This is a guest post by Amanda Green.
While the holiday season is a time of gift giving, it is also a high season for engagements. In the spirit of the holidays, and because many will be close to family, many boyfriends are prepped to present traditional and black diamond engagement rings to unsuspecting girlfriends. Although proposing during Christmastime creates a memorable event, proposing when you aren’t financially ready can lead to future disaster.
Many couples are quick to marry even when they aren’t financially ready, and unfortunately, finances are the number one reason why arguments arise in a marriage, and are also the number one cause leading to divorce. To start your marriage off on the right foot, you want to make sure that you are financially stable. A few good questions to ask yourself to determine if you are financially stable enough to tie the knot include:
How Much Debt Do I Currently Have?
Bringing a high amount of debt in to a marriage is one of the main causes for problems with newlyweds. To avoid the stress of high debt in a marriage, you want to postpone your engagement until you are aware of just how much debt you and your significant other have. If you have minimal debt that you will both be able to easily pay off, then you should be okay. However, consider paying off that debt prior to your wedding.
If you and your significant other have high amounts of debt, marriage may not be appropriate at this time. Consider coming up with a plan together to pay down your debt, and consider marriage at a later date when your debt situation is more manageable.
Do You Both Have a Steady Job?
Prior to marriage, you and your intended should both have stable jobs. If you don’t, one of you may wind up supporting the other which could lead to resentment and power plays. If one of you does plan on supporting the other, make sure that you balance your budget prior to marriage to make sure that you are both comfortable with the financial limitations that sharing one income may create.
Do You Have Complementary Spending Habits?
If you are both heavy spenders, joining finances may be bad for each of you. You could easily put yourselves in to high debt that could create relationship destroying stress later. To avoid this struggle, you need to realistically consider you and your partner’s spending habits prior to engagement. If you are more of a saver and she is more of a spender, or your are both more savers, then your spending habits are fairly complementary and should benefit you both.
Marriage is an exciting time for any committed couple; however, it is a significant life decision that even those young and in love need to take into evaluation. Take the time to consider not only your ultimate life goals, but also the menial details, such as your spending habits and overall financial skills, as these details can impact your marriage in a great way later on down the road.