If you got married more than 10 years ago, you may have had a “wedding folder” filled with fabric swatches, catering menus, and dress ideas.
If the coordination of your wedding was like a def-con operation, then maybe you had a wedding binder!
Pinterest may have even held the treasures to your dream wedding if you got hitched within the last couple of years.
Your wedding day was dreamy. You made sure that every centerpiece was perfect, your bridal party looked like magazine models, and of course, you married the love of your life!
Similar to your personal finances everything for your wedding didn’t go exactly as planned, but most didn’t even notice.
Your then-fiance told you over and over again, “Don’t worry about it – everything will be fine!”
He was right! All your hard work paid off.
And that folder! Well. You probably haven’t seen it since your big day.
1. Do you keep a financial binder that is as impressive as your wedding binder?
Improving the way you manage your personal finances requires the same time & attention you gave to planning your wedding & honeymoon, but the impact is so much more important to your family.
I’m not saying your marriage isn’t important.
But the wedding itself has little to do with whether you survive as a married couple.
During the planning, you and your then-fiancé likely had little arguments over things that never really mattered. It just felt like they did.
One of those arguments may have been about something that did matter – your budget! Maybe you kept a cool, balanced head, and your husband was the overindulgent one (yeah, right..lol).
Filet Mignon or Chicken? Top Shelf or Well Liquor? A hand-sewn beaded or second-hand dress? One isn’t necessarily better than the other. It pretty much comes down to preference.
Plus, one other major detail-Your budget!!
The way you design your wedding has a lot to do with your personal finances.
Grand or modest home? Luxury or practical car? Super cleaning lady or super cleaning powers?
Yep – Preference and budget definitely matter with these choices.
A wedding is such a big event. There are serious deadlines and multiple people involved to pay close attention to the details and the planning. You have the pressure of time & limited resources that force you to make hard decisions.
With your finances, the pressure isn’t the same. You expect to stick around another 50-60 years.
The urgency just isn’t there.
You keep telling yourself that you’ll get around to maintaining a real budget for your household, but you don’t.
You understand how critical little details are when planning your big day but in normal life, you politely leave important details of your financial situation untouched – like nasty food at a tasting.
I completely understand how planning a wedding is different than planning your finances- more fun, romantic and sentimental.
Whether we want to face the truth or not, we spend many months (or years) planning one day that honestly has very little return on our money.
Then, we’re reluctant to spend an hour out of the month planning for things that impact our day-to-day life or our retirement years.
Your budget doesn’t have to be in a fancy binder or spreadsheet. My mother keeps hers in a $.50 notebook.
I know that personal finances can be a scary world. It can feel so overwhelming it downright sucks at times.
I’m confident that you can tackle it. You just may need a little help.
One of the keys to creating a sense urgency is by setting realistic financial goals with deadlines. Start with very simple, but deliberate, tasks to give you some relief. One of the first things you can do is grab the most recent copy of the FIIRM Ultimate Financial Resource Guide! It’s filled with tools to help you earn more, save more and do less!
2. Who can you trust to make it happen?
Once you have an idea of how much money you’re working with you for your wedding, you start talking to vendors that you want to hire (If the day isn’t perfect, the bridezilla hiding just beneath the surface may show up & show out. It’s best for everyone that you get what you want?.
You interview vendors, read reviews, taste test and ask your friends for recommendations. You want to make sure the people you hire can execute your plan well.
When it’s time to pick your insurance agent, financial advisor, or tax preparer are you as diligent?
Do you come up with a list of questions? Do you know what the right person “feels” like?
If you aren’t a “numbers” person, thinking about budgets, retirement accounts and tax strategies is probably similar to how I feel about golf. I’ll play if you put a gun to my head.
However, the times when I’ve enjoyed golf the most is when I play with a great group of ladies or have had an instructor at every hole.
Sometimes you just need the right people around to help you get through it.
Today the internet makes it easier to pick the right professionals. You can read reviews, listen to podcasts and read blogs to get a “feel” for a person before you hire.
Be patient and diligent. Never worry about asking too many questions and shop around.
No one plans or completes a wedding alone. Please, please stop thinking you should know how to handle your finances without help.
3. How engaged are you with your own success?
When it comes to a wedding, you first celebrate the possibility.
Yep, before you got married you may have had an engagement party to celebrate the possibility of getting married. You celebrate the progress you’ve made in a romantic relationship.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not bashing engagement parties, but how many things do we actually celebrate before we accomplish it?
It’s not very many. The main two, that I can think of, are marriage and babies.
Think about it.
Hardly anyone celebrates their new job just because they got the interview. Most don’t throw a housewarming party before they close on the new house.
The celebration of love & life is a beautiful thing. I’ve been to some awesome birthday parties and amazing weddings.
But my busy moms, devoted wives and hard working women, also need to embrace celebrating financial milestones!
When you make strides in improving your financial situation, you have accomplished something worthy of a celebration.
The relief you feel after getting your “financial house” in order is no small accomplishment.
Paying off all your credit cards or even just a major one is bragworthy!
What if you celebrated increasing your contribution to your retirement account?
What about a celebration after you’ve made your first investment in the stock market or watched the stock price double?
Why am I beating the crap out of this topic?
Because I truly believe if you value your money and its real purpose then you must show the universe, yourself and your family that you mean it!
As you make progress improving the way you manage your finance house, ACKNOWLEDGE IT!
Show the universe you appreciate the prosperity you are receiving.
Plus, if people can celebrate things like kite flying day and national lasagna day (which sounds delicious by the way) I’m certain you can find a way to celebrate your financial milestones.
An engagement party shows that you are excited about the possibility of a life filled with love & happiness. You are expressing your optimism and openness to receiving joy.
The same logic applies when it comes to your personal finances.
Naturally, you only want the closest of the close involved. Those that have heard you cry your eyes out over your ex-boyfriends or loaned you a few dollars in your time of need.
Besides, the celebration doesn’t have to be anything over the top.
Something as simple as a gourmet latte & great dessert with your closest friends could be enough! (Ice cream is not the devil, btw.)
After you start acknowledging your financial milestones you can start a new trend with your friends.
How cool would it be to attend your best friend’s financial student loan payoff party inspired by you?
Sounds very grown-up, doesn’t it?
Getting your financial house in order is real grown-up work.
When you’re really serious about it, it won’t seem odd to do the things I mentioned above. And it definitely doesn’t have to be perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect wedding nor a perfect marriage. It takes patience and commitment to make either work.
Trust me – your personal finances require the same efforts.
Allow me to help start off your progress.
Say your financial vows and commit to yourself by clicking the “I DO” button to find the resources you need to help you save money and keep your finances on track. The best thing about this guide is that we did all the work for you.
You’re ready to take this head on!!
I ________ (your name), pledge to make my personal finances a priority like a Bridezilla planning a wedding!! I pledge to be patient, communicate my goals and celebrate my success with cake (or wine, or donuts or chocolate…)!
Founder & Managing Director
Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE.