This is the money conversation couples should have before getting married

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted millions of Americans to put plans, including weddings, on hold.

As 2022 unfolds and we hope the worst of the pandemic is behind us, nuptials are expected to take place in record numbers.

The Wedding Report, a wedding market research firm, predicts there will be 2.5 million weddings this year, the highest number since 1984. That’s up from 1.9 million in 2021 and 1.3 million in 2020. The average engaged couple is expected to spend $24,300 on their wedding this year.

This important life event can be an opportunity for future spouses to make sure they are on the same page with their finances before checking off “joint marriage filing” on their tax returns.

Learn more about Advice and Advisor:

Money conversations inevitably arise when planning the wedding. They can include not only the couple, but also their parents.

“Your financial history is right there, in the room with you,” noted Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, wealth psychology expert and host of the “Breaking the Money Silence” podcast.

When times of financial conflict arise, Kingsbury recommends couples fight the urge to argue and instead ask themselves if it signals that there are “monetary values” that you as partners don’t share.

“It’s an opportunity to have a ‘money talk’ and decide what you’re going to do,” Kingsbury said.

Schedule formal discussions about money

DjelicS | E+ | Getty Images

While these impromptu money conversations can turn into moments of fulfillment, it’s also a good idea for couples to plan a series of formal money talks.

Kingsbury recommends a series of three 30-minute meetings.

For the first, one of the members of the couple takes his partner to his “money island”. The partner who organizes the meeting has the opportunity to explain how he handles money, what he learned about it growing up and how money makes sense to him.

“It’s kind of like taking them on an exploration of how you think and feel about money,” Kingsbury said.

Their partner, in turn, should listen without judgment, as they would if encountering a foreign culture on vacation.

The second 30-minute meeting would give the other partner a turn to share their money beliefs and story without judgment.

During the third 30-minute meeting, the two members of the couple can discuss what they like about their respective approaches to money.

It’s important to highlight the positives, Kingsbury noted. So instead of focusing on the fact that a partner has a lot of debt, note the fact that they may make spending on experiences a priority, for example.

These conversations can be a starting point when deciding how you will manage money together as a couple.

Buckle at a financial expert

As couples work to identify their financial path together, it’s often helpful for a third-party professional, such as a Certified Financial Planner, to make sure they’re on the right track.

Even if the two don’t have a ton of assets or aren’t necessarily high earners, there are financial planners who will work with them, Kingsbury said.

Certified financial planner Dawn Dahlby, CEO and founding partner of Releve Financial, said she recommends couples seek out an expert who can help them identify key areas they may be overlooking when they don’t. don’t know where to get married, how to pay for their wedding or where to go on honeymoon.

“It matters in the short term, but what really matters is the big picture of where you’re going,” said Dahlby, whose company has offices in Woodbury and St. Louis Park, Minnesota. , and Scottsdale, Arizona.

“You need to have a comprehensive financial plan in place before you get married and have a third party come and talk to you and your spouse about those things that you might not even be focused on,” said Dahlby.

Ideally, couples should connect with a professional who will help them create a strategy — like building cash reserves and financial protection — rather than trying to sell them a financial product, she said.

Get in sync financially

Many couples make big financial decisions together before they even walk down the aisle, like moving in or buying a house together. Others may decide that formal marriage is not for them.

Even so, it’s still important to make it a priority to communicate about money, Kingsbury said.

This probably shouldn’t be a topic of conversation on a first date. But you should make it a point to communicate about it as soon as you know you’re serious and committed as a couple, Kingsbury said.

Addressing these conflicts well – and resolving them – can help strengthen the relationship.

“If you have a better relationship with money in a partnership, you often have a higher level of intimacy as well,” Kingsbury said.

Are you planning a wedding in a context of record inflation? If you are taking creative steps to cut costs and are ready to be interviewed for a story, please email [email protected]

Comments are closed.