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Since her first book Smart Money Smart Kids, co-authored with Dave Ramsey, reached #1 on the New York Times best-seller list, Rachel Cruze has been in high demand.
But one thing she always makes time for is helping her audience. That's why she regularly answers questions on her website that readers send her way.
She recently received a great question about how to make sure you’re on the same page with your spouse before you get married.
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Question: I’m getting married next month. How do I make sure my spouse and I don’t argue about money a lot?
Rachel: Great question! It’s awesome that you are thinking about this before you get married. Here are three must-haves to put in place before you tie the knot:
1. Open Communication
Talk about your money goals with your spouse. Where do you want to be financially in a month? Next year? In five years?
Talk about your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to spending and saving money. Set a dollar amount (for example: $100) for purchases you both need to agree on before spending.
Read More: 3 Money Fights You'll Have This Year (and How to Prepare)
2. A Plan
Another way to say it: Make a budget!
The budget gets a bad rap, but all the budget does is tell your money where to go each month, instead of leaving you wondering where it went.
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This isn’t rocket science. You’re simply sitting down with your spouse and deciding how you will spend your income that month.
Every dollar “has a name.” It will take a few months to get this down, so don’t expect perfection right away. But if you want to get on the same page with your spouse about money, creating a budget together is the best way to do that.
3. A Realistic Perspective
Don’t copy your parents’ lifestyle. If they have been successful, remember they have been around a lot longer than you. It took them 20 years to get there, and you’re just getting started.
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to overstretch yourself by getting into a mortgage you can’t afford or taking on a couple of car loans that will weigh you down.
Please talk about these must-haves with your fiancé now. That way, you’ll start married life off with a solid money foundation!
Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and presenter, helping Americans learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. Her new book Smart Money Smart Kids, co-authored by her dad Dave Ramsey, released April 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times best-seller list. You can follow Rachel on Twitter at @RachelCruze, online at rachelcruze.com, or at facebook.com/rachelramseycruze.