Marriage takes more than just romance. The ever after also requires a good eye for finances.
After the vows have been spoken, the veil cast aside, and the celebration over and done with, you still have the rest of your life together to look forward to. And much like your wedding, there are more than a few decisions that the two of you will have to go through together. More than just being your life partner, your spouse will now be your partner in business as well, and your financial future will be tied to each other.
Talking about money is complicated for anyone, and the two of you may not hold the same beliefs when it comes to finances. It may seem like a romance-killer, but it’s an important aspect of marriage that cannot be ignored. Think of it as a test of your relationship. We do not usually receive an appropriate financial education as we grow up, and the very first encounter we may have with money is probably the first time we receive our salary. In most cases, we barely even make it to the next payday.
This is the reason why financial planning for your dream wedding is crucial. It allows you to make mutual decisions and provides a great chance to create a financial management structure in the marriage. The first order of business, naturally, is to make sure you have a wedding budget. This way, you will both be in a great position of control and will be able to keep track of your costs.
Most couples change their mind many times over about what they want and how much they’re willing to spend on any given part of the wedding. By keeping a record of any changes on your plan, you’ll always be aware of their effect on the total cost, giving you the opportunity to fine-tune your budget. This also goes a long way in reducing the stress that you might experience during your wedding preparations and will also set the pace for your married life when it comes to dealing with day to day expenses.
Sharing your priorities with your fiancé is the start of a successful financial union. Everyone has a different idea of the perfect wedding, so you’ll have to sit down with your other half and identify what’s important to both of you. Is it the wedding venue, the food, the wedding gown, or your honeymoon? Talking about which parts of the wedding are most important will let you come up with a list of priorities, and from here you can agree on how much you really want to spend. The key is to keep communicating when it comes to finances, since this will also help you establish your goals for the future. Buying a home, saving for your children’s education, setting aside a small fund for trips you want to take—these can all be worked out if you plan long before you even take to the altar.
Of course, there are a number of ways to plan, but it’s best to have a strategy that appeals to both of you. Short, medium, and long-term financial goals all require some management, and you should tailor these to your wants and needs. “Wants” could be saving for your dream honeymoon, acquiring beachside property, or buying a sports car. “Needs” could be saving for your first house, building an emergency fund, taking out life and medical insurance plans, or setting up for retirement. Work together to arrive at a structure you both can live with. Will you have one account or two? What are your financial obligations? How much can you afford to save or invest each month? What are your short – long term financial goals? How are you planning to achieve them? These are the things you want keep in mind.
But everything begins the moment you plan your wedding. You can start by negotiating the best deals from your suppliers. With advanced preparation and research before booking them, you should be able save a little here and there. If you’re caught up in your work and don’t have the time to do this, hire a suitable wedding planner who will do the negotiating on your behalf. Planners work with a wide range of suppliers and are very likely to get you good.
Lastly, learn from others. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Look for an expert financial adviser who can guide you in planning. A professional can provide added value, and will ideas that can help you maintain a healthy financial relationship. The key to a successful marriage—both romantically and financially—is to have a clear plan and be fully committed.