Getting engaged has been fun. The days after the announcement have have been filled with celebrations and congratulations. But now a few weeks out, I’m even more excited to dive into the conversations about everything that will soon be coming our way.
We were still on the plane ride home from Hawaii when we first started talking about the details of the wedding: where and when, the guests we’ll invite, what sort of food – we even explored some songs we might use for our first dance.
Naturally, that quickly evolved into talk about a wedding budget, and how we might raise that amount. That, in turn, led to the discussion of our joint finances more generally. Finally, we realized that what we really needed to talk about as we move forward as a couple are the things that are important to us not just for the wedding, but for our whole marriage.
We needed to have a serious talk about our long-term money goals.
Why discussing our long-term goals is so important
A wedding is just one of many expenses that comes with being newly engaged. The way we choose to tackle the cost of our wedding will depend on how we envision our lives after the big day.
Coming to an agreement on how we want to spend our joint retirement, for instance — whether we want to travel full-time, buy a vacation home for our family to enjoy, or use it to pursue a second career — helps make it easier to determine expenses in the short term, like how much to spend on a wedding venue and how important it is that we have floral centerpieces.
Why the conversation about our long-term goals should be a continuous one
To make sure these conversations actually happen, we’ve set a permanent Google Calendar reminder for the 15th of every month to talk about our long-term goals. The reason that this is an ongoing thing rather than just one conversation is that defining long-term goals is not the kind of thing we’ll nail on the first talk. In fact, it’s the sort of thing that I suspect will evolve over the course of our lives together.
While these conversations will largely focus on wedding and furnishing an apartment for now, these recurring conversations will turn to other serious topics such as whether to have children, and if it makes sense to buy a house.
Constantly revisiting our goals should also force us in between conversations to start to think about the intermediate steps and sacrifices we’ll have to make to see our long-term goals happen.
Sounds hard, right?
I think so. To stay motivated, these conversations won’t be the only thing automatically scheduled on the 15th of the month; we’ll pair it with something we enjoy doing: treating ourselves to a hot fudge sundae with chocolate chips and extra whipped cream. 🙂