Saying “I Do”
Congratulations on your engagement/wedding! Listed below, you’ll find a list of what we think are the most important Do’s and Don’ts as you start married life with your partner.
Talk to your significant other about money
Like most behavior and ideology, we learn how to feel about and use money at a young age. Therefore, discussing the beliefs you and your partner have about financial topics will likely be eye-opening and help you think about your financial future together.
Here are some questions to get started:
- What does money mean to you? Why is it important? What is your money’s mission
- What did you learn about handling finances growing up? Should we set a budget together?
- Should we discuss larger purchases? If so, what dollar amount?
Keeping a line of communication open about your finances is really important. Consider reviewing your financial goals, budget, savings, and net worth together at least a couple of times a year.
Organize your accounts
You’ve probably developed a system where certain accounts are used for specific purposes. Have a conversation with your partner to decide how you’ll continue those practices in marriage.
- Do you plan to combine accounts?
- Which accounts will pay for what expenses?
We’ve found that these are some of the essential questions to answer to avoid confusion down the road.
Handle debt together
How will you decide to tackle current or potential debt as a couple? You can create a framework now of how you’d like to deal with debt throughout your marriage.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Not all debt is bad debt—especially long-term debt with fixed and low interest.
- Categorize your debt by interest rate. Generally, prioritizing the payment of high-interest debt can help you decrease debt more quickly and start saving sooner.
Plan for emergencies
We think it’s good to set aside 3 to 6 months’ worth of spending in an emergency fund—used only in financial emergencies, accidents, or job losses. You may have different “cushions” that make you feel comfortable, and it’s good to understand that to reduce the stress of money in your relationship.
It’s also an excellent time to update your account beneficiaries to reflect where your money will go if anything were to happen to you.
Don't procrastinate savings
Saving money isn’t something you should procrastinate. Any amount that you can regularly save is a great start. Review your savings capacity and increase your regular savings amount when you can.
Your dedication will pay off!
Don't spend more just because you have more
We know it can be tempting to spend more money after adding another person’s salary to your own. While it doesn’t hurt to spend money on things that are important to you, if that spending is a detriment to saving money with your partner or paying necessary expenses, it’s probably time to take another look at your budget as a couple.
Jacobson & Schmitt Advisors, LLC (“JSA”) is a registered investment advisor. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where JSA and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice, and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security.