No Single Best Piece Of Financial Advice

Ben says his daughter is getting married in the summer. What's the best piece of financial advice he can give her?

QUESTION: Ben on Twitter says his daughter is getting married in the summer. What’s the best piece of financial advice he can give her?

ANSWER: That’s a hard one because there’s not a single piece of financial advice. There’s not just one. Overall, I think you could tell her and should tell her that the number-one cause of divorce and fights in marriage is money. Money is the number-one point of contention in marriage. It causes more divorces than anything else. Based on that, you need to work very hard to get on the same page with your husband with money. In the pre-marriage counseling, you need to get into great detail about money—who owes what, who has what, who makes what, what your views on debt are, on budgeting, on saving, giving, these kinds of things. Detailed pre-marriage counseling is essential if you want to have a high probability of a successful marriage. A part of good, detailed pre-marriage counseling would definitely be the complete unpacking of money and really looking at it. But I don’t know that there’s one piece of financial advice other than to just say hey, this is a big deal and it messes up most people. Let’s get it right early and often. Let’s be on the same page going into this.

I will tell you that if you can’t get on the same page about money in a pre-marriage situation, that’s a deal breaker because you’re going to either live a life of hell, or you’re headed toward a divorce—one of the two. You need to be able, as a part of the pre-marriage situation, to get on the same page.