A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Create A Financial Plan Before Marriage

Jun 01, 2023 By Susan Kelly

Marriage is a beautiful union that brings two people together to embark on a love, support, and companionship journey. However, with great love comes great responsibility, and one of the most significant responsibilities is managing finances. Whether you plan to get married or are newly engaged, money issues are the leading cause of marital conflicts. That is why preparing your finances well before the wedding day is essential.

In this post, we’ll explore some practical tips on how to prepare your finances for a happy and stable marriage.

Preparing your finances for marriage is essential to building a solid financial foundation as a couple.

Here are some steps you can take to get

Start with open and honest communication

Before tying the knot, having an honest conversation about money with your partner is essential. You must discuss your financial goals, values, spending habits, debts, and income. Be open and transparent about your finances and encourage your partner to do the same. This will help you establish a strong trust and mutual understanding foundation.

Assess your current financial status.

As a couple, assessing your current financial status is essential to make informed decisions collectively.

  • Create a comprehensive list of your assets, including bank accounts, investments, and properties. Determine the value and ownership structure of each asset.
  • Identify your liabilities, such as student loans, credit card debt, and mortgages. Calculate the outstanding balances, interest rates, and monthly payments.
  • Consider obtaining credit reports from reputable agencies to ensure a thorough assessment of your credit history.

Evaluate your credit standing.

Evaluating your credit standing is crucial in understanding your financial health and preparing for significant life events like marriage. Credit standing, represented by the credit score, indicates your creditworthiness. It can significantly impact your ability to secure loans, mortgages, and other forms of credit.

To evaluate your credit standing:

  1. Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report from reputable credit bureaus.
  2. Review the report carefully, and check for errors, inaccuracies, or fraudulent activities.
  3. Pay close attention to factors that affect your credit score, such as payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, and types of credit.

If you both have low credit scores (ranging from 300 to 669), then focus on building your credit. You can take a credit builder loan to make it or increase it by reducing and managing your debts.

Create a joint budget and financial plan.

Once you have an idea of each other’s finances, set up a joint budget for your household, this budget should include all of your monthly expenses. This may include rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, transport, and any other invoices you may have. You can also create a financial plan for the future, such as saving for emergencies, retirement, or a long-term financial goal, like buying a house or starting a family.

Calculate your debt-to-income ratio.

Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio is a crucial financial metric a couple should consider when preparing their finances for marriage. It measures the proportion of monthly debt payments to monthly gross income. It also provides insight into individuals' financial health and debt management capabilities.

By calculating the DTI ratio, couples can assess their ability to handle debt obligations. This helps them make informed decisions regarding their financial goals and aspirations as they embark on their married life together.

Before getting a loan, you must show this ratio to lenders, as it helps them know your financial condition and how you manage your monthly debt.

Merge or maintain separate accounts.

Decide whether you want to merge your bank accounts or maintain separate accounts. Some couples choose to have a combination of joint and separate accounts to handle shared expenses while maintaining some financial independence.

Be mindful of your spending.

Getting caught up in the excitement of weddings and new beginnings is easy. But it’s essential to be mindful of your spending and avoid overspending. Discuss your spending habits and financial priorities. Be open to compromise and find a balance for both of you.

Set a budget for your wedding and stick to it. Avoid accumulating debt or making big purchases that could compromise your financial stability. Instead, opt for simple and affordable options that prioritize practicality before extravagance.

Consider premarital counseling.

Premarital counseling can be helpful for couples who want to start their marriage on the right foot. A financial counselor will work with you and your partner to address money issues and help you develop a healthy financial relationship. This can include discussing ways to manage finances, communicating regularly about money, and strategies for compromising and resolving financial conflicts.

Keep the communication going.

Lastly, make sure to keep the communication lines open regarding your finances. As you navigate your new life together, you may encounter unexpected expenses or fluctuations in your income. Ensure you both are informed and involved in any financial changes and be open to discussing how you can adjust your finances accordingly.


Preparing your finances well before marriage can help set a solid foundation for a prosperous and fulfilling partnership. However, it requires open communication, financial transparency, and shared goals.

Above, we have shared some practical steps you can take before embarking on your marital life and enjoying a happy and healthy financial future with your spouse. From creating a financial plan to being mindful of your spending and considering pre-marital counseling, the ways are endless to prepare and manage your finances for marriage.

By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to preparing your finances for a prosperous marriage. Remember, it’s not just about managing your money; it’s about managing your money as a couple.

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