Confession: I love Oprah. I tivo her and watch almost every episode. Yesterday’s program about women & money really got me thinking about us (and by “us” I mean you and me, wedding bee readers). We are at one of very few starting points in our lives, ladies. With marriage comes a lot of changes, and some of those changes relate to money.
Ah, money. It keeps me up at night, because I never seem to have enough of it. Mr. Cream Puff has much more of it than I do, but he’s in debt, too. Combined, we have over $30k in student loans, most of it mine. I feel responsible for every penny of it.
Every couple deals with money issues differently. My co-workers and I had a discussion about this the other day, when one of them asked, “when you don’t have any money, do you ask Mr. Cream Puff for some? Do you have a joint banking account?” My answer to both of those questions is “no.” Mr. Cream Puff and I keep our finances pretty separate. However, a lot of couples deal with their finances differently–some share everything, and some split everything right down the middle.
Money troubles are the leading cause of divorce, and many women are completely out of control when it comes to how money is spent in their marriages. I am of the opinion that we women need to empower ourselves when it comes to money. I am totally ignorant about what changes happen money-wise when people get married, but I think it’s important to figure out. For example, what happens to our credit scores if we keep our maiden names vs. if have the same last name? I personally don’t know the answer to this question. Pre-marital counseling is becoming increasingly common these days, but I’m starting to think pre-marital FINANCIAL counseling would be a good idea as well. What better time to figure out your long term plans for savings, retirement and buying your first home? These are the practical things about actually being married that are very important to consider.
Suze Orman’s new book called “Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny” is available for FREE on Oprah.com until 5pm PST on Valentine’s Day. Check it out, ladies. Let’s start our marriages off on the right foot.