Congratulations, you finally got the guts to get down on one knee and propose to the love of your life. But before you say “I do,” you might want to double check your bank accounts. Here are some money matters to have in order before you walk down the aisle and some valuable resources to help you determine your financial position:
1) You know each other’s financial standings.
- Too many couples dodge discussing money matters. Ideally, you should have covered this before your engagement, but it is vital to discuss it before your wedding. Discuss everything from spending habits to credit card score to debt. Lay it all out on the table—if one party isn’t willing, I’d say that’s a red flag.
2) Both of you have solid credit card scores.
- You two are going to have a hard time making important financial decisions as a couple (such as purchasing your first home) if either one of you has bad credit. If you aren’t sure of your credit card score, I recommend checking out one of several free services you can find online(like Credit Karmaor Credit Sesame) to get a solid estimate.
3) Neither of you are in significant debt.
- With student loans and other commonplace sources of debt, there is a good chance that at least one of you has some outstanding debt. I know it’s not always realistic for all debt to be paid (especially if one or both parties are still in school) but I highly, highly recommend paying off as much as possible before getting married. If necessary, seek out debt consolidation advice (CreditGUARD is a good, affordable one) that can help you find debt relief. Remember: you are held liable for your spouse’s debt.
4) You agree on a realistic budget for the wedding.
- Your wedding and honeymoon are your largest and most immediate expenses. We all want a dream wedding, but it should also be realistic for your budget. Carefully map out all potential expenses. Wedding Wire has a great wedding budget feature that includes those little expenses you might have forgotten.
Your wedding should be a joyful and loving time that precedes a beautiful marriage. Don’t let financial matters cloud your special day. Be smart and be proactive.
Author Bio: David Moran is good with money, photography, and “Call of Duty.” He splits his spare time between his personal finance blog Finance for Your Future and practicing his photography. He currently lives with the love of his life and three rad kids in Chicago.
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