Communication

Why Finances Matter Long Before Your Wedding
Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

The idea of marriage has changed a lot over the centuries. Once upon a time, most couples wed for the sake of their families and futures. When two families would join together as a result of a marital union, it would often bring forth plenty of financial benefits to both sides. In fact, many brides and grooms were sized up by potential partners based solely on how much wealth or property their families possessed. These days, the reasons people marry are different, but there are some similarities when it comes to financial matters.

Getting married means sharing everything with your significant other. This, of course, means finances will often be included. People usually get weird when pressed to talk about money. If you and your significant other have not had a conversation about money and the future, then now is an important time to begin. Without this discussion, you could be in for some upsetting or confusing surprises that add stress to the bonds of marital bliss. Take a moment to look over these tips and see what makes the most sense for your situation.

The Practical Side

When you are marrying someone, you are taking on everything this person embodies or possesses and you are making it a part of your life. The good and the bad come along with this. If your partner has a lot of debt, then you might be taking on this debt with your union. Before you get married, you are going to want to sit down with your partner and begin to discuss financial matters and how you will both be impacted by the wedding.

It might not even matter much to you that your partner is currently in debt. Still, you could want to make a plan to help remove this situation from your lives. Having this talk about money early can help both of you to make plans for the future. Discuss how to get out of debt and what you can both do to create a chunk of savings that will last a good long while. The earlier you have this talk, the less stressful it may wind up being when you enter married life. 

Finances After the Wedding

In many cases, a talk about finances is about a lot more than money. You and your significant other might not really have a clear idea of what either of you would like to do for work after marriage. When you both work all the time, it can make it difficult to take the next step in your relationship. Namely, this means finding time to have and raise children. Now is the right time for you to start these conversations. Hopefully by this point the topic of children has come up. If not, now is your chance.

Children are quite a big responsibility to take on. Not only do you need to have the time to raise them, you also need a significant amount of money. During your talk about your future finances, you may want to breach the topic of children. Discuss the best possible paths for making your dreams into a reality. You might discover that it is possible for one of you to work and the other to take care of the family. You’ll never know until you have the talk.

Tomorrow Starts Today 

Most people feel weird discussing money. While this is a natural feeling, it also can be problematic to avoid these conversations with your significant other. To truly enjoy married life, it is a good idea to have open conversations about finances early. Beginning this chat with enough time to spare can allow both of you a bit of room to figure out any snags or issues that you might predict along the way.

Talking About Funeral Plans With Your Loved Ones

ThinkstockPhotos-482746437It’s only three months into the year, and the world has mourned the deaths of many popular figures. Alan Rickman, Maurice White, René Angélil, and Nancy Reagan are just a few of the beloved celebrities who have passed away in 2016. This should remind everyone that life is short, and you never know when you will have to deal with a death of a loved one. No one wants to think about it, but the best time to discuss funeral plans with your family is when you’re healthy. Here are some tips to open the dialogue with your parents, spouse, or sibling about your own wishes in the event of your death.

Before you can talk about what you want, you need to think about your desires. Do you have funeral arrangements? Do you want to be cremated? What kind of a service would you like? You cannot give your family a plan without having one. Make some notes about what should go into your obituary. Sometimes, children have no idea what you did before you were their parent or what you believe is important to be noted in the announcement.

Starting a Difficult Conversation

Talking about death isn’t easy. Make time in a neutral setting. Start talking about your health. Assure your loved ones that you aren’t dying, but you do have an important topic to talk about. Explain why you want to tell them about your funeral plans. Remind them of a time in your family when plans weren’t in order and how crazy that was. Tell them you just want to make it easier for them in the event of your death, which you hope doesn’t happen for a long time.

You should be prepared for different reactions. People may respond in various ways, which is perfectly understandable. Bringing up this topic can really catch your children or spouse off guard, so they might react with denial, “I just can’t think about this right now.” In that case, tell them you understand, but you would like to be able to share the information with them. You may need to give them a day or two to process the conversation. You may want to change the subject and bring it up in a couple of days.

Another reaction is alarm or disbelief that you’re healthy. You may get asked if you’re not telling them something. Remember that you’ve been thinking about this subject for a while, and they are just hearing about it. Death is not something that people generally talk about. Many people think that if they don’t talk about something, it just won’t happen. Don’t push, just segue into another topic.

If You Just Can’t Bring It Up

For whatever reason, you just can’t talk to those you love. Maybe your kids are too young, or they aren’t in a stage of life where they can deal with your future death. It’s okay. Families have different communication styles. The way to get around this is to write things down. You don’t need to give every detail. Put your instructions with your other important papers. Be assured that this will definitely help your loved ones when the time comes.

One recommendation, even if you have talked to your family: It would still be a good idea to put your wishes in writing. People forget. Loved ones disagree about what is truly your voice. If you only talked to one person, but there are multiple people making decisions, the one you told might be in a place where he or she has to defend your wishes. Having a written plan can help those you leave behind to really know what you want. Once you’ve explained your own plan, you can then ask your loved ones to think about their own wishes, just in case.