There you are, down on one knee (or perhaps they’ve gone down on one knee), ready to pop the question. A thousand-and-one thoughts flow through your mind as you ask your partner, “Will you marry me?” As the words leave your lips, your brain begins to wonder… what about our banking? Do we need two accounts or one? Will we buy a house with financing, or will we rent? Are we going to have to talk about a prenup?
Breathe deeply and take this engagement journey one day at a time. When you are ready to talk finances with your future spouse, consider the following financial topics.
Paying for the Big Day
The tradition implies that the parents of the happy couple will cover the cost of your wedding. However, you may want to write your own checks to cover the most or all of the expenses. Make sure that you and your partner are on the same page about what you want to value on the big day.
Maybe you want a popcorn machine, and they want a grand piano. Or perhaps you would like to buy your wedding party sandals, and they want to wear an expensive belt under their tuxedo. Whatever the costs, write them down and talk through your lists together. Your wedding day is the first Big Day of the rest of your lives, so you’ll want to start off by compromising where you need to.
A prenuptial agreement (“prenup” for short) is a contract drawn up between two people before getting married. The prenup lists property, assets, and even debts for each person. The agreement, like most legal agreements, specifies each person’s rights to said property after the marriage.
While prenups are often thought of as protecting wealthy parties, even middle-class couples are writing these agreements for their purposes, often in order to:
- Separately provide property to children from prior marriages
- Clarify financial rights during marriage
- Avoid ugly arguments in case of divorce
- Get protection from one another’s debts
A prenup is not required for marriages, but it’s a topic that should be on the table for conversation, even if you agree it’s not right for you.
If you decide to combine finances, talk to your bank about a joint account that you and your partner can share. It can be the only one you have or a second, shared account for paying the bills and common expenses. If you choose to share a second account, you’ll like the privacy of your first account for surprise gifts, special occasions, and to keep a bit of independence during life’s journey together.
Owning a Home
Finding a place to call your home, together, requires heavy discussion and compromise. Get the conversation started long before you marry. One or both of you may have to refocus savings habits or even relocate for work. Take an honest look at your accounts and discuss your priorities.
Health & Life Insurance
Do you both have great health and life insurance coverage, or is one of you getting significantly better premiums at their job? Perhaps, if a child is in the near future for you, you want to hop on the same plan to keep all of your health concerns in one place. Knowing each other’s life insurance policies, and having the difficult conversations to plan for the future, can get a lot on the table from the start, so you don’t have to worry about it later.
You don’t need to wait until the knot is tied to start having insurance coverage conversations. Discuss your options with your Farm Bureau Insurance agent today. Get started by finding an agent near you with our Agent Finder.