If you’re in the midst of wedding planning, you probably have enough on your mind already. After all, there are guest lists to create, seating plans to create, caterers to solidify, and cakes to taste—not to mention wedding dress shopping, picking a venue, and hiring a photographer!
Yes, while it can be overwhelming to plan your wedding, it’s just as important that you and your spouse start planning for your future together, too. Doing this sort of thing sooner than later can make a world of difference when it comes to setting up your and your wife or husband-to-be up for success later in life. Here are just a few ways that you can begin to plan for your future together.
Visit a Pre-Marriage Counselor
Many people think that therapy is only for people that are facing issues, but in actuality visiting a counselor can be an important component of preparing for your impending nuptials. This is because it’s sometimes easier to talk about difficult topics by having an intermediary who’s trained in facilitating these sorts of conversations.
From discussions about religious philosophies to whether or not you want children and how much debt you have, talking through these important topics in the presence of someone else can make things much more productive than trying to hash things out on your own in your living room. Best of all, having these sometimes-emotional conversations prior to when you truly need to address the issues in real-time allows you to be on the same page well in advance.
Get On a Budget
Once you’ve talked about your finances, it’s time to plan for how you’ll budget for things after you’re married. Setting up a joint bank account and understanding where your money’s going is an important aspect of successfully running a joint household together. You may even want to practice budgeting by really taking a hard look at your wedding planning and dialing in a few purchases.
For example, you may want to shop around for diamond rings online instead of in person. This can often give you a wider range of options, such as lab-created diamonds, well-made simulated diamonds, or other sales that heavily reduce the cost of such an important component of your wedding. Especially when ethics are concerned, it’s wise to avoid earth-mined diamonds and opt for lab-created sets instead.
Talk About Future Goals
Discussing things like when you want to retire and how you want to pay for your children’s college and schooling is another important plan to get on the same page about. While it’s likely that you’ll be buying a house together in the future, most couples don’t have the wherewithal to pay for a home in cash. That being said, with smart investing, you may be able to fund a lot of your kids’ schooling costs or early retirement.
Using a portfolio rebalancing tool is an excellent way to go about managing your investments, especially if you have specific targets and goals in mind. Particularly if you want to save on high-cost fees while still having your investments managed well, a rebalancing tool can help you build your nest egg much more simply.
Hold Each Other Accountable
Remember, you and your spouse are a team, so it’s important that the two of you are on the same page as you work towards building a life and a happy future together. This sometimes means finding ways to gently remind each other of what you committed to from a place of love instead of passive aggression. Although it might seem awkward, visiting a counselor before you walk down the aisle can help you and your partner clarify where you stand on a variety of important issues.
Getting on a budget and discussing future goals ensures that you are both prioritizing the things that matter to you most. And, most importantly, holding each other accountable with kindness and compassion is invaluable if you really want to build a dream life together. While it may seem like a lot of work, keeping the above tips in mind as you work towards your future will ultimately result in a much stronger marriage.