BY JONATHAN WALKER
Congrats if you are getting married! One of the best books for couples (in my opinion), is Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages. Financially speaking, there should be a money counterpart. Learning how you and your spouse will relate to money as one, takes time. Here are five items you can implement that will help you learn your spouse’s financial love languages while combining things financially. It can also help avoid the pitfalls that can easily take place concerning money in your marriage.
Create a budget. A budget is one of the best tools for financial success. It’s easy to set one up, and there are a number of free online tools you can use. To help ease the tension of “new couple” spending, set a purchase limit. Over time, you will learn more about how your spouse relates to money by using a budget.
Set financial goals. It’s a good habit to start setting goals immediately. Write them down and review them often. Set short, mid and long-range goals. Start with $3,000 in an emergency fund.
Have budget meetings often. My wife and I have quarterly budget meetings. It’s important to discuss your financial goals; the amount of debt you each have and what goals you want to accomplish. Maybe one of you fell short in your responsibilities monetarily – this is a good time to discuss that as well.
Update beneficiary information. This could include life insurance, 401k plans, IRA accounts and beneficiaries in legal documents.
Postpone the home purchase. Even if you have dated a long time, marriage comes with adjustments and these adjustments can be stressful. Take a little time to get to know each other and let your marriage settle. Have some fun! You need to get your financial goals in order first, then you can look at a home purchase down the road.
If you want to explore this further, feel free to give our Gallatin office a call at 615.461.8653, or check us out at paulwinkler.net. We can set up a free initial consultation to determine if our office can help you with your current situation.
Jonathan Walker, CFP®, RICP®
*Advisory services offered through Paul Winkler, Inc. (“PWI”), a Registered Investment Advisor. PWI does not provide tax or legal advice; please consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your particular situation. This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed to be a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities.