What financial plans should couples have in place before and after getting married?

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Are you planning on getting married soon? It’s exciting to choose the venue, announce the bridal party, and put together playlists. After the day has come and gone, you will want to make sure that you prepared for the long haul, and your financial planning, individually and as a couple, should be prioritised. Here is our advice.

The financial steps couples should start taking in the run up to their wedding

In the run-up to the wedding, it is important for couples to be transparent about their finances. Having an idea of what each party earns, owns, and owes helps the couple to develop a financial management plan and can give guidance to the type of marital regime/contract to consider.

The last thing you want is to go into a marriage unaware of your partner’s financial position only to wake up to the reality of that in marriage leaving the other party developing resentment in the process.

Critically important to have an understanding of each other’s money blueprint/history, relationship with money, and attitude towards the subject. This can be determined by meeting with a financial planning specialist or sometimes referred to as a wealth coach.

Couples want to make sure they have these conversations before getting married to avoid future arguments/misunderstandings about finances. 

Things couples should do after they have tied the knot 

After getting married we know that the first phase of marriage is the honeymoon phase where everything is hunky-dory. During this phase everything your partner says is gospel, and there is very little disagreement about values and morals.

My advice to couples is not to get carried away in cloud nine too much, instead, they should sit down to define the purpose of their marriage and create a financial roadmap. Important financial planning considerations at this stage is to draft or update each of their Last Will & Testaments, review life insurance and healthcare plans.

This is also a good starting point to create spending plans that are prudent. We always say that couples should not create a lifestyle that maxes out both their incomes, simply because maintaining that lifestyle should one partner lose their job or a business venture goes belly up, then the couple can still maintain their lifestyle. 

Creating a financial system to achieve long and short term financial goals

The starting point to creating a system is to hire an accountability partner. By this, we mean that the couple should seek the service of a professional financial planning professional to develop the financial roadmap and to journey with you along the way.

This is where the financial planner assesses your current state, discusses your ideal future state, and develops an action plan to get from where you are to where you want to be in the short or long term. Couples should do a great deal of personal financial development by investing time and effort into the subject. Buy books, subscribe to newsletters, and attend seminars are just a few things to consider.   

Savers and spenders – what to do if the couple has different money behaviours  

This can be a recipe for disaster if not dealt with early on in the relationship, way before getting married is even a conversation. Pay attention to the red flags and address them directly and quickly.

Couples need to understand that saving for the future is important and rewarding yourself is just as important. The best way to manage this is to have an agreed spending plan/budget every month. The spending plan directs how the money that is earned by the pair will be saved, invested, and spent.

A proper spending plan coupled with a spending tracker and monthly reconciliations should create the desired money management disciplines in the relationship. The opposite is also true. As a certified financial planner, I’m sure you know which one we would recommend. 

Contract an expert third party to help with your finances before the wedding

Financial planning isn’t only required in the run-up to the wedding. Seeking the assistance of a financial planning professional would be beneficial to the couple’s marriage in the long run for many different reasons.

The way you manage your finances will impact every aspect of your life so it would be wise to do proper research and then appoint a financial planning professional. When you partner with the right person, it will help you manage your finances and ultimately grow your wealth. Be careful that you are not partnering with someone who is eager to sell you products, rather than someone who puts your interest first.  

In conclusion, most people aren’t financially savvy. Getting your affairs in order may seem daunting, however, hiding your head in the sand is not a good strategy. The same way you’re not expected to stitch up your own wounds when you get a deep cut, the same applies to your finances. Get the help you need to start the journey of growing your wealth as a team.

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