Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ten on Tuesday

10 Things to Do Before You Get Married

1. Finish at least one Bachelors degree. Just do it. Going back to school later is so difficult. Having that degree (even if you end up working in an entirely different field) is something that no one can take away from you.

2. Go on a vacation with your beloved. Get away from other influences and see this person for who he/she really is. Take off those rose-colored glasses.

3. Talk seriously about whether you both want children. Minds can change, but you both should start out understanding where you are.

4. Talk seriously about your views on spending and saving. Living a lifetime with someone who spends every cent may be exciting for a while, but it won't be fun when you want to retire (or pay bills).

5. Spend some time living on your own. You may have a roommate (but not a romantically-entangled one), but be responsible for yourself and your bills.

6. Learn to cook, both of you! Being the only one to do all the cooking every single day isn't fun. Both of you should be able to share this and you might even find that you like cooking together.

7. Hold a job. It doesn't have to be the start of your career, but it is good to have at least one job to know that you can support yourself in some fashion. I highly recommend a fast food job because it will help encourage you to finish item #1.

8. Pay off your debts as much as you can. Start off together without financial baggage if you can manage it. Student loans are an exception because those will probably take you longer to pay off. Do pay off any credit cards. Interest rates and fees on credit cards will keep you in debt for the rest of your life unless you get rid of them.

9. Start the habit of saving. Have some money taken out of your paycheck and stashed in a separate account. If you hide it before it hits the checkbook, you won't even notice it.

10. Don't get too carried away on wedding planning and wedding expenses. Yes, it's fun to throw a big party, but a small party will be just as memorable and far less stressful for all concerned.

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