You’ve probably heard it a dozen times: in marriage, two become one (Mark 10:8).
This means one bank account and one set of finances.
But let’s back up first. If you’re currently engaged, there are few things you need to be doing now to prepare for your finances to become one. These are things you and your future spouse will be grateful for later on.
We’d encourage you to send this post to your fiancé and work through the list together.
Get Rid of (or Minimize) Your Debt
In a poll we took on our Instagram, over 83% of participants said they currently had some form of debt. I understand you probably won’t be able to get rid of student loans in a year or less (i.e., the length of your engagement), BUT you can pay off smaller debts like credit cards, car loans, etc.
EXTRA: Be sure your fiancé is aware of any debt you currently have. This debt becomes their debt when you get married and they need to have clear financial expectations.
Save, Save, Save
While you’re not yet married is an incredible time to save as much money as you can. Hopefully, you’ve both talked about your financial goals, and one of the best ways to honor your future spouse is to come into the marriage with saved cash that will help you accomplish those goals.
EXTRA: We’re big fans of Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. Start by saving a $1k, then pay off your debts, then save for a 3-6 month emergency fund.
Look, I get it. You’re just ready to get married. This is the one for you, and all you want is to be with them. Pump the brakes for a minute. One of the top stressors in a marriage is money, or rather, lack of money. If you’re in one of these categories, we’d caution you from jumping into marriage just yet: 1) both partners are still in school/college, 2) neither partner has a stable income, 3) you (or your fiancé) have some serious debt and/or poor spending habits.
If this is you, please please please have an objective conversation with your spouse (and maybe even a trusted mentor) about whether or not now is the best time for you to get married or if you need to stay engaged for a while longer.
EXTRA: Communication is key. Have the tough conversations with your fiancé about money now so it’s easier later.
Money is a huge part of marriage, so it’s important to prepare yourself during engagement for a stress-free marriage.