For The Love, Of Money
Tying the knot - Financially
If there is anything I have learned in my 34 years on this green and blue rock, it's that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Not that I have read that book to know what that exactly refers to, but I have a hunch it's that us men think differently. Very differently. That is why it is so important, that when you are making the biggest commitment of your life, you communicate, about EVERYTHING.
Not only is your wedding a momentous, amazing day, it is the beginning of a life of sharing.Sharing, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, all of life's incredible experiences. My advice (take it or leave it) is to have a conversation. Simple, right? Well - not always is this the case.
Have you discussed your Wedding Budget? That is a pretty obvious one, but it alludes to so much more about each of your own economic behaviours and styles. Will you have joint bank accounts, will you have a credit card? Do you place all of your expenses on the credit card or just the larger costs? What percentage of your wages will you save? These are all high level, simple questions - but they open the door to so many more important discussions:
Children Yes/No? If Yes, queue a billion other questions: will one of you stay at home during the early years, what about schooling, saving for university/trades?
House Plans - are you going to stay in your current home or move? Do you share the same idea of house/suburb/price?
Career Plans - are you both open to moving if the need arises? Across the country, even overseas?
Insurances - Do you have cover, now that there are at least 2 of you? Life Insurance, Income Protection, TPD, Home & Contents Insurance - the list goes on.
Wills - Do you want your possessions to go fully to your partner? Maybe you want some things to go to sibling?
Importantly, how do you budget? Budgeting is such an important and NECESSARY skill. You cannot stick your head in the sand when it comes to finances. Every day, every decision impacts on your quality of life now and for the future.
Wealth Doesn't Happen By Accident.
When you are having this discussion and inevitably your wedding plans are discussed - keep this in mind: Life is about moments, and it doesn't get much more momentous than your wedding - smart budgeting is about cutting back on what is not important, so you have the resources for what is important. Trust me, your wedding and honeymoon are amazingly important but it doesn't mean go nuts and blow cash for the hell of it. What I mean is, spend it on exactly what you desire.
As for the honeymoon, it is as important that you choose something that you both enjoy. Shantelle and I went to Queenstown, New Zealand. Not what I would expect is a usual honeymoon location, but we had the BEST time. Skiing, the terrifyingly exhilarating Canyon Swing, drinking amazing wine and delicious food. Everything was superb and we made lifelong memories. We also didn't break the bank.
So have a think about your ideas, your dreams and your plans for the future. Be open to your partner's ideas. Start your life together on a solid foundation of open communication and forward thinking. It will make your life together so much more enjoyable!(Originally published DUO Magazine February 2018)