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Engaged to be Married: Managing Money Together

Updated: 5 hours ago

A successful relationship involves more than just romantic companionship; it involves teammates who tackle life's challenges together. Investment in certain skills can strengthen the bond between couples and pave the way for a fulfilling relationship.

This four-part series explores four essential areas where couples can invest time and effort to foster a deeper connection and achieve shared goals.

  • Managing Money Together

  • Managing the Home Together [coming soon] 

  • Supporting Each Other's Career Ambitions [coming soon] 

  • Planning a Family for the Future [coming soon] 

Engaged to be Married: Managing Money Together


In our Transition to Marriage Toolkit, Dr. Megan McCoy gave me the most helpful advice I have ever received on striking up a conversation about money with my partner. She suggested purchasing one lottery ticket and using it as a prompt to discuss your hopes and dreams together.

Financial goals, budgeting, and spending habits should be discussed regularly to ensure transparency and understanding. But it doesn't need to feel like a chore, which is what I love about Dr. McCoy's suggestion.

Couples can strengthen their financial partnership by conducting a money date. Set aside a dedicated time for the money date when both partners can fully engage in the discussion without distractions. Choose a relaxed and comfortable setting, such as a cozy corner of the home or a favorite café, where open communication can flow freely.

"The most effective way to communicate is on a money date when emotions are running low, and cognition is running high."

Prioritize expressing gratitude for each other's contributions to the partnership and acknowledging the shared commitment to financial well-being throughout the money date.


Click here for a free preview of our Transition to Marriage Toolkit, which includes a more detailed explanation from Dr. McCoy to talk about money with your partner.


Celebrate your partnership's financial milestones and address challenges and disagreements with patience and understanding, reaffirming your commitment to mutual prosperity.

Budgeting / Spending Plan

Planning with your spouse what you want to do with your future income isn't just about numbers and cents. It leads to financial harmony, an essential component of marital happiness.

Financial harmony and accountability can be achieved by creating a joint budget aligned with both partners' values and goals. How restrictive or pliable your plan is depends on what your marriage needs at the time.

For some, a budget can feel restrictive and not always as effective in the long run, whereas a spending plan allows for mishaps that happen occasionally.

When times were tougher for my wife and me, we used a relatively strict budget. As we've gotten older, we've transitioned into a spending plan that allows for some flexibility and grace when we misstep occasionally.

Read Everything You Need to Know About Spending Plans for Spouses for step by step instructions for establishing a budget and a spending plan.


A preview of our Transition to Marriage Toolkit, which empowers couples with everything they need to start their marriage off on the right foot.  


Long-Term Planning

Planning for major milestones like retirement, buying a home, and preparing for emergencies requires careful consideration and strategic financial management.

Establish clear and realistic goals for each objective. Balance your current needs and preferences for living a lifestyle that supports joy and happiness in your marriage, while also considering what is needed to invest for financial freedom and save for emergencies and opportunities in the future.

Purchasing a Home

We have detailed posts that address the common questions folks face when purchasing a home. Review our Homebuying and Renting pages for money tips and resources for spouses to choose a home to buy or rent.

Investing for Retirement

Couples must discuss how much to invest and how to coordinate their contributions to ensure that their collective contributions fully capitalize on employer matches. Equally as important is where and who you rely on for financial advice.

Here are a few investing articles we have shared in the past that will help:

Saving for Emergencies

Prioritize establishing an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies, car repairs, or job loss. They happen, and they always seem to happen when life feels hardest.

Engaged to be Married: Managing Money Together

Aim to save three to six months' worth of living expenses in a liquid, easily accessible account to provide financial security and peace of mind in times of crisis. Don't get discouraged if you're young. It can take time to get there.

You'll inevitably need to dip into savings for an emergency before you hit your goal, but that's what it is there for. Give yourself grace and stay the course.

The annual percentage yields on savings accounts can vary greatly and matter quite a bit. Our family uses the tool Raisin to select our savings account, because it quickly hunts down the highest APYs at insured banks and credit unions.

Regularly review and adjust your long-term plan as circumstances change, ensuring it remains aligned with your evolving goals and priorities.

Follow Modern Husbands

For engaged and recently married couples who want to manage money and the home as a team.

Winning ideas from experts to manage money and the home as a team. 2023 Plutus Award Finalist: Best Couples or Family Content

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