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10 Key Financial Moves To Make Before Marriage
10 Key Financial Moves To Make Before Marriage
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10 Key Financial Moves To Make Before Marriage

Money254
Eunniah Mbabazi
September 8, 2021

Some people don't want to take some time and money to plan for a bad thing that might never happen. It's easier to put it off and live pretending that the bad things will not happen. 

More often than not, a couple planning their wedding is typically full of so much hope and excitement about living their lives together. They may look at the concept of planning for how to deal with various potential problems with their relationship in the future and feel it's inviting bad luck, or take it as a sign of mistrust. 

However, marriage breakdowns happen unexpectedly. When these breakdowns happen, those who took time to prepare for these events come out of them much happier than those who don't.

Here are some things to look into before getting into marriage with your partner.

  1. Indulging in money talks

It is very impactful to have a conversation about finances and get into money talks before marrying each other. It might help understand each other's needs and liabilities financially.

Discussing your financial goals is also very important. Things like the non-earning partner's financial security or existing financial weaknesses, if any, and future financial goals should, as well, be discussed. Read more on money conversations you should have with your partner. 

  1. Managing bank accounts

It's advisable to choose pre-marriage if the partners get a joint bank account or continue with their accounts. However, it is essential to note that the need may differ from a person to another. 

According to various financial experts, having a joint bank account may come with some merits. The first is that money put in the new account is easily accessible to both partners, thus making it much easier for any of the partners to track their financial activities, be it withdrawal, payments made, or any account to account fund transfers. 

This may aid in planning for their financial future seamlessly.

  1. Set up an emergency fund together

With marriage comes various unforeseen expenses which both partners have to bear. From planning to setting up and managing the necessities after the wedding isn't that easy. However, a deep and careful financial assessment and minute planning can be what may save them. 

The account opened jointly could be a cushion that may also contribute to any such unexpected expenditure. This may include medical emergencies, car breakdowns, sudden loss of a job/income, etc. 

It is vital to make a cash reserve of up to 6 - 12 months of all living expenses to act as a cushion against such events.

Learn more>> What is an emergency fund and why do I need one?

  1. Financial assessment and decision-making

Partners should undertake a thorough financial assessment before they get married. Each of them should know and understand precisely where they stand. This assessment should have essential information included about their current financial status. They should also take a look at recent expenses. 

In case both individuals are financially savvy, then a joint decision is always the best. If only one of the partners is financially savvy, then that partner should make decisions that are in the best interest of the couple while informing their partner. Any long term financial goal decisions should be decided jointly.

  1. Invest in an abundant future

Avoiding debt will get you off the downward spiral, but it will not elevate you. Investing is the surest way of going upward on the wealth escalator. The money you have acquired either individually or jointly could be saved in an interest-earning account or even pumped into a profit making business.

  1. Set Financial Goals

Discuss among yourselves. What do you want to do? Do you want to buy a house? A car? Travel the world? Have those adrenaline-packed experiences? Do you have different financial goals? How can you both achieve your financial dreams without cannibalising on each other’s? Start saving for this little by little. You can have a piggy bank in which you can set aside cash needed for your dream.

  1. Apply for life insurance

By deciding to get married, you are committing to "do life" together. As a couple, you and your partner will depend on each other emotionally, and also financially. Getting life insurance will allow you to provide financial security for your soon-to-be spouse should the unthinkable happen.

  1. Who pays the bills?

Discuss how bills will be handled. Who will be responsible for paying which bills? In some cases, one spouse takes care of the bills. In other cases, that responsibility is split between the spouses. 

One might cater for the day-to-day living expenses while the other covers set expenses like mortgage or car payments. It's advantageous to have both spouses engaged in financial decisions, instead of one having total control over everything.

It's also wise to document all accounts, assets and liabilities and the relevant access data in a secure manner. This avoids loss of access in the event that the person in control of the assets passes on. With proper preparation, the living spouse is not put in a situation where they cannot handle the finances left behind properly.

  1. Prior marriages/Relationships

It is important to disclose to your partner whether you are a divorcee or you have children from a previous relationship and maybe having any financial repercussions, or if either party gets or gives alimony, and/or child support. Whether one is the obligor or the recipient. This is crucial information to enhance planning your finances properly.

  1. Get a prenup

A prenup is an agreement entered into by two people - preferably before a marriage - that stipulates how assets will be divided if the two people divorce or their marriage becomes dissolved.

You could get an attorney to help you draft a prenuptial agreement. Be sure to have this done well enough before the wedding day. Both parties should get separate competent legal counsel and fully understand the terms and conditions of the agreement. 

A prenup does not guarantee that an eventual split will have no trouble, but it might lead to a less contentious divorce. This is totally up to you especially since some may see a prenup as a sign that a partner is entering into the marriage in bad faith. 

WRAPPING UP

While it may be understandable to avoid things like finances when getting ready for a wedding, it is a grave mistake. 

Take some time to know and understand each other's financial situations, goals and personalities and plan for how to deal with huge financial issues before marriage. 

It might save your relationship. Financial planning before marriage is crucial before you say "I do".

Eunniah is an experienced business writer and editor. She is also a published author with two titles under her belt; Breaking Down and If My Bones Could Speak. You can find Eunniah on Twitter @Eunnyversal

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