Wedding Finance

To marry? Remember to talk about money first

Natalie and Dan Slagle are the founders of Fyooz Financial Planning, a financial planning company specializing in counseling couples.

What kind of money conversations should couples have before the wedding day?

Dan: One of the most important conversations to have is about your money education and how you view it. I think this will paint a better picture of what the future will look like in terms of how finances are perceived as a couple. There may be financial trauma related to your upbringing, whether it’s because your parents separated for financial reasons or you don’t fully understand the basics of personal finance because they never talked about money. . Working through these things together is important.

Should all new couples merge their finances?

Natalie: No, but all new couples need to talk about it. We don’t have a rule about keeping things separate or joint. If you decide to keep things separate, there still needs to be transparency.

Dan: Natalie and I sit down once a quarter to review our account balances and monthly cash flow and to discuss short-term goals we want to achieve. We go to a local cafe or brunch to discuss these items and follow up with an activity like a bike ride. Making this meeting enjoyable will help you approach money as a couple.

Do couples have to open a credit card together?

Natalie: For customers who wish to have all their spending transactions in one place, we recommend having a credit card in the name of one partner with the other as an authorized user. The owner must be the spouse who is responsible for paying off the card and/or who has a better credit rating. Being an authorized user on a spouse’s card affects both partners’ credit ratings, so if you’re trying to boost a partner’s rating, making payments on time will help. But this requires a lot of trust, because if one of the spouses goes into a lot of debt, it will hurt the credit ratings of both spouses.

Should all couples have a prenuptial agreement?

Natalie: It depends on your intentions when you decide to get married. There are no situations in which a couple absolutely must have a prenup, but there may be situations in which it is strongly recommended, such as when a partner’s family has wealth that will be passed down from an older generation to the younger generation and can impact that. generation finances. In this case, it may be a good idea to sign a marriage contract or some sort of trust so that if the couple divorces or that partner dies, rules are in place to determine how much of their family heritage will be transferred to the other spouse.

How should couples planning a wedding budget break down expenses?

Natalie: The first step is to understand where the funds will come from to pay for the wedding. Couples are often slow to talk to the family about contributing to wedding expenses, but this will impact how much you should budget. If you’ve never had this conversation before, it may feel intrusive or needy. But sometimes it can be as simple as a yes or no question and being respectful of the answer you get.