Dave Says: Finances before and after the wedding

Dear Dave,

I’m getting married this summer, and I’m on Baby Step 4 of your plan. My fiancé is getting onboard with your advice, too, and she’s currently in the process of paying down her student loan debt. Would it be a good idea to go ahead, and put most of my emergency fund savings toward helping pay off her debt now?

Aaron

Dear Aaron,

You’ve got a generous heart, and I know you love this lady, but I wouldn’t recommend being involved in paying any of her debt until after the wedding. At that point, you two are joined together as one, and the concepts of “mine” and “hers” and “his” disappear. It all becomes “ours,” and you can adjust your money situation to reflect your marriage and your financial makeover as a couple.

Make sure that “we” have an emergency fund of at least $1,000 in the bank at that point. Then, if you’re both in agreement on the issue, you can throw the rest of what you previously had in your emergency fund at the debt. Both of you can also pile up cash between now and the big day, so that when you’re “official” you’ll have even more cash on hand.

Congratulations, and may God bless your lives together!

—Dave

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