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Isn’t it Romantic? Talking about Love and Money

love and money

It’s that time of year again. The Valentine decor and candy are all on a shelf or rack at 90% off; many looking chewed up and ready for the dumpster.  The fronts of stores now have bathing suits and cruise wear as people seek to escape the snow and sleet for warmer climates.  Valentine red has been replaced with Easter colors and candy is still in abundance. Romance may not be surrounding you at every turn in Target anymore, but it’s still in the air as the Summer Wedding Season approaches.

Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you see a videographer hiding behind a column; large baskets of petals being held by two women in the corner; giggling relatives are waiting clumped together for the big moment when she says yes. The waiter walks up to the table carrying a Tiffany blue box on a silver tray and the whole restaurant gasps in anticipation as a nervous young man sinks to one knee in front of the unsuspecting future bride.  He whispers something to her and she bursts into tears nodding her head “yes” furiously.  The man jumps up with excitement:

“SHE SAID “YES”. She said “yes” to discussing our financial futures and exchanging credit scores tonight. If we’re fiscally compatible, we might get married.”

Cue record scratch and the whole place goes silent but the couple is overcome with excitement.

Call me an old softy but I’m blinking back tears. Most wouldn’t find this romantic but I do—romantic and necessary. Love and money are an important part of any relationship.

How to Talk About Love and Money:

According to a Ramsey Solutions study, the second leading cause of divorce is issues surrounding money, and two-thirds of all couples start their wedded bliss in debt. The honeymoon phase might end a lot quicker when spouses realize they can’t make ends meet early in their marriage.

The natural and healthy conclusion is that couples should talk about love and money BEFORE they get hitched. Here are some of the practical money topics that should be discussed with your significant other:

  1. Over a nice meal that you prepare together (maybe leave the wine out of this meal for the purposes of a clear-headed conversation), talk about your credit scores and be honest about personal debt.
  2. Be honest about how much you each make (W2 forms in pink or red envelopes would be a lovely touch).
  3. Discuss the kind of spender you are; reluctant, impulsive, hoarder, human ATM. This may eliminate future surprises with your loved one.
  4. Disclose how much have you saved and how much will you spend on your big day if marriage is on the horizen> (By the way, this is a common source of debt for newlyweds.)
  5. Discuss your boundaries around combining finances in the future. Be honest about issues like a prenuptial agreement and consider meeting with a money professional to establish a solid financial foundation for your new lives together.

While these suggestions around love and money may not sound traditionally romantic, they can actually help you and your future mate to a blissful future. 

Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt-free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today.

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