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Wyandotte, Mich. — April 6, 2022 — With spring comes the start of wedding season. While engaged couples are busy preparing for the many details of the big day, Carma Peters, president and CEO of Michigan Legacy Credit Union, reminds them that their wedding also marks the start of their financial lives together.
“A wedding is a joyous celebration, but it’s also important for couples to keep in mind that they should only spend what they can comfortably afford for the day, rather than begin married life with an extravaganza that puts them in a financial hole,” Peters said. “I recommend that couples consider tapping a money coach to help them tackle big financial decisions, and that starts with the wedding day. Throughout life, individuals have athletic coaches, professional mentors and career coaches. One of the most important things in a marriage is money, so it makes sense that couples should have a coach guiding them in this area, too.”
Peters explains that a money coach can be a professional financial advisor, a relationship officer at a credit union or bank, and even an older friend, family member or trusted source who, regardless of their level of wealth, is financially stable and consistent in good, financial decision-making.
“The popular book The Millionaire Next Door highlights the fact that many people who accumulate wealth do so through smart, everyday decision making and not through holding executive jobs, family money, or owning a lucrative business,” Peters said. “Making smart financial choices, even on lower cost purchases, can set a couple up for a life free from pressing financial concerns; following the example of a trusted money coach helps get them there.”
Peters recommends that a couple determines their family financial strategy before they legally commit to each other. Discussions on budgets, combined bank accounts, and debt review from credit cards, housing or student loans should be mandatory. A money coach can ease the discussions, she said, and help couples navigate financial issues without judgement.
In addition to finding a money coach, Peters offers a few additional tips for newly engaged and married couples to embrace their new partnership together:
- The healthiest first step is to dedicate time to establish a budget. Doing so will alleviate a lot of questions, arguments and dangerous presumptions.
- Be aware of and discuss each other’s spending habits in a non-judgmental way.
- Decide what amount either person can spend without permission.
- Determine if you will combine your accounts or keep them separate.
- Don’t scrimp on insurance! Whether it’s homeowners, renters, car or life insurance, be thoughtful about your insurance coverage so that you are protected from financial disaster should an incident occur.
- Establish an emergency fund baseline amount – two to three months of one person’s salary is a good start.
“Marriage is an emotional and economic journey. The more prepared and supported couples can be, the more likely they are to have a happy, financially sound marriage,” Peters said.
About Michigan Legacy Credit Union
Michigan Legacy Credit Union (MLCU) is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative serving members who live, work, worship, attend school, or own a business in the state of Michigan. Michigan Legacy Credit Union is committed to providing quality financial services at a competitive price, delivered professionally and efficiently while keeping member/owners and their needs first. For additional information on MLCU, visit: www.michiganlegacycu.org.