By the Power Vested in me, I Now Pronounce You- Broke!

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By the Power Vested in me, I Now Pronounce You- Broke!

Category : Finance

chapel bride toss

Soooo…. You’re getting married?  PHENOMENAL!!  Congratulations!  Marriage is one of the greatest memories most people have.

You both have probably talked about how great it will be for both of you to be together for the rest of your lives.  You talked about what you will do, where you will travel, children, heck… everything under the sun.  It is a great time to dream and prepare for the future for not just you, but a lifelong companion.

I thought about this topic because a good friend of mine has a daughter getting married, and hearing the stress and challenges they are going through, well, I see it first hand and made me start thinking of what I could do to help them focus on the things that forget to be talked about, or things that don’t seem that important.  If we googled the top reasons marriages end, you would see that communication and finances are there in the Top 10 (if not top 5).

Look, I’m talking to you Ms. Bride & Mr. Groom – Finances need to be talked about!  Here come the rebuttals:

  • “I’m good with my finances, so I will just take it over.”
  • “They make the money, so they will take care of it.”
  • “We’ll just get separate accounts.”

Yadda… Yadda… Yadda… Look, even if you are both great with finances, that could be even worse if you don’t talk.  Why? Well, then that means both of you have a certain way and expectation and BOTH of you are going to need to meet on common ground so that you know when expenses will be taken care of.  I’m going to break this down for you! Yep… Here come my rebuttals:

  • Over 2 million couples will get married this year. Almost 1 million couples will file for divorce.
  • The average first marriage lasts 7.8 years (this drops to 6 or less in second or third marriages)
  • 45% of all divorces are due to finance
  • 65% of couples argue about finances on a weekly basis

Do I have your attention now?  Not yet? Maybe?  Let me throw this at you then:

There is a divorce every 13 seconds in the US.  That means –

  • 3 divorces will happen by the time you walk down the aisle
  • 2 divorces by the time you put a ring on each other’s finger
  • Another 3 divorces happen by the time you finish cutting the first slice of cake
  • 2400 total divorces will happen from the start of your wedding through reception (6 hours)
  • 67,200 divorces will happen on your honeymoon (7days)

That’s almost 70,000 couples that divorced in your first days of marriage!  They were all just like you, hoping that this will be the greatest decision of their lives and they would live happily ever after.

70,000 couples… and 31,500 of them were due to finances/money?!?!

NOW… Do you see why I’m writing this article?

If I can help prevent one of you reading this from proving this statistic correct, then the time I put into this article is well worth it.

Here are some things I recommend all newlyweds to go over to make sure you have a strong foundation for your wedding day, honeymoon, and every year after:

Pre-Season: (yes, I related my checklist to sports):

You need to have “the talk”:

  • Understanding each other and making some rules now will make your marriage sweeter and where you stand in finances more clear. Talk about things like:
    • Who is going to take the lead in monthly bills, savings, etc.?
    • What debts and bills do each of us have? (Be honest here and put it all out on the table)
      • Don’t forget the debt from the upcoming wedding/honeymoon (spending money, airfare, etc.)
    • What are our goals for saving? Retirement?
    • Should we have separate checking accounts? Joint account?


Review your Credit scores – Together:

  • Your credit scores can have a big impact on your financial future.  It determines credit limits and the interest rates you qualify for. Especially if you are planning on buying a house soon or putting a security deposit down on an apartment.
    • You can check your credit score at:
      • Credit Karma is a great app that can help you keep track of your score on a weekly basis


Talk about the “little things” that may not seem important: This may not seem like a “direct” finance conversation, but it takes money to do this, right?

  • Here are some topics to make sure you cover:
    • When are you planning to have kids?
    • What are your plans for your job/career? Or your future career?
    • What are your dreams? Things like:
      • Trips/vacations
      • When are you planning to retire?
    • Girls/Guys night: When and how often?
    • Date Night with each other:
      • You have an awesome future together! Don’t let this fire burn out.  Make sure to ALWAYS find time for each other so that you forget why you are making this decision to be together forever.  (The wife and I commit to at least one date night a week… no matter what.)
    • Holidays at the Parents or In-Laws

Prepare a “Life Unscripted” Toolkit:

  • As much as you plan, life will come at you unscripted. Master the art of improvisation and have tools handy that might help you.Life Insurance with Living Benefits in case you die too soon or become ill, or an emergency fund are all examples of tools you will want to have in your Life Unscripted toolkit.


Game Time:  It’s as real as it’s going to get:

Create a new family budget.  This should be easy since you already discussed a lot of these issues.

  • You need to now set this monthly plan in stone:
    • Bills?
    • Groceries?
    • Gas?
    • Haircuts? Mani/Pedi?
    • Lattes
    • Weaknesses
      • Shoes
      • Purses
      • Golf fees
    • Most importantly
      • Emergency savings plan
      • Short term savings (vacations, dinners, etc.)

Minimize your taxes.

  • Review your tax withholding documents and decide if it makes sense to file jointly or separate. There are also tax advantage accounts that could be offered through your job that can reduce tax liabilities and help also with your long term retirement goals. Options like:
    • 401k /403b/412e
    • Health Savings Account (HSA)
    • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA)

Create an Estate plan.

  • Everyone needs an estate plan; regardless of the size of your “estate.” Have a will, living will and health care power of attorney.
    • A will spells out what you wish and direction for how you want your assets distributed upon your death.
      • If you have a will already in place, make sure it is up to date with your recent marriage.
    • A living will directs what you want done regarding your medical treatment if you cannot give informed consent.
  • A health care power of attorney assigns a person who will oversee the medical decisions outlined in your living will if you can’t make those decisions yourself.

Before you walk down that aisle –

Talk early about your finances and make sure your ducks are in a row.  If you can tackle this topic early, it can be a strong prediction if your marriage will last longer than the average of 7.8 years, or if you will be one of those that divorce every 9 seconds.

Think about it… increase your chances to be together to 80%

If you confront this, the chances of staying together is over 80%!

When you visualize being married, you see yourselves happy and enjoying life.  Don’t let finances get in the way of you loving each other forever. If you would like to discuss this more or have more questions, click here, and give me a call, text, email or whatever.

Until next time!



If you want more information about how to financially prepare yourself for marriage, or what options are out there for you, go to or click here and we will be more than happy to get back to you.

James Bischoff offers many motivational financial literacy and wealth management seminars for all ages and businesses. Contact info:


Phone: 702-325-7654

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