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Pop the Question without Breaking the Bank: 5 Tips to Start Your Marriage with Savings

Deciding to get married should be a momentous and joyous occasion. If you have found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, it is important to ensure you are emotionally, mentally and financially prepared to make a lifelong commitment. Preparation is key to a healthy, happy and successful marriage. Financially speaking, here are some key tips to remember when planning to start your marriage with savings.

Emergency Funds and Budgets

Two critical components of personal finance are emergency funds and budgets. Most personal finance experts advocate having some type of emergency fund as a safety net should a financial setback arise. Most of these proponents recommend having six to nine months of your expenses saved in a fund. It is essential to take the time to build an emergency fund before jumping into a marriage. Having an emergency fund will prevent you and your spouse from worrying about unforeseen expenses.

In addition to having an emergency fund, it is critical that you have a budget. Make sure your spending habits align with your financial goals. You should make sure you are spending less than you are taking in each month. Live within your means to safeguard your finances and guarantee you are starting your life with your spouse wisely.

Engagement Rings

Buying an engagement ring should not mean financial disaster. When purchasing a diamond engagement ring, only buy as much as you can afford, and avoid listening to the “rules” promoted by the engagement ring industry. You are not required to save up two months of your salary to afford a lovely ring.

Rather than listening to other people’s suggestions, discuss the decision with your fiancée. Of course, you might need to sacrifice some of your wants, but you need not go into debt for this big purchase. Remember to buy the most meaningful ring, not the most expensive ring.

Debts and Houses

Before getting engaged, consider your debt. How much do you have? How can you plan to pay it off as soon as possible? Also, make sure you are very honest with your partner about your current situation. Do not surprise your loved one with your incurred debt after the wedding ceremony. You do not have to be completely debt free before getting engaged, but it might be prudent to postpone an engagement until your debt is more manageable.

In addition to evaluating your debt, think about your housing situation. Where would you and your new spouse like to live? Do you have the income to support a mortgage? What is your debt-to-income ratio? Determine a plan that will allow you to save for and purchase a home.

Unfortunately, money disputes are one of the primary reasons for divorce. However, you can avoid this by being financially prepared. Take simple steps early to plan your budget, pay off debt and save money to positively start your life with your new spouse. Above all else, make sure you are transparent with your fiancée regarding your finances. Have meaningful conversations about money before taking your vows to start on your way to a beautiful marriage.

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