Marriage is undoubtedly one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life. It’s no wonder why, despite the intense feelings people have for their partners, many still cannot make up their minds whether to tie the knot…or not.
Reasons vary in every situation but there’s one thing that majority of us would agree upon when we talk about getting ready for a family life.
It’s the F-word we at Financial Rescue are all too familiar with.
Yep, you nailed it: “Finances.”
When you talk about marriage, it’s almost impossible to separate the topic of financial readiness.
Try telling your parents that you want to get married soon and one response you’re probably going to get is: Are you ready for it?
While it’s not blatantly expressed, they are probably referring to your financial state. If you could read their minds, you’d hear them actually saying: Are you financially ready?
Luckily, it’s a subjective thing. Here we give you our two cents about financial readiness before you pop the question or say I do.
Have a game plan
Think big and plan big because marriage is no small thing.
We all know that marriage will create a major financial change in our life. Marriage comes with financial responsibility. Even the first step towards a married life – your wedding! – entails financial responsibility.
Do you have a game plan for this major shift in your life?
A good plan should involve open communication with your partner. Talk openly and realistically about your finances.
If you are single and not anticipating a married life anytime soon, then this is the best time to lay down your plans.
When the time comes, you will not only be emotionally ready but financially ready as well.
Choose a career path
Marriage is not a responsibility which you can turn away from anytime you want. Should you decide to get married, you should already have a stable job or a career choice by this time. Not choosing which way to go would be unacceptable for an adult who’s had thoughts of settling down.
Your regular job will be a big factor in your income, something that is required of a married person but something that’s not easy to come by if you are not yet sure about what job or career you want.
Working part-time or jumping from one job to another won’t cut it either. You need to have a stable income source even if you are starting a business on the side.
(Note, however, that a stable income has pitfalls, too. Here is an article about the common money mistakes employees make.)
Huge debts are one of the causes of marital strains that could lead to marital failures. Marriage is a responsibility while debts are liabilities. Left unchecked, those liabilities can become a cause of disappointments, bickering, and fewer dinner dates. None of these is good for married couples.
Getting into marriage is like starting a new life. Why not start anew with your finances, too? Or, probably start planning on how to manage your wedding debts?
Don’t forget to invest in yourself
When you become too preoccupied with the responsibilities of married life, you tend to forget about yourself. You stop buying books or going to seminars and skills training because you’d better use the money for your kids or for improving your home. But that would put you at a disadvantage in a job market that is becoming increasingly global and brutally competitive.
You are your biggest asset because you earn from your own skills and experience. You should seek ways to advance your career, which can increase your income and therefore benefit your family in the long run. Invest in yourself and don’t lose the competitive edge that makes you valuable to employers.
Buy a home
Buying your own home is not a necessity but if you can afford to have your own space before you get married, then it will ease up on your finances when you finally have your own family. Imagine not having to pay rent every month. You’d be able to save a lot faster for your other family-related priorities.
However, if purchasing a home is not possible at the moment, you should at least be able to afford to rent a decent space for your family.
Although we are aware of the financial implications of marriage, sometimes it’s easy to neglect financial readiness when all that seems to matter is the romance part. Marriage isn’t about money but whether you like it or not, your finances will be an indispensable part of it and bills will come every month. If you cannot handle it yet, then you need to do better to be financially ready. If you have a wealthy mindset (which we talked about in our previous post), you’d believe you can have the best of both worlds: a great relationship and the financial capacity to take on the real-world responsibilities that come with it.