By: Revanche

Pre-marital ponderings

November 8, 2006

Daniel’s posting on his [and his fiance’s] journey to a $100k net worth has been simmering with my thoughts on financially preparing for a wedding and marriage and provoked some other questions.

Prevailing wisdom cautions that it’s best not to combine finances before marriage.

I’ve got no problem with that. I consider that period before the official engagement an opportunity to get your financial house straightened up, the debts carted out to the curb and dust chivied out of the fallow accounts. As best you can, anyway. It could also be a great training period for FOSs (fresh-out-of-school) to learn how to make and live on a budget if you’ve not done that yet.

In my case, since I’m paying for my own wedding, waiting until the engagement to start saving or setting savings goals does not jibe with my uber-preplanning mentality nor does it give me enough time to save enough money. The thought just makes me antsy! Ideally, I’d like to start setting a savings goal with BoyDucky fairly early on, but isn’t pre-engagement really too early? But then again, is waiting until engagement too late? I’m not talking about joint accounts, which would qualify as combining finances. I’m just talking about deciding that we’re each going to save X amount of money in X amount of time. You know, savings goals and accountability and all that.

Yes, there’s always the option of the long engagement during which we save up. I haven’t got anything against a long engagement. But it seems like once you’re engaged, once you’re actually out-in-the-open, fully-fessed-up engaged, you no longer have the lead time to save because the spending starts! You’re meant to set out on that path of planning the wedding, shopping crook in hand, searching out the bargains and necessary accoutrements for the shindig. Saving up during the engagement just doesn’t sound nearly as effective as being a super-saver beforehand. I have this odd self image of trotting up the lane, waving my “Goals met” slip saying ok! I’m ready to be proposed to now! Silly, huh?

But, Daniel’s accomplishment of increasing his net worth has given me some perspective on the possibility that, perhaps, I don’t have to have every duck in line before my tax status changes. 😉

4 Responses to “Pre-marital ponderings”

  1. Kira says:

    My thought is to try and save up as much money for “stuff” – ie house, car, wedding, whatever large purchase I need to get next. Then I will not be tempted to spend all of the “wedding” account because if I don’t spend it, I can have it for something else. =) But I think it is very prudent to have some wedding money saved up ahead of time, if it’s in your future. (And if it takes leave of your future, buy a house.)

  2. MoneyFwd says:

    I agree with kira.. just open an account to save for some other large purchase, and if it ends up being your wedding money, then that’s great. And a long engagement can be a hassle. I’ve been engaged for over a year and wish I could be married by now.

    On the idea of joining accounts, I think it really has to do with your options and who takes care of the money. For us it made more sense to join the accounts since I paid all of the bills and took care of the money. Plus my bank has no extra fees or any other crap that came with all of my fiance’s banks.

  3. *Kira: Hm, like a general E-fund? That’s sort of my thinking: save as much as I can. I DO like breaking things up into their own accounts so that I feel like I’m making progress (or it’s motivation for when I’m not). Still, wedding & house money always tends to get rolled together in my mind as: Large Amount Needed.

    *Moneyfwd: How come the long engagement is a hassle? Is that just more time to fuss over the details? Because I actually WANT more time to fuss over the details. =D Ok, more accurately, I don’t want to feel tied to a deadline that forces me to spend more for what I want, I want to be able to bargain shop the sales, etc.

    I’m going to be the primary financier because I enjoy it so much more and there will be joint accounts soon enough after the wedding.

  4. MoneyFwd says:

    going over details and being picky is fine, but a long engagement really drags it out. 9 months to a year is probably more than enough time to be picky. plus, it’s for one day.. a great day, but still one day.

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