There are a lot of things to look forward to and be excited about when planning a wedding and ultimately a marriage. The financial aspect of a marriage can be complicated and the most stressful. Last week, February 28th and March 1st, we held two seminars that hopefully helped soon-to-be marrieds feel a little more at ease with their upcoming unions; at least the financial part of it. 🙂
As a reminder to those who attended and for those who were not able to attend, I would like to present some of the key points from the event:
1) Effective communication is KEY: I know some people will read this and think I am being a bit touchy-feely about this, but I promise you that if you want your conversations about money (or really anything for that matter) to be effective, you want to make sure you understand where the other person is coming from. You want to remember that what one person thinks is erratic behavior, the other may think it is perfectly normal. One person may love to eat out and enjoy spending their money that way while the other might think that is an enormous waste. In financial matters it is so important to be united. Did you know money disagreements are the top cause of divorce in our country? Once you feel you understand each other, not necessarily agreeing with one another, then progress can be made and compromise can happen.
2) Having the same goals: There are a lot of things to plan for: buying a home, funding your children’s educations, vacationing, retirement, etc. How do you decide which ones are the most important? Communication. Once you have established common goals, you need to plan, prepare, carryout the plan, and then occasionally evaluate your progress and potentially re-prioritize.
3) Budgeting: This is so critical. I don’t know many people who reached any goal in life on accident or without any preparation. Budgeting helps you bring your behavior in line with the goals for which you are striving. Remember to regularly review your budget and make corrections as necessary. Check out our website for some budgeting tools: http://www.k-state.edu/pfc/budgeting/
Marriage is great, but it can be a challenge. If you follow these principles you will have managed the financial challenges that can arise in a marriage. Congratulations to all who are planning to get married and join their finances with their partner!
Sam Honey Peer Counselor I Powercat Financial Counseling www.k-state.edu/pfc