While you’ve no doubt drafted a wedding budget for your big day, what about a budget for the rest of your lives together?
Comparison site, Mozo.com.au, has some tips to get the money conversation started and keep it on track to get married life off to a good start.
You may not want to kill the romance but having a conversation about money early is important to understand what each of your intentions are for your money matters as husband and wife. Allow a decent amount of time to cover everything off and make sure there are no distractions, like phones or food, to lead you astray.
Write it down
The best way to kick off the conversation is to get to grips with all of your money matters, both as a couple and individually and be honest about all your habits, remember…for better or worse. What are your individual debts, what are your individual spending habits, do you each have a budget? If not, download your bank statements for a 3-6 month period and make a list of all of your incomings and outgoings on the spot.
If you live together, you may already have a list of joint expenses so write these down separately and check whether these will change post-marriage.
Set your goals
Now that your money matters are on the table, and while your pen and paper is handy, write down your money goals as a couple. Do you want to save for a house deposit, take an annual holiday or repay a large debt? Make a list of the money goals you want to tackle and list them in order of priority. For example, repaying a debt, which is charging you a high rate of interest, should be top of the list while a small sum could contribute to a savings goal and be upped later.
Make a plan
Knowing where you’re at and where you want to get to means you’re in a really good place. Now it’s a matter of making a plan of how you’ll realistically get there and over what time frame. Some questions to cover off could be:
- Will you merge your money and tackle everything together with joint accounts?
- Will you clear individual debts individually before merging money?
- Will you merge some aspects of your finances for joint expenses and joint goals while keeping individual spending separate?
- Will each person be responsible for different aspects of your finances e.g. paying bills, paying debts, saving?
- Will you create a monthly/annual budget, who will track it?
It’s all well and good to make plans but success comes with sticking to it. Make time to check-in with each other one month after you’ve had your money chat to see where you’re at i.e. do things need tweaking? Then check-in again three months later to see if things are still heading in the direction you want i.e. Debt free and Darwin bound by December.
For more money-saving tips for your big day, visit: http://mozo.com.au/weddings