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Laura Hunt

Romance & Money

Money Managing Tips

Establish good patterns for joint planning and spending now; review and revise your budget

Gail in Baton Rouge, Louisiana:
"This is my first marriage, but it's the second for my fiancé. We already are arguing about what the wedding is costing. We have the money; it is largely as a gift from my parents, so I think I should have what I want. I also know that he gets upset because his first wife spent money and used his credit recklessly. I feel I am paying for her mistakes. How can I assure him that I am staying within our wedding budget and not overspending? Also, how can I be sure he's not still paying for her mistakes?"

Gail, those are two distinctly different questions..

First, if you have an agreed upon wedding budget and your parents have made a large contribution, you and your fiancé should be in agreement about covering any expenses that are over and above that contribution. Be sure to discuss and agree to the financial aspects of the wedding plan. Make a formal budget. Review and revise the budget if he's nervous or either of you has concerns.

You are starting a long-term partnership. Establish good patterns for joint planning and spending now.

If both of you understand how all the costs fit into the bigger picture, seeing you spend $1000.00 on one item won't be so troublesome to him if he knows it's in the budget.

Sit down together and go over every line item so you both will know how the small detail fits into the big picture. Most people only get upset if they don't understand. If you both agree to a budget and you both understand the kind of event the kind of event you are creating, your minds and wallets will be at ease.

If you are overspending and reawakening a familiar fear in him, sit down and revisit that budget yourself. If either partner is operating outside of the agreed upon budget, the other has reason to be upset.

Your last question raises additional issues. If you have not already done so, ask him if he's still paying off his ex-wife's debt.

This is a good opportunity for you and your fiancé to learn to trust each other. Set a new pattern for your partnership by planning your finances together. Consult with each other about large expenditures, and stick to the agreed upon budgets.

One way to deal with past debt is to order both of your credit reports, so you can be sure your credit is in good standing. Even those who have excellent credit need to be concerned about identity theft and fraud. If the ex-wife is responsible for a debt that shows up on his report, contact the credit bureau and send them a copy of the divorce decree. Request that they add 'responsibility of ex-spouse' to the report. A credit report should be ordered every one to two years to be sure there are no discrepancies or inaccuracies.

The cost can range from $9.00 to $20.00 for a basic credit report.

Additional information on this topic:

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