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Newlyweds: Marriage & Finance

Wedding season is upon us and while love is in the air, it’s important to make sure any wedding check list has couples covered on more than just the big day.  Before they tie the knot, couples need to address how compatible they are on longer-term and critical lifetime issues, including money and finance. Money is often cited as one of the leading causes of stress in marriage so it pays, in more ways than one, to know the kind of financial marriage you may be getting into with your soon-to-be spouse. 

 

Ideally, all assets should be viewed as "ours" not just “mine.”  That requires honest and open communication on the part of both parties.  It is critical that P = I in discussions (Perception = Intention).  The perception of the listener must be the same as the intention of the speaker. When P = I you have conformity but when P does not equal I, you have conflict.

 

Debt is the great American issue that must be dealt with and eliminated. That requires adherence to a well organized budget. Who serves as the family CFO is based upon who has the desire and the skill set to manage the family finances, including bill payment.  The other partner needs to be kept abreast of financial activities but does not need to be the one managing the budget.  It is vital that the couple agree upon the difference between needs, wants and desires, especially when children are on the scene.  Families are to provide needs but not necessarily wants or desires. 

 

Understanding the five principles of meaningful money management -- earning, saving, giving, budgeting, and spending -- form the basis of a well managed household. 

 

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