If you have listened to the podcast for a while, you know we talk about money A LOT. We have an entire episode dedicated to the budget breakdown and we discuss money/fees/costs/value with wedding industry pros we have on. We generally encourage you, our dear listeners, to create a realistic budget, temper insane expectations, stop comparing yourself to the Pinterest Joneses, follow your hearts, and to keep your eye on the prize. We do NOT think it’s a wise idea, or a worthwhile venture, to go into massive debt for your wedding. We try to remind you all to stay connected to your partner throughout the planning process and to strengthen your communication skills. All of this is to lay a foundation for a successful MARRIAGE - not just an awesome party. It’s stressful. It’s expensive. We get it! We’re here to help and today, we are taking a broader look at planning...wedding planning and financial planning. Life planning. Together.
Dan wrote a guide titled ‘How to talk about Money with your Spouse: The Ultimate Guide.’ His business is called ‘Adulting With Money.’ Links below!
Dan is a financial COACH - that’s very different from an advisor, banker, stock broker…He is a professional that helps people (couples) create good habits and teaches the skills necessary to make good decisions financially. He helps couples learn how to lay the foundation and communicate with each other so they can collaborate on financial planning.
Working together, playing on strengths. The work of financial planning and record keeping doesn’t have to be 50/50. One partner might be better at keeping track of expenses than the other. The ‘work’ can be 90/10, but the BIG expenses and decisions need to be 50/50.
Joint accounts. Dan emphasizes that there are happy marriages all over the spectrum on this. But here is the typical successful situation that he’s seen: All the paychecks go to the joint account, and all the bills get paid from the joint account. Then have separate accounts to use for the "fun money" or "spending money". Often, many couples will also set up a few, smaller accounts to park money for a down payment or emergency fund.
Fun money: do it! If you opt to combine bank accounts and have one main pool from which to draw from for big monthly bills, it’s a great idea to still keep a small account individually. It helps make people feel independent. You have may have to tweak the amount after some trial-and-error, but as a general rule, it’s a good idea.
Where to start? Let’s say you’re engaged and you have about a year until your wedding. You want to start talking about budgeting and long term financial planning. Expect it to take about 3-4 months of trying and tweaking the numbers until you get to a do-able sweet spot. It takes some getting used to! Remember that the plan will evolve and that you will make mistakes, but keep your eye on the prize! You can’t predict the future. So start with some estimates and then keep track as best you can so that you can adjust as you go.
Apps help! The links below are all budgeting apps and tools that couples can use to keep track of expenses and stay on the same page.
Links we referenced
Mint: https://www.mint.com/ (the gateway drug for budgeting)
https://www.adultingwithmoney.com/bigwedding - This is Dan’s FREE guide!
“The first thing you need to do is just sit down and have a conversation...Now that you’re together, what are your goals as individuals and how are you going to combine those now that you are going to be a family?” - Dan
“If you’re worried about your partner hiding money from you...that’s not my wheelhouse.” - Dan
“The good news is, there is no perfect way to budget. So you’re not doing it wrong!” - Dan, coming through with some optimism!
“The skill becomes planning ahead, but when something goes wrong... sit down, have a 5 minute conversation, flip some things and then move on. Give yourself and your spouse some grace and some room to make mistakes.” - Dan, with advice we love
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