Many couples do not talk about their personal finances before they get married. They are caught up in the moment of becoming engaged, the planning the wedding, followed by being adjusted to living together, and joining all of their finances. It is at this point many discover financial secrets or issues their partner failed to mention before getting married.
The biggest mistake anyone can make is to fail to disclose their true financial situation with their partner. This can lead to trust issues since the other party will wonder why you failed to mention a debt when there were times in the past money was discussed. It is always best to talk about all the debts and true financial status before getting married so both parties know about any possible issues or problems.
Not having a budget is one thing many newlyweds fail to establish from the beginning. They need to merge all their assets and debts so using a budget to maintain the savings and proper spending habits is required. Naturally there will more bills and expenses yet there is now another income to pay for the new bills and expenses. Do not panic when seeing the joint bills, it can be worked out with using a budget to plan how the bills will be paid and how the savings will be added to with each payday.
Deciding who will be in charge of paying all the bills and creating a savings plan. The two of you are now married so it is time to allow someone take over the position of the head bill payer unless you can reach an agreement with both sharing the responsibilities. If you decide to share the responsibility, then make a date where the two of you sit down together, pay the bills, and keep the budget on track. Remember to merge all the accounts so each person has access to the money in the savings and checking accounts. Also if there is a 401K, add the new spouse as a person who will get the account if something happens resulting in death or other accidents, this includes the car titles and house title if one owned a home prior to the marriage.
Once you have married, the debts such as credit cards and car payments should remain the original owners name on the titles. This is to avoid having the partner’s credit damaged if in the past the debt was delinquent or late at any times. Determine the spending habits so both are aware of excessive spending that may affect the goals of savings and paying the required bills and expenses.
The most important thing to remember is marriage is about compromise. Let the small things slide such as he leaves the toilet seat up, and she squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube without pushing it down and wrapping the used end upwards. The small things are not worth fighting over. What matters is to reach a common stand on issues and money is one of the common issues to have within the marriage.
Finding common ground means learning to save and spend money together. When you go shopping for groceries, learn to talk about the items you both want to buy. Realize she might be a stickler for a name brand while he likes the generic brands. Reach a common point of agreement for the groceries you purchase. Sit down before going to the grocery store and discuss the buying habits and preferences.
The final issue for married couples is failing to plan for emergencies. You are so busy trying to pay the bills and enjoying your new life together that you fail to have a cash reserve for emergencies. Make a point of making a savings account for emergencies providing for financial security as well as the cash needed for future car repairs and vacations.
Planning a wedding is really an art form, yet people do it everyday. The difference is the people that are excited and stress free when the day comes or the couple that just can’t wait until it is over. Something will go wrong at your wedding, but it is how you handle those glitches that will make your day perfect. Here are some of my wedding hacks.
1. Follow your Wedding Task List
A wedding task list (or check list) is a month by month list of items you need to accomplish. This is going to be a life saver. Whether you have an online task list or have one in the wedding planner you purchased at the the bookstore. If you don’t have one, GET ONE! This will help keep you organized. My tip! Don’t skip ahead! If you finish all the tasks on your list for that month – sit back and relax for a couple of days.
> Start your wedding task list here.
2. Guest List
Know that as a rule, about 30 percent of the people you invite won’t attend. Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding (destination weddings are harder to attend), how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event (some guests may have annual holiday or summer plans). On the other hand, everyone could accept — knowing your wedding will be the can’t-miss party of the year!
If your goal is to save some money and you are looking at your food remember that buffets and plated are going to cost about the same and an hor d’oeuvres reception will actually cost more money than a plated or buffet dinner. You need at least 12 hor d’oeuvres per person to give your guests a decent meal and of course variety is the spice of life so you want to have multiple options. That can add up real quick.
4. DIY Disaster
When a bride tells me that they would like to make some items for the wedding, my first question is, “Are you a Crafty Crier?” Are you the type of person that finishes painting a little tea cup and are so relieved you are finished? Or are you the type of person that can sit down and with all the supplies and bang out 200 little tea cups. If the bride insists on making items I ask them to make one and then let me know how it goes. If it is something they are willing to do then I will sit down with them and go over a crafting timeline.
5. Lighten Your List
The easiest way to trim your wedding budget? Cut your guest list. Remember, half of your wedding expenses go to wining and dining your guests. If it’s costing you $100 per person, eliminating one table of 10 can save you $1,000. And, Friday and Sunday weddings should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday weddings.