Once the honeymoon phase is over, serious topics, like money, can begin to take their toll on a couple’s relationship. If you’re about to tie the knot, here are three smart money moves to make to ensure the two of you–and your finances–live happily ever after.
Be up front about your financial situation
Keep an open and honest line of communication about money right from the start. Ask each other and assess yourselves: are you a spender, or a saver? Do you have any serious financial complications I should know about?
You should know what kind of debt each other carries, what assets you each have and how you plan to structure and manage your finances once you’ve made it official.
Work as a team to reach financial goals
Even if you decide to keep your finances separate, you’ll need to help each other to reach your long-term financial goals. Multiple studies have shown couples are more successful at accumulating wealth when they are working toward a shared financial goal.
Set a meeting once a month with your significant other to discuss your budget, review bills and report your progress on your path toward your monetary milestones.
Consider the three account system
Keeping separate bank accounts is completely fine, but consider also having a joint account for shared expenses, like living costs, grocery budgets, vacations and emergencies. This way, neither party feels like they’re bearing the brunt of the financial responsibility. Your solo expenses, like clothing, entertainment and personal items would still come from your solo accounts.
The key is to keep the conversation about money going regularly. If you build good financial habits from the start of your marriage, they’re far less likely to creep up as a problem down the road.