Armed with detailed spreadsheets and statements—I recently had the “let’s combine our finances” talk with my new fiancé.
Despite past conversations about our income levels—I earn more—and some other issues, we’d never really bared our financial souls. But we wanted to get our finances in sync before the wedding next August.
I was so nervous that my palms were sweaty. My own parents fought constantly about money, and eventually divorced. I wanted us to be a team, even if (just for now) I’m supplying more on the cash front.
Guess what? There were some surprises, a little negotiating, and ultimately a plan.
He was surprised by my $20,000 in student loans, just as I was shocked by his $20,000 in credit-card debt (mostly from an over-budget home reno).
While $40,000 is no bouquet of roses, we agreed that paying back as much debt as we can before the wedding was our top priority. At the same time, we plan to save. Here’s the breakdown:
-Pay off the $20,000 in credit-card debt completely at a rate of $2,000 per month. My student loans have a much lower interest rate, so we can pay the minimum for now.
-Save $500 a month to boost one savings account from $3,000 to $10,000 to cover our contribution to the cost of our wedding.
-Prep my home to become a vacation rental, since we’d take a hit if we tried to sell in this market. (We’re moving in together now, but we’d like to keep my house, if we can.)
It’s an aggressive plan, and it means no Monique Lhuillier wedding gown for me. But having a strong, unified fiscal start to our new life is worth a lot more to both of us.
Say “I Do.” Share your best tips for having a happy, healthy financial relationship.
-Heidi Frounkeiler for DailyWorth
DailyWorth is a free daily email about money management for women. We deliver practical tips on self worth, net worth and everything in-between. Sign up and you’ll steadily master all aspects of money management from earning to saving to planning and investing—to become the financial powerhouse you always wanted to be.
GIRL TALK TIME: Have you shared finances with your man yet? How did you figure it out? Have you ever had money issues with your guy?