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How to deal with finances before marriage to avoid divorce

Before saying "I do," it's important for Minnesota couples to have an important discussion about their future - their financial future, that is. Amidst all the wedding planning, finances often get overlooked, so when the happy couple returns from their honeymoon and sits down with the bills for the first time, they might be in for a bit of a shock. This is because each person had their own way of handling money as well as preconceived expectations of how their and their partner's money should be spent. This can lead to arguments down the road and, eventually, possibly divorce.

Some people are savers, while others are spenders. When a saver marries a spender, there's bound to be some disagreement on how money should be spent. It should be determined who will pay for each expense. Will all the money be put in a joint account, or will each person have a separate account? Who will be the one paying the bills? How will assets and debts be managed? It's best to have clear expectations up front.

Next, make a budget. Count all income and then deduct expenses such as mortgage, credit cards, utilities, food, gas, entertainment clothing and insurance. Ideally, there should be some money left over to put into a savings account. If not, it's time to crunch some numbers and see where you can cut back on expenses.

Once a budget is in place, it's time to plan for the future. Those who don't already have a house, car or children may want to think about these topics thoroughly, as all are costly. It's also important to think about travel, since many couples go on vacations once or twice a year. Retirement may seem so far away for those in their 20s or 30s, but it's a good idea to start planning for it right away. A 401(k) or IRA can help save for the future.

With money being the main cause of divorce in America, it's important for couples to budget and plan before they get married. A discussion before the big day can get both parties on the same page so they know what to expect. Otherwise, they may watch their money disappear in a divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Avoid Marriage Money Problems," accessed July 4, 2015

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