Couples getting ready to walk down the aisle tend to spend a lot of their time focused on things like flowers, color schemes, meals, playlists, guest counts, etc. However, experts say that there is a major part of creating a “happily ever after” that is often not discussed before the long awaited walk down the aisle: finances.
Before you commit to forever with your partner, it is extremely important that you first discuss some strategy for how you plan to make financial decisions. The financial decisions that couples make in the early years together have a huge impact on their future income.
Everyone’s situation is unique, but it all comes back to one simple principle — the earlier you have the conversations about money and the sooner you take action on that discussion, the better off you’ll be.
Financial talk in the midst of wedding planning can seem like it might be a buzz kill, but money is a leading catalyst for marital disputes and a top cause for divorce, according to experts. Wouldn’t you rather have a potentially difficult conversation now, before you’ve committed the rest of your life to someone, than a difficult conversation down the line that could end your marriage?
Couples should understand they are likely to run into disagreement about one or more aspects of finance, but what matters most is how they handle it.
Here is a list of questions to get the conversation started, click here for more:
- In case of an emergency, do you know where your financial and legal documents are?
- How confident are you in taking full responsibility for your retirement savings strategy?
- Everyone pictures retirement differently. What does yours look like?
- You just received a large tax refund. What are you most likely to do with it?
- Who manages your day-to-day household finances (paying bills, deposits, budgets, etc.)?
- When it comes to investing for your retirement, who takes the lead?
More than anything, you want to ensure that you and your fiancé discuss items like these BEFORE you get married. Half of your stress can be eliminated just by making sure that you and your future spouse are on the same page when it comes to your finances. You don’t have to agree on everything. But you want to make sure you share similar viewpoints when it comes to managing debt, budgeting and your future goals. A shared financial vision can go a long way toward ensuring you both live your happily ever after.
According to a recent Pew Study, researchers found that the overall quality of life for parents is decreasing as the work-life balance becomes increasingly difficult to maintain. This is in part because, more than any other time in history, both partners are working full time positions. There are several discrepancies in the data, which shows that college-educated workers are more likely to feel like they aren’t getting enough family and leisure time. One suggestion is that non-college-educated workers are more likely to work hourly. As such, they may be less likely required or expected to work off the clock. However, they more likely have less daytime flexibility or paid leave options.
Either way you look at it, work-life balance is a delicate thing, especially for married couples— and even more so when children are involved. But here’s a few things you can do to restore that balance and maximize your marriage’s potential.
Set Work Boundaries
This is hugely important and easier said than done. Make sure that your time in the office is productive so that you don’t take any work home with you. Once you step outside of the office, you should be living your life the best you can. When work comes home with you, it may send a signal that your job is more important than your spouse. Take a break from the daily grind, and spend that precious time with the one you love. If you have kids, the same principle applies to them, too!
2. Schedule it if You Must
For some people, their job is an all-day affair, and nights and weekends are never ruled out for work. In that case, make a schedule and stick to it for the sake of consistency. Maybe spend a block of time on Sundays in your office, but outside of that you’re looking at time with your family. Doing this gives everyone in your home some degree of expectation for their spouse or parent.
3. Set Quality Time
It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of a quality vacation. Every once in awhile, you need to be able to step back and remove yourself from the usual stimuli that bombard your senses at work and at home. Now, vacationing can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of sites out there offering tips on how to travel on a budget, and sites like Kayak and Google Flights help you find affordable airfare across the globe.
But who said anything about vacation meaning skipping town? Sometimes a vacation can mean classing it up at home, and doing something out of the ordinary. Why not check out these suggestions for a low or no-cost weekend afternoon?