A budget for engaged couples
Because finances have tremendous potential to create either harmony or conflict in a marriage, engaged couples need to prepare their budgets both individually and together to demonstrate before marriage that they can live on their income. Couples who decide not to budget usually end up trusting credit instead of trusting God.
Engaged couples should talk about credit cards and how to handle them. They should agree to cut up the cards and never use them again the first time they are unable to pay the full balance at the end of the month. They should talk about savings. Usually, one will want to save and the other will want to spend, so engaged couples need to set boundaries before they marry. They will need to decide what type of insurance and how much they will need. They should talk about whether the wife will work after having children, and if not they should prepare early to live on only one salary.
If an engaged couple can’t agree on money issues before marriage, they may need to postpone their marriage until they can. In the Library section of our Web site under Pamphlets, is the online pamphlet, “Before You Say I Do”. Using this pamphlet as a springboard for discussion, engaged couples can start working through important financial issues. At some point they may want to talk about buying a home, but there are so many big decisions and adjustments early in a couple’s life together that we encourage newlyweds to rent for the first year of their marriage.
In both the Library and Tools sections of our Web site there are a number of pamphlets, articles, and interactive tools that both married and engaged couples may find helpful for discussion and for practical application. The Store section of our site is our online materials catalog and offers a number of excellent budgeting resources for couples, including The Family Financial Workbook, The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples, and Money in Marriage. You can order online or call our materials line at 1-800-722-1976.
If you would like help creating a sound, written budget, you also can use the number above to ask for the name of one of our volunteer Money Map Coaches. These are volunteers who have been trained through Crown and who offer their services to people who would like free, in-person help with the budgeting process. They can show you how to set reasonable spending and savings goals, prepare a written budget, and become debt free and honor God in your finances. We will be glad to give you the name and telephone number of the nearest Money Map Coach in your area.