Congratulations, if you are ready to settle down to married life.
Consider attending a marriage preparation programme which prepares couples for a healthy and enriching marriage and family life. These programmes help couples to understand themselves and their spouses better, as well as learn practical skills on communication, financial planning and conflict management.
Sign up for a Marriage Preparation Programme. You can refer to Marriage Central for more information.
Planning a wedding
Everyone looks forward to their wedding and to the start of married life. Decide together how much money to set aside for organising your wedding. Remember that this should be pegged to how much you earn and feel comfortable with, not what your cousin or buddy spent on their weddings!
Major events like weddings can be expensive and costs can often feel like they are running away. Take charge, prioritise what you need and manage expenses carefully. Years from now, your wedding should bring back beautiful memories, not make you cringe whenever you think of how much you spent or how much you still owe your lender. Read more on Planning a Wedding.
Planning your finances together
One essential aspect of living together is to learn how to manage your finances jointly. You and your spouse may have different attitudes towards money. What may seem sensible and prudent to him or her, may seem stingy to you.
Money matters can cause a strain in any relationship. Courting couples who lavished each other with extravagant gifts may find that this is no longer as desirable once they get married and have their own home to pay for. Find less expensive but still meaningful ways to celebrate significant milestones in your marriage.
Here are some tips to deal with your money amicably:
- Know each other’s style of managing money well and adapt to it. If he or she is more of a spender, agree on some limits and be a saver to complement. Make your expectations for your partner clear and find some common ground.
- Make an effort to draw up budgets jointly. This will help you both track how your incomes are being spent and how to improve your financial position.
- Find a way to share responsibility for all household expenses as well as savings for common goals like emergency funds or retirement. Find agreement on each partner’s contribution; it may be in proportion to each person’s income. One could be servicing the house loan while the other could be paying the bills, for example.
- Set goals and take responsibility to live within your means. Remember that you won’t always be a young couple just starting out with promising careers. One of you may have to stop working one day when kids come along or to take care of elderly parents, so be mindful of the need to save from early on. Expenses will soon go up as your family grows. Encourage each other to work towards your shared goals.
- Avoid impulsive spending or borrowing. Do not make large financial commitments on your own without reaching consensus with your partner – do not agree to lend your brother money to buy a car or start a business before asking your spouse first. Always keep within your means; as a guide, your debt to income ratio should not be more than 35%.
- Get important things sorted out first – consider health & life insurance. If you are planning to buy a home, click here.
The above information is prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Social and Family Development.