Financial foundation in a relationship

I’m going to be attending a wedding this weekend, so it gave me a good excuse to write a brief post about the importance of a good financial foundation … especially if you’re contemplating marriage.

Image courtesy of Gregory Kogan at

If you try to build on a weak or unsteady foundation, the structure will eventually collapse.  Without establishing a strong financial foundation for yourself, you will be vulnerable to the “winds,”  “storms,” and “earthquakes” that financial hardship can bring (today is Put All Natural Phenomena in Quotes Day – did you get the e-mail?).

When you’re contemplating a relationship with another person, there is much more to consider than just their personality traits and looks.  Among other things, a marriage is the union of two people with relatively unique financial backgrounds.  One might have a weak financial foundation, and the other might have a strong foundation.  Both might have a strong foundation, or both might have a weak foundation.  Whatever the case, there are two financial backgrounds coming to the table.  When finances are considered, a relationship or marriage almost becomes like a business proposition.

Many become smitten with love, and emotion can move them to do irrational things.  For example, a person might loan money to or openly share an account with someone who’s financially irresponsible or dishonest … and the outcome usually isn’t happy.

Here are some helpful articles that outline various financial factors to consider when entering into a relationship with someone.

>> Kiplinger:  Six Money Mistakes of Newlyweds

>> Kiplinger:  Ten Questions to Ask Before Saying ‘I Do’

>> Forbes:  Financial Tips for Young Unmarried Couples