I have had the pleasure to be one of the sponsors for the Welcome Wagon Bridal Showcase for the last three years. In years past, it was usually the Moms that attended with their daughters, that always nodded their heads at the ‘Financial Planning’ area, but, it seems that more and more heads are nodding in unison and avoiding these 12 top reasons to stress over money:
12) Communicate - Yes, both Partners have goals and they may not be the same or in the same priority order.
11) Set a limit and discuss larger purchases - A new stereo set or spa day shouldn’t come as a surprise to one party at statement date.
10) Do you have a student loan or visa card that still has a balance and, somehow, the subject never came up?
9) Don’t buy a house that is over your heads. Paying your own mortgage instead of someone else’s may seem like a good idea, but do your homework. What can you reasonably afford, what if someone is laid off or if you are going to have a family immediately.
8) Do have a bank account and credit card in your own name.
7) Establish an emergency fund - a cushion that will cover 3-6 months expenses is typical.
6) Do have a budget.
5) Discuss financial management - who will control the check book or will you jointly share that responsibility.
4) Prepare a financial plan - on your own, or with the help of a planner. Ensure you monitor and annually review your progress.
3) Just as important as an annual investment review is an annual mortgage review. Should you be considering a lump sum payment or an investment, RRSP or otherwise; are you maximizing tax strategies; has your credit improved over the last year and you can refinance at a lower rate; should you refinance to renovate; should you consider locking in your variable rate; is the best use of a raise to increase your mortgage payment? and many other questions that arise in the daily course of living and choices.
2) The government is giving money away in the form of education savings grants for future college and university students. Who do you know that has refinanced their home to subsidize education costs?
1) Protect your credit reputation. You may think you have a reason not to pay that cell phone bill that your ex-roommate ran up…but it will come back to haunt you. If you have a legitimate dispute that is resolved, make sure that the credit bureau company is notified It is interesting to note that the ‘Newlywed advice’ is appropriate for most couples and singles. For ‘richer or poorer’ can be a choice.