanding each other’s views about finance, values, and personal goals.
Starting honest conversations about money now will set a precedent for how money will be handled in your marriage.
Here’s some Financial Engagement conversation starters -
o What are your short and long-term financial and personal goals? How will we achieve them?
o What percentage of income should be saved? How much should be allocated to discretionary spending?
o If you receive a windfall (lottery, inheritance, etc.) of $500,000, what would you/we do with the money
How about $5 Million?
o In 10 years, how do you envision our lifestyle? What about 25 years?
o What is your credit score and how do you feel about it?
o How will being married impact our income taxes?
Remember, money is the capital for your day-to-day living and for funding your personal goals, dreams, and ambitions. Whatever you want to accomplish in life will depend on how you handle your finances.