The 4 Times A Financial Plan Can Save Your Relationship

The 4 Times A Financial Plan Can Save Your Relationship

Financial matters are one of the leading causes of stress in a relationship. Good advice can create a strong foundation for a successful marriage. There are four times you should strongly consider getting advice and updating your financial plan.


See related article:
Money and Relationships: 6 Tips to Navigate the Pitfalls


1. Pre-engagement

Before getting engaged you need to be on the same page with money. If you don't have the tough conversations upfront, you are bound to have trouble later.

Before getting engaged you should:

  • Understand the financial considerations to marriage.
  • Understand the pre-nup process.
    • Learn how the right pre-nups strengthen relationships - not weaken them.
  • Align on your money boundaries.
  • Align on your goals, dreams and fears. They don't need to be the same, they just need to be mutually understood.


2. Post-engagement

Relationships are full of trade-offs and sacrifices. This starts now. Sure, you will have to decide how much to spend on the wedding vs. the honeymoon. More importantly, you are likely to make some of your first big financial decisions together. These could include housing, children, and buying new things like furniture or vehicles.

These decisions matter. They will determine the level of financial freedom or stress you feel for years to come. Before making these decisions, you should do the math and understand the tradeoffs.

You will also have to decide how you will run your financial affairs. Joint? Separately? Who will be responsible for what bills?


3. Immediately post-marriage

Once you are married, you have a number of things to review.

  • Have you updated your will and the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts?
  • Are you getting the most out of your employer benefits?
  • Do you have the right insurance?
  • Do you need to make any changes to your tax withholdings?
  • What debt will be paid down, when?
  • Are you directing the right amount of money to the right accounts to not only minimize taxes, but also make sure you have enough liquidity to build your new life together.


4. Whenever there is smoke

If you have an argument about money you have a warning sign of a bigger problem. Relationships are fragile. Don't wait for fire. When you see smoke, it is time to update your financial plan.


Because fights over money are rarely about the small things. They are about what the small things represent. A fight about money is indicative of a lack of alignment on the big picture. Nothing gets you aligned like a financial plan.


How to update your plan

You can use my tools for free. With the right amount of time and discussion together, that may be all you need. Sometimes it is nice to have a third party help explain my results. In that case I can also connect you to a professional.


Here are other free resources for you to check out:

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