Are Your Money Styles a Match?
For couples planning their wedding, financial considerations don't end once the caterer's been paid. In fact, deciding on a wedding budget is just the first of many important financial decisions you will make together. To build a strong financial future, you must first understand your own individual approach to money management and then compromise to determine your approach as a couple.
Following are the money styles
The Savvy Saver
The only thing you can recall more quickly than your phone number is your bank balance. You know your budget and you stick to it. You understand that borrowing is an important and useful tool if it is managed carefully. You have goals for the future and a plan to get there. Saving is a top priority for you. You beef up your savings before you splurge on a cute pair of shoes or a cool gadget for your car. You've got top-notch financial habits that will put you in excellent shape for the future. Just remember that it's OK to splurge now and then! Being financially prudent to ensure a prosperous tomorrow doesn't have to come at the expense of those little luxuries that keep you happy today.
Sometimes Savvy, Sometimes Super Shopper
You approach financial issues like a restaurant menu. A little voice tells you that you should have the 'side salad' instead of the 'baked potato with sour cream.' Sometimes you listen, sometimes you don't. You often know what you should be doing with your finances, and at times you are quite disciplined about budgeting and saving, but you can also let it slide when the call of the mall becomes too enticing. You have some idea of your expenses, and know how much money you should be setting aside for any big, upcoming expenses, such as a wedding or a first house. You should write out a manageable budget and find a way to stick to it. The trick for you will be identifying the things that have knocked you off course in the past and develop a proactive plan, like setting aside a certain amount of fun money each week to save towards the splurge items.
"The next round's on me!"
Tax-efficient investing, portfolio diversification, asset allocation - all incredibly boring topics to you; they just get in the way of more important subjects that occupy your day. Your budgeting plan doesn't go beyond the next one or two paychecks. You've felt the pinch of debt, most likely to do with your credit cards. You need to take a careful look at your finances and develop a long-term budget. Reviewing your plan with a financial adviser makes good sense. Having never stuck to a budget in the past, you will need to work hard at developing some discipline. It would be a wise move to set up automatic withdrawals (weekly or monthly) for your savings to make it easier to stick with your plan.
Not surprising, most couples have slightly different takes on life, and money is no different. You don't have to have the same money style as your spouse. But, it's important for you to recognize the differences and find ways to compromise.
Seeking the help of a financial adviser can be useful for couples with similar or very different money styles. Money is an emotional issue and an adviser can offer an impartial viewpoint that is based on financial expertise - not family politics. If you've already found an adviser and have taken steps to discuss your future finances, good for you! Best wishes for a long and happy future together!