Kendall Jackson shares tips on how engaged and newlywed couples can effectively discuss money.
Currently in the future-Christie household, conversations tend to fall within three different topics: Bobbi (our lovable, entertaining, hilarious puppy), schedule coordinating, and of course, our upcoming nuptials! If you know us, you would agree that we both talk more than the average person. Sometimes, that doesn’t work in our favor, and other times, it’s a good thing!
Why is it a good thing, you ask? Because it gives us the chance to discuss things we may not otherwise. Like our life bucket list; filled with things like “take a hot air balloon ride”, “sail the British Virgin Islands”, and “own a cabin”. We would love to be able to check off those items fairly easily, but it takes planning; planning on when, and more importantly, how.
That’s when the discussion turns from listing out our fun life goals to saving money, and what we need to save to make our goals happen. Throw planning a wedding into the mix, and the conversation can get long and sometimes tiresome.
When this happens, we take a step back and remember three of our goals for money and marriage:
1. Pay off all debt
2. Save for retirement
3. Achieve life-long goals and live the lifestyle we want (bucket list included)!
These goals are much more intertwined than you would think. The amount of debt we have helps determine the lifestyle we can live, and when we want to retire determines how much we need to be socking away today.
So what happens if you haven’t had the financial conversation? If you don’t know how much your partner is saving, when they want to retire, or what their life long goals and dreams are?
1. Start with the fun part!
Draft your joint bucket list together.
2. Ever played the game M.A.S.H?!
Play the REAL version and learn how much your lifestyle will cost. This will give you a picture of what your realistic household income needs to be to live the lifestyle you want!
3. Discuss debt and retirement savings.
How much do you have together? What will you need to have to live the lifestyle you want and check off those bucket list items? A financial plan will help you reach your goals faster. Most importantly, don’t wait to have the financial conversation. Setting joint expectations is useful, especially when you are going through the wedding planning process.
It helps to have another person keep the wedding spending in check by reminding you of your other joint goals, dreams, and wishes!
What do you have on your financial conversation checklist? Do you talk about both money and marriage together?
Written by Kendall Jackson
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).