Photo by Shelby Deeter
Getting married signals an exciting new chapter in your life. It’s intended as a life-long commitment, which will bring all kinds of shared responsibilities – the most significant of which being financial.
There’s a lot to plan before you get married, and planning a wedding is considered one of life’s most stressful events. But have you thought about what happens after the wedding?
As you prepare to spend the rest of your lives together, it’s important to have some conversations about your finances. From prenups to drafting a will, it’s good to talk about money before you tie the knot.
Here are some difficult conversations to have about money before your wedding.
Your current financial situation
If you haven’t already done so, it’s important to have a conversation about your current financial situations. From your debts to your earnings and your approaches to spending, it’s good to get these things out in the open and understand how you each handle your finances.
It’s not always easy to talk about finances in your relationship, but there are some tips that can help you have conversations with your partner about money. You want to enter marriage without secrets or concerns, so now is as good a time as any to be honest and open.
Your wedding budget
Weddings are expensive, everyone knows this. Even the ‘cheapest’ wedding can still set you back several thousands of pounds. Partners can have very different ideas on wedding budgets and what is affordable/worth spending money on. There are different steps to creating your wedding budget, and you’ll want to arrive at a figure you’re both comfortable with.
As well as factoring your own savings and contributions, it’s possible your families might want to help. Discuss this with them as part of your planning to make sure you can afford your dream wedding.
Your longer-term goals
Are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to your future finances? At what age do you want to retire? Do you want to prioritise holidays and enjoying yourselves over saving for the future? Setting some longer-term financial goals can help you both agree on what your future should be. From saving to buy your first or a new property, to planning on retiring early, start thinking about your life plan. If your ideals are very different, you might need to have some difficult conversations or make compromises.
Whatever you decide, it’s exciting to think about the future and will give you both something to focus on.
It’s an unfortunate fact that many marriages now end in divorce. While the divorce rate in England and Wales has fallen in recent years, it’s still around 40%, which is a lot! While planning for divorce is not something you should do, you should protect yourself as an individual. This will ensure your assets are protected both now and in the future – no matter what happens. You can create a prenuptial agreement online easily. Signing a prenup doesn’t have to be a negative action, see it as a pragmatic approach to uncertainty over the future. Once it’s signed, you can forget about it and just focus on a happy marriage instead.
Who pays for what?
Marriage signals a shift in many relationships. While you might have shared some financial responsibility in the past, this could be the turning point for when your finances become more joined up. You’ll need to start thinking about household contributions – do you split everything 50/50 or does each of you contribute a certain percentage according to your earnings? You’ll also want to think about savings and what will happen if one of you takes parental leave.
Work on a new budget following your wedding to help you both stay on track.
Another thing that nobody wants to think about but is important in a marriage is drafting a will. Have you made a will yet? If not, you should. A will rules out uncertainty and makes things easier for your partner to take care of your finances if something should happen to you. You can meet with a solicitor to draft your will for an affordable price, giving you peace of mind that your affairs are in order.
Money is a difficult subject for couples, but it’s better to get things out in the open before you take your vows than to face these conversations afterwards. Once you’ve got the money chat out of the way, you’re free to focus on your wedding and subsequent marriage, ready to enjoy your future together.