SOURCE: Money Management International

Money Management International

March 16, 2011 11:22 ET

What to Do Before You Say 'I Do'

Money Management International Offers Tools to Help Plan Your Financial Future Together

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) - With wedding season quickly approaching, there is no better time to address the issue of marriage and money. Before you take the big leap, it's important to discuss how you will manage money as a couple.

Studies consistently show that tensions over financial issues are at the root of many disagreements in marriage, and a major cause of divorce. According to a Money Management International (MMI) survey, 56 percent of couples who are married but unhappy report financial problems are to blame. The financial experts at MMI offer money management tips to help you on your road to marital -- and financial -- bliss.

Don't be afraid to share your feelings. Having an open and honest discussion about your financial past and future is vital to your financial success. Remember that everyone has their own money style, which has been shaped by their past experiences.

Make a commitment. No one cares more about your financial security than the two of you. Make a promise to each other to take joint responsibility and take steps to better your overall financial position by paying down debt and establishing a savings plan. Establishing a savings cushion could keep a financial setback from becoming a financial disaster.

Make plans for your future. Set financial goals and vow to keep them. Make sure your goals are both specific and achievable. Try to set goals that are equally rewarding so that you are both motivated to achieve them.

Spend some quality time. Schedule a time once a month to sit down and discuss your financial goals and expectations. Identify a family CFO who is responsible for reviewing your budget regularly in order to identify problem areas.

Understand your individual rights and responsibilities. State laws vary quite a bit regarding ownership of income and responsibility for debt. Learning about your individual privileges and liabilities will help your relationship and could provide future financial security in a time of need.

"Getting your finances in order now will help you build a stronger and more financially secure partnership," says Kim McGrigg, manager of community and media relations at MMI. "Because money matters, it's important for couples to devote more time to improving their financial standing."

About Money Management International
Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.

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