So you’re getting ready for The Big Day. But once the hoopla dies down after the wedding and honeymoon, you and your new spouse have to face the future together. And research suggests that couples who agree on spending and saving do better for the long haul. So to promote a long, happy marriage, here are some key money matters newlyweds should discuss before marrying.
HAPPY COUPLES & MONEY Prepare-Enrich.com surveyed 21,501 married couples and found significant differences in the way happy couples and unhappy couples handle finances. Among happy couples, 89 percent say they tend to agree on how to spend money; only 41 percent of unhappy couples, however, find agreement here. Happy couples reported satisfaction with savings decisions (73 percent), debt (76 percent) and financial decisions (80 percent). Their unhappy neighbors reported dissatisfaction with savings (71 percent), problems with debt (65 percent) and difficulty with financial decisions (68 percent).
Read Related: Financial Matters to Discuss Before Getting Married
The takeaway from this survey? Talk about money now. The more you communicate and understand each other’s views toward spending and saving, the fewer surprises you’ll encounter post-wedding and the happier you’ll be.
DISCLOSE EVERYTHING Happy marriages are built on trust. Disclose all your sources of income and expenses to each other. If you’re going into the marriage with an annuity, structured settlement or some other source, be up front about it—even though it is, technically, yours. You might even consider selling your structured settlement payments to a third-party buyer such as J.G. Wentworth for a lump sum that could be used as a down payment on your first house.
HOW TO BLEND YOUR MONEY Stacy Willoughby, author of “What’s Yours Is Mine: When a Realist Marries an Idealist,” suggests four money-management options for couples: