Updated: December 17, 2020
Getting married is a major life decision. Apart from the changes in lifestyle that marriage brings, it also has a big impact on a person’s financial state.
As such, it is important to have these four considerations, to determine if one is already financially ready to tie the knot and start a family.
Are you both financially mature?
To be financially mature does not mean you are both wealthy, it’s far from it actually. It simply means that both of you are open and willing to talk to each other about money.
I’ve met couples who don’t like talking about their finances with each other. Most would just let one spouse handle all the budgeting and financial decisions.
This is wrong in my opinion. Money issues are often a source of stress in a relationship. And when financial problems arise, couples should be mature enough to work together in finding a solution.
Have you talked about each other’s financial status?
Marriage will tie both your assets and liabilities. Thus, it is important, to be honest with each other regarding your income, and most especially, your outstanding debts.
Talk about each other’s money habits as well. Who’s the saver? Who’s the spender? What are the things you’ll do as a couple to live within your means?
Furthermore, discuss each other’s family. Does anyone have a financially dependent parent, sibling, or relative? If so, how will this affect and fit into your cash flow?
This is a good test of each other’s financial maturity, as both must be willing to lay all their cards. Doing so will help you avoid a lot of financial arguments and disagreements in the future.
Can you afford to get married?
During your financial discussions, do a simulation of your cashflow starting from today until your first wedding anniversary. This is the best way to see if you can afford to get married.
This exercise will help you get clarity, especially on how much you can afford to spend on the wedding. You will also get a realistic view of what kind of life you’ll have as a couple immediately after.
Furthermore, one excellent way to know if you can afford to get married is to study your individual cashflow. If both of you can save at least 10% of your income, then that’s a good sign.
Do you already have a financial plan?
A lot of couples spend so much time and money preparing for their wedding, but fail to plan for their marriage, which is more important.
Discuss and plan for what will happen after the honeymoon. Both of you must be on the same page when it comes to how you want your future to be.
Are you going to buy a house immediately? Or rent a place? Or perhaps live with the in-laws first? When do you plan to have a baby? How many children do you want to have?
While the future is uncertain, it’s still better to have concrete financial goals for the next 2-3 years. You can always adjust and revise your plans as you adapt to your new life as a couple. Best wishes and congratulations!