Gene Mundt was asked to participate in a recent Bridal Show and Expo in Joliet, IL. Below is the advise he put together to share:
My suggestion to newlywed couples is … let the excitement of your wedding day die down a bit. Take some time to relax and just bond. Then have a few serious talks together. Ones where you each take the opportunity to communicate your future financial goals and dreams to the other.
During your talks, tackle the following tips and suggestions one by one and then build a financial plan for yourselves. A plan that will serve as a solid foundation and starting point from which to build a healthy financial future and also reap you the good credit and finances to buy or build a home together.
Achieve your dreams and goals by:
1. Establishing your priorities and goals. (Make sure to write them down)
2. Developing a Budget
3. Reviewing your present credit, debts, and credit scores
4. Deciding which of your standing debt(s)
can be eliminated or reduced
5. Deciding how to eliminate or reduce that debt
6. Discussing bank/savings accounts, both separate and joint accounts
7. Planning/Establishing an Emergency Fund
8. Designing a method in which you can both TRACK your new Budget and see your progress
9. Taking care of the documentation that comes with getting married. If there was a name change involved, see to getting a new Social Security Card, a Driver’s License, other forms of identification, and changing accounts reflecting that name change
10. Deciding who will be responsible for the actual payment of bills
11. Implementing a tracking and filing system for your bills and financial documents. (This will make Pre-Qualification for a Mortgage much easier and more smooth in the future)
12. Saving for Retirement
13. Changing any beneficiaries on accounts and policies, should you wish your spouse to become owner of them in the future. Should you not have a Will, consider making one
14. Talking over all insurance coverages, both those already in existence and those you hope to purchase
15. Establishing ground rules for expenditures
16. Talking to an experienced Mortgage Lender well in advance of your home purchase … as much as one year or more. They will help place you in the best position to qualify for your Mortgage Financing when you decide to buy your home.
Always remember: Communicate in detail with each other regarding financial matters and do the things mentioned above. You will start your marriage together off on the right step. You’re getting married! Congratulations! Establish a lifetime of good and sound financial habits together.