Ahhhhh! You’re engaged!
So you probably know your partner pretty well right? Like, you’ve likely already talked about all those “ever after” topics such as where you will live, if you’ll start a family and ya know, life goals. But there is one mistake that newlyweds make which underlies all of these discussions that many couples fail to address properly.
That’s money y’all!
Sometimes, just like a bad relationship (hopefully not like the one you’re in now), we love it and we hate it. But hey, as crazy as it sounds, treating money like you are actually in a healthy relationship with it is a really good thing to do. And it works. Seriously. Pay attention to it. Have a good attitude toward it. Appreciate it, protect it, care for it properly and it will return the favor. This was a little take-away from the book “You’re A Badass At Making Money” by Jen Sincero. And it has just stuck.
…And also, can’t it just be EASY?
Check it out:
We wanted to dive a little deeper into this money thing to find out exactly HOW to deal with the money issue for engaged couples or newlyweds BEFORE they say “I do”. So we talked to our friend Tim Jester, a Nashville financial planner and wealth manager who helps couples create a plan for financial success in their relationship for the long haul.
Tim is great at taking a couple’s current financial story and helping them write the plot for a joyful and successful journey that leads to a happy ending. In other words, he helps couples find money success by giving them achievable, wealth-building skills for getting ahead while helping them implement easy money-saving strategies. He also provides professional guidance around all the money pitfalls that could lead to stress and pain in the relationship, which can ultimately lead to the big “D.”
According to Tim, “Lack of communication around spending and saving is one of the main reasons cited by couples looking for divorce.” Whoa. That’s no bueno.
So where do couples start in all of this? Tim says, “Most couples do not seriously talk about money at all before marriage. We live in a world that doesn’t like to slow down but I promise if you slow down, think about, discuss and ultimately find unity around finances you will save yourself a lot of pain.”
months)Below is a list of 10 questions he recommends couples ask themselves to get the conversation going.
- What purpose does money play in your life?
- How important is money in your life?
- How did your family handle money and how has this shaped your view of money?
- Are you a spender or a saver?
- Do you like giving money away?
- Do you plan on having separate accounts or combined accounts? Why?
- Do you have any financial goals? What are they?
- Do you have any debt? What is it? How much is it?
- How do you feel about credit cards?
- What should our financial life look like together?
Great questions to get the ball rolling and to start on the road to long-term financial (and relationship) happiness.
We asked Tim this question: “What is the one piece of advice you would give engaged and newly-married couples about money? He says, “Save early and save often. Find someone who can help you determine an amount to save, help you automate your savings so you don’t have to think about it and then challenge you to keep saving more. It is impossible to save too much money and nobody is saving enough. I’ve never met anyone, single, married or divorced, who is getting older and says, “I have plenty. There’s no way I’ll run out before I die.”
Yeah, we’ve never heard that either, Love this advice!
Bottom line: Have that money discussion with your partner.
Tim advises couples to get together and devise a plan to save the money necessary to achieve their dreams and work on them together as shared goals.
The wedding and honeymoon are actually two great ways to put this into practice. Tim warns against putting the wedding or honeymoon on a credit card and says, “If you don’t have the money to pay for the wedding and honeymoon you want, wait until you do” Going in debt for your ceremony and trip is “literally starting your marriage off in a financial deficit. However, working together toward them will serve to start out the marriage by strengthening the relationship right up front, because you’ll be working together for a common goal”
“Never give up what you want most for what you want today.”
Tim sums it all up this way. “Our culture has forgotten what it means to delay gratification. Most of us are worried about the next best phone or car or house and do not spend time thinking about what life will look like someday when work is no longer an option. For most people the period of life when they will be too old to work but still need money could be as much as 1/3 of their life. Make sure you don’t get caught in the trap of spending everything you have and not putting anything back for the future”.
Thank you so much to our friend, Tim Jester for taking the time to share all this great information.
If you’d like to talk to Tim personally and sit down with your partner to create a financial plan for your future, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (615) 377-2935. Or click here to read his professional bio.
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