Wedding and Finances – 3 Essential Financial Steps Before Saying “I Do”

  • AUTHOR: editor
  • POSTED ON: May 23, 2023

Picture yourself at a charming little bistro, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air. As you ponder the beginning stages of a blossoming romance, a question lingers in your mind: how do you approach the delicate subject of money with your potential life partner?

Drawing from my own marriage and my journey of empowering women toward financial independence, I present to you three invaluable tips for navigating those early money conversations. So, take a seat, savor your cup of coffee, and let’s delve into this important topic together.

  • Initiate the Conversation – Even If They’re Uncomfortable

While it may not be necessary to delve into the nitty-gritty details on a first date. However, when your relationship reaches a point where a long-term future is being considered, you can make money conversations less awkward by prefacing your questions with non-judgmental statements.

Here are a few conversation starters that can help you approach money discussions with a positive perspective:

  • What are you currently saving up for? What makes that goal important to you?
  • When it comes to spending money, what brings you the most joy? Conversely, what types of expenses do you prefer to avoid?
  • How has your family influenced your views on money and financial management?
  • Are you actively involved in any investment ventures? What draws you to those particular investment opportunities?
  • At times, financial worries can creep in. Are there any aspects of your finances that cause concern or anxiety?
  • Dealing with debt can be challenging. How do you personally feel about debt and its role in your financial life?

In a study conducted on American couples, it was revealed that 32% of respondents admitted to keeping a financial secret from their partner. What’s even more surprising is that a staggering 50% of those individuals have no intentions of ever revealing this hidden information.

Interestingly, I have yet to encounter someone who doesn’t harbor some form of shame or guilt when it comes to money and feels entirely at ease discussing the topic. This includes my own spouse during the early stages of our relationship.

Based on data from Pew Research, it is found that in 29% of modern marriages, both spouses earn approximately the same income, while in 16% of marriages, the wife serves as the primary breadwinner. Despite these statistics, it is still common to witness many women relinquishing financial decision-making to their husbands.

Prior to expecting your potential partner to divulge the intricate details of their financial situation, it is essential for both parties to have clarity regarding their own financial standing. This involves calculating your total net worth, securely storing this information, and consistently updating it.

By having these numbers readily accessible, you and your partner can engage in more direct and factual discussions about your individual circumstances, including the combination of accounts and any unique aspects of your financial situation. This approach paves the way for more informed money conversations between you and your partner.

  • Budget Together

Even if you and your partner maintain separate budgets, establishing a routine of sitting down together as accountability partners can foster transparency not only regarding your partner’s income but also their spending habits. This practice creates an ongoing dialogue about priorities, and stresses, and opens the door to jointly finding solutions to address any financial challenges.

By regularly sharing this information, you gain insight into each other’s financial dynamics and can work collaboratively toward finding resolutions. This approach nurtures a deeper understanding of each other’s financial priorities and strengthens your ability to support one another in achieving financial stability and shared goals.

  • Don’t Overlook Gender Gaps

It is crucial for both partners to recognize that despite significant progress, women still face substantial disparities and overall wealth. I have personally witnessed women of color, myself included, experiencing feelings of shame due to earning less or possessing fewer assets compared to our partners. The reality is that achieving true financial equality remains an ongoing journey, and there is still a considerable distance to cover before attaining a level playing field.

By acknowledging these disparities, we can work towards creating a more equitable financial landscape that empowers women and ensures equal opportunities for all. It is essential to support and uplift one another, fostering an environment where women’s financial achievements are celebrated and their unique challenges are addressed with empathy and understanding.

It’s important to recognize that initiating conversations about money can be challenging for both partners, particularly considering external factors beyond your control such as inflation, economic downturns, and financial volatility, which can contribute to money-related stress.

In light of this, I highly recommend openly sharing your respective money stories and actively encouraging your partner to do the same. Regularly discussing financial details and experiences from the early stages of your relationship helps foster a foundation of trust and openness, enabling both of you to make informed financial decisions together in the long fun.

By establishing this relationship dynamic, you can navigate the complexities of money management as a team and work towards achieving your financial goals.

Remember, true financial intimacy begins with open and honest conversations about money. It’s in these vulnerable moments that we build a foundation of trust, understanding, and shared decision-making, creating a solid path toward long-term financial harmony.


Updated May 23, 2023
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