This morning I was sitting over a cup of coffee, scanning the internet for advice on finances after marriage. To my delight I came across a blog post by Dave Ramsey, a big name in the financial consulting world. You may of heard of him. He’s big on money management!
In his Newlyweds blog post Ramsey drops some knowledge for you and your partner to follow. Let’s review what he covers.
Ramsey begins by saying that fights over money problems have been the leading cause of divorce for decades. He goes on to says that getting on the same page with your spouse creates a strong foundation for a healthy, lifetime marriage, especially is you begin talking about money before you say “I do”.
Put It All on the Table
“Transparency is the key” Ramsey says. Lay out exactly what your current individual situations are openly and honestly, including how much debt you still have and what your views of money are. You might want to discuss what your parents taught you about money—and what you do and don’t agree with—kindly, of course. Criticism and judgmental attitudes are not welcome from either party.
“Marry” Your Accounts
When you get married, combining your money into joint accounts is a crucial step. You are becoming one. Keeping one area separated can lead to others, and you want to set a precedent from the get-go. Working together from a shared account brings honesty, unity and a sense that “we’re in this together!”
Start Budgeting Together
Once you are married, it’s time to put your combined income and expenses on paper, on purpose, and determine what a typical month is going to look like. It’s good to go ahead and practice budgeting together once you get engaged. That way, you can go ahead and make adjustments so things are set up to work smoothly when game time finally comes.
Make A Plan
Once everything is on the table, determine what Baby Step you are on—as a couple! InDave’s Seven Baby Steps, he makes it easy to plan. For example, if you were on Baby Step 4, but your wife is on Baby Step 2, then guess what? You’re on Baby Step 2 now. But that’s all right! You love this person with all of your heart, so taking “their” debt as “our” debt is a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. Set priorities together and make a plan for moving through as a team.
Put Your Relationship First
Whatever you do, don’t stress! It’s just money. Your relationship is so much more important. Getting on the same page with money is extremely helpful, but it’s not the ultimate end all, be all. Just keep that in perspective when you come to the table together.
As you begin navigating these things together, you’ll be building a stronger marriage, future and family tree! Congratulations on your decision to make this a priority from the beginning, and blessings on your marriage!
Keep it real!