You have got to the point where you think that you and your partner are ready for new chapters, like the one called “engagement”. If this is going to be the next station in your relationship, you might want to consider certain factors that will make it clear if you are really ready to jump into this adventure, not only emotionally, but financially too. Why we put an accent on the importance of this matter? Because you aim for a long, healthy and happy marriage and wrapping yourself in debts before even exchanging the vows is certainly not the best foundation for that. Stay with us and learn what moves you need to make before getting engaged.
✓ CALCULATE YOUR MONTHLY EXPENSES
How could you possibly know what is the price range of the engagement ring you should be looking for if you do not put into consideration your essential living expenses each month? In other words, this is called a “reality checkup” on your spendings. If this has not been a part of your routines so far, the idea of getting engaged is the right reason to make it a one.
The thing with calculating your monthly budget is to have a clear perspective of where your money is going and the optimal amount that you can save from spending. By doing it so, you can set a budget for the upcoming engagement-ring purchase, but you can also predict more easily your financial capacities for everything else that the engagement itself is going to bring on the way. If this already seems quite complicated, just think that you and your partner want to start off your life together with a positive mindset and account balance, which can be most effectively accomplished if you correct your negative spending habits.
✓ START AN EMERGENCY FUND
The next important thing you will have to do is to open an emergency fund account in your preferred bank, because you would like to put your savings situation in order, right? Since we have come to this particular matter, here is some very interesting information you would like to know – the reports of the survey carried out by GOBankingRates in 2016 have shown that 69% of the American population have less than $1000 in their saving accounts, which indicates that many adults still have a struggle with putting money aside.
34% of the survey participants claimed that they have zero savings and that is surely an alarming, unpleasantly surprising fact. Before getting engaged, you must ensure yourself a solid emergency fund in order to avoid a chain of undesired troubles on your mind later. Experts recommend to start saving at least half a year in advance before popping the question. It might seem like an eternity, but see this as an investment in a prospective, healthy relationship that will lead you to a marriage with the same qualities.
✓ DECIDE WHERE TO LIVE
Now it is time to determine what is the best place to live in with the one you are getting engaged with. Since your goal is to double the living space comfort, you will have to decide whether it is time to move out or remodel any of your homes so that it can suit the needs and desires of the two of you. Buying a new property is definitely one of the biggest investments in a couple’s life, so if you consider this idea, you better make sure to have previously evaluated your financial capacities and determined that you will have a regular monthly budget for a decent living “at least”.
For instance, it is insane to think of buying a house if you have less than $1000 in your saving account, or get a loan from a bank which you won’t be able to pay out. Do not forget that in addition to the property’s cost, you will have other essential expenses too, such as home insurance, monthly mortgage payment, etc. Therefore, it is beyond clear that deciding where to live is an extremely serious decision and you have to bring it together with your partner based on wisdom and sound judgement. Renting a house or apartment is also one of the solutions, in case you decide that none of your homes is suitable for your united lifestyles.
✓ THINK ABOUT YOUR DEBTS
Evaluating one’s debt situation is a must-have even in solitary life, so let’s not talk about how crucial it is when it comes to living with someone else who happens to be your fiance. Another closely-related survey has shown that the average debt balance of Americans is $16,000, so if your debts score below that, congratulations for better managing your funds. On the flip side, if you struggle with heavy debts, you better hold off your “I am getting engaged” project until you obtain a reasonable, solid balance on your account.
This does not mean either that you have to be to completely free of debts to get engaged; it means that you have to make sure that the complexity of your debts is manageable. Believe that your future fiance will be way more grateful if you give yourself some time to reduce your debts little by little, rather than involving them into this unpleasant journey that eventually, can affect your prosperity as a couple.
✓ THINK ABOUT YOUR RETIREMENT
Even if you are in your 20s, it is not too early to think of your retirement savings; it is the perfect time actually. It does not have to be a significant amount of money, but it is definitely better to have something than to have nothing. A retirement fund works the same as an emergency fund and although you think that it is not important to have it before getting engaged, believe us that you will be so happy for having invested in it when bad days knock on your door (hopefully not). Those who have implemented a regular saving practice in their lives won’t be having any problems to build up a retirement fund either.
✓ TALK ABOUT FINANCES WITH YOUR PARTNER
Getting engaged means preparing the ground for marriage, which is defined as an institution that has to be built upon mutual love, respect, devotion and honesty. About the last one, besides being honest about your feelings, you have to be transparent about your financial situation as well. In plain language, getting engaged means that both partners are on the same page with finances. Unfortunately, many couples do not have this type of conversation and they end up with a divorce in the first months/years of their just-married life. You surely do not want this to happen to your marriage, do you? Feel free to talk about your financial issues (if any) with your partner; Do you have any debts? What is your plan to pay them off? How do you manage your savings?
These are just some of the key questions that your partner deserves to be informed about, so that you can both decide whether it is the right time (or not) to get engaged.