By Matthew Goldberg
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Before getting married, financial experts suggest that engaged couples tackle some serious conversations about money. Banking topics could include something as simple as whether you should get a joint checking account or keep accounts separate?
For most couples, the engagement ring is the binding object.
But for Catharine Driever and Jason Tondreau, a larger and much more expensive joint purchase preceded the ring.
About five months before their September 2017 engagement, the couple bought a condominium in New Jersey.
“It’s definitely a huge decision,” Driever says. “We had talked about marriage before we bought our (condominium) together, which is huge. You have to be on the same page about everything before you make a financial decision like this.”
The couple, who started dating in September 2015, needed to assess their joint finances and have deeper financial conversations before and during the real estate purchase process.
Driever, 32, and Tondreau, 34, are getting married in September. The property purchase accelerated the process of becoming one financially.
“I think a lot of people can get hung up on a ring and a wedding,” Driever says. “But you really have to think about your life long-term. … It’s very important to set your financial goals.”
Before committing to purchasing the property, Driever and Tondreau had a conversation about many of the following banking topics for engaged couples.
1. Should you get a joint checking account or keep accounts separate?
Driever and Tondreau opened a joint account a few weeks before their mortgage closing in April 2017.
Opening a joint checking account is a great way to test the waters of combined banking without jumping in the deep end. It may be a great way to separate money from individual accounts, pay for wedding items or deposit engagement party or wedding gifts.