Advice for Engaged Couples

Question from Ivy: I'm recently engaged. Eeeek! I was wondering if you have any advice for those about-to-be-newlyweds and what planning we can do not for the wedding, but for our marriage itself (finances, etc.).

We get really excited when young couples ask us questions like this. Not because we did it the right way, but rather quite the opposite. We were not thinking long-term when we were engaged, and certainly not asking for advice from those who have gone before us.

Looking back, I think we were living in a fantasy world. One in which love would conquer all and where love was all we needed. Maybe love is all we needed, but we didn't really understand that love requires work. Thankfully we discovered quickly after we got married that it would require work and recommitted ourselves to a lifetime of working on improving our marriage.

After taking a marriage class at our church, we were looking for another program to help strengthen our marriage. That's when we heard about Financial Peace University. This would be my single piece of advice for any recently engaged couple.

Take Financial Peace University, apply it to your life, never look back.

It certainly changed our outlook on finances, but it also helped us learn how to communicate with one another and how to work through difficult situations while staying level-headed.

Dave has recently revamped the FPU program. You can find a class close to you. The best part is that when you pay for the class, you pay for a lifetime membership. You can retake the class at anytime. So, as you progress toward financial peace, you can retake the class for motivation and focus. We've taken it twice already.

Another piece of financial advice I would offer is something that we have written about before: personal spending. When it comes to checking accounts, Kelsey and I have three. One for our bills, and a personal account for each of us. You can read the details in the post, but the idea is that we give ourselves a small allowance and we can spend it on whatever we want; no questions asked.

It would also serve you well to read about all the stupid tax that we have paid in the last five years and NOT do any of the following:

  1. Go crazy on the honeymoon.
  2. Buy a house you can't afford.
  3. Get a car loan.

Also, check out Kelsey's post: Are You Ready for Marriage?

What advice do you have for the engaged couple?