If you are looking to get married and buy a home, you are probably fluttering with excitement. However, these are all very big steps to take in your relationship and in your life, which is why it is worth both of you taking some time to review your financial wellness and stability to ensure you have a happy and prosperous life together.
#1 Take A Financial Wellness Assessment Individually
You should know where you personally stand financially before sharing that information with others. This means looking at your own income, expenditures, and how those things may change when you get married. Think about your savings, your credit, and your financial goals.
Create an individual and a shared debt reduction plan that will help you both conquer any debts you have and free up your cash flow. If you are going to save for a home or a big wedding, go ahead and come up with budgets and plans for those decisions now.
#2 Be Prepared To Talk About Your Current Financial Standing, And Your Previous Financial History
If you have financial baggage, it’s best to expose it early on so you can devise a game plan together as a couple. A relationship is all about working as a team, but a team can't function properly if there are secrets lurking around.
Say you've had a bankruptcy in the past. That's something you can bounce back from together through some strategic credit repair steps and carving out a solid path forward into credit card usage and budgeting.
#3 Foster Regular Money Discussions. And Make It A Judgement Free Zone
Financial planning should be part of a regular dialogue. This is the best method to prevent your partner from becoming your biggest financial enemy. Too often, finances become a sensitive topic within a marriage and it has broken far too many.
Here are some topic ideas:
- What were some of the important financial lessons you learned while growing up?
- How often do you plan on making/taking vacations/trips?
- Should we be renting or owning a home within the first few years of marriage?
- Do you want to have children? How many? When?
- What are your specific career goals and do any of them involve self-employment?
- What does financial independence mean to you?
- What activities are you looking forward to when you become financially free?
#4 Create Financial Habits Together
Finally, determine how you’ll manage finances as a couple. Think about joint or individual bank accounts, becoming authorized users on the other's credit card, and other mergers that can make or break a marriage's financial stability. If you go ahead and start the conversation about financial health now, it will make a lasting positive impact on your relationship.
Are you considering the possibility of purchasing a house as an unmarried couple? Read up on the three things you should do to protect both parties.
If you need more advice on how to prepare for purchasing a house, our team of mortgage experts at Horizon FHA Loans is always here to help.