I got this email from zendough.com that said only one-fourth (24.2%) of survey respondents talked about finances, and created a budget, before getting married. ONE FOURTH. That is NOT a lot of talkin’ going on! What the hell is up with that?
How can you not talk about money? Do you not talk about sex or kids either? Or does “love conquer all?” Okay, well I’ll agree on that last question but still – you know what I’m getting at here ;)
I just don’t see how money can NOT come up when you’re probably dropping $20k on the big wedding day alone. Not to mention the honeymoon, the place you’ll be living at together, etc etc. All that stuff costs money, so unless you’re both filthy rich I don’t see how you can avoid discussing it (not saying that richies don’t need to discuss money – they do – but just that I can see how it may not make $ the top item to think about. Then again, maybe they DO talk more about it due to prenup stuff? Huh…that would be an interesting topic too :) )
Now, I’ll admit the wifey and I didn’t have a clear budget in mind before saying our vows, but we certainly talked about each of our financial situations. She had no debt, wasn’t a credit card fiend, and she wanted to go to grad school in a year or two. Me? I was floating around in la la land spending money per my lifestyle but not enough to get me in trouble or in loads of debt. And I also wanted to buy a Benz! Which to this day 4 years later I still think about, Haha…we also went over how much money we had, and where we had it.
But whether we were financially sound or not, we TALKED about it. Just like we talk about everything else that a boy and a girl (and a boy and a boy, and a girl and a girl) talk about in a committed relationship ;) You have to COMMUNICATE. Which means all the happy lovey stuff that comes along with it, as well as all the $hit baggage we also bring to the table with heavy nervousness. But if you’re hiding piles of debt, or any other crazy financial problems, you better talk about it soon and pray it doesn’t split you guys up! Just like with cheating, you’re gonna get caught. And money has a funny way of changing a person.
Damn, now I’m all fired up. I hope this doesn’t come out too harsh though on those who are genuinely afraid of their money problems and thus holding back on alerting the other (as that’s the only thing I can think of as to WHY two people wouldn’t talk about it). I just want to stress how important it is to go over this stuff early on so that everyone can live a happy & passionate marriage :) Which *always* comes out of trust & honesty!
All I ask is that if you’re about to get married, PLEASE take 2 minutes and ask yourself whether you’ve both gone over this stuff as yet. If the answer is no, take another 2 minutes and jot down a quick snapshot of your finances. Do it on paper, in a draft email, whatever – just make sure that it sums up the financial YOU in a nutshell. Then, figure out a way to convey it to your future wife/husband ;) And if you’re more comfortable emailing it to her, fine. At least you’ve now opened up the discussion! You’ve got to talk about it sometime, so let that sometime be now.
PS: A GREAT read (via Kiplinger): 4 Critical Money Questions to Ask Before You Get Married