You’ve picked out the rings, maybe even the venue … things are rolling toward your Big Day. But don’t forget an important element of your new life together: getting your financial lives in sync. Talking about finances with your fiancé or partner may not seem like the most romantic topic, but what better way is there to show your loved one how committed you are to a lifetime of happiness together? Here’s how to get started:
1. Have “the talk.” Tell each other where your key financial information (like checking, savings, and investment accounts, mortgages, insurance, etc.), and important non-financial information and valuables (like birth/marriage certificates, titles/deeds for house/cars, jewelry, safe deposit key, etc.) are located. It’s important to understand each other’s financial dreams and plans, so that you know exactly what to do in any unforeseen situation.
2. Meld your financial responsibilities. While your chemistry may be great as a couple, take steps to make sure your finances mesh well together too. Avoid unnecessary arguments or confusion down the road by determining upfront your spending and saving habits, whether you’ll open a joint checking account and if the responsibility of paying the bills will fall to one person or be handled together. The key is clear communication with one another.
3. Contribute to an emergency savings fund. A financial rainy day is never in the forecast, so it’s important to always have at least six months’ worth of income in a savings account, or money market fund, which can pay for the unexpected. If that seems impractical, stash away as much as you can!