Starting off on the Right Foot

It can be difficult to manage your own finances let alone when you combine finances with a partner with whom you are planning to marry. Though not easy, the best chances for a successful relationship comes down to your ability to communicate and work as a team. That requires serious conversations and goals regarding many life challenges and opportunities, especially when it come to finances. Following the four points of advice listed below will greatly increase your potential to become financially secure as a couple:

1. Start talking about finances now. Whether you’re about to be married or you’re celebrating a 50th anniversary, the best time to start talking about your finances, debts, budgets, credit and retirement is right now.
2. Write down your goals: Make sure you are both on the same page regarding lifestyle, the things you need vs. the things you want and purchases you might be willing to sacrifice in order to help you reach your long-term goals.
3. Design a budget: Seem like a no brainer but this is challenging to most couples. Whether it’s the envelope method or a Google Spreadsheet, a budget can bring amazing clarity and peace when you carefully allocate income.
4. Discuss your credit: Getting married doesn’t mean your scores will be combined and changing your name will have no bearing on your score as credit scores are tied to social security numbers. That doesn’t mean your partner’s score can’t effect you in positive and negative ways. If it makes sense, seek help repairing your credit so you can start down the most positive financial path together with your spouse.

Partners that start off on the right foot with open communication and honesty about life’s financial choices, family budgets and investments will find opportunities and successes that would otherwise be impossible without a plan.