Wedding bells prompt parents to revisit family finance lessons            

Your first-born is getting married this summer. You’re the proud parent of the bride. Suddenly, you flash back to her first bike ride.

How scared you felt when you gave her a push without training wheels on her two-wheeler. The same queasy feeling rises in your stomach today when you think about her future.

Will she have a comfortable life after marriage? Will she be able to afford what she needs?                     Do my daughter and her soon-to-be husband see eye to eye on finances? Do they agree on how to spend money? Do either of them know enough about finance to provide a good life for a future family?                                                   

Can any young couple make it in these inflationary times?                             

You want to ask them, but don’t have the nerve:

. . . Do you know how much homes cost these days? Or how much rents have risen?                                                                                                       

. . . Are your jobs stable enough to take on a big mortgage? What about children?  Or family pets.                                            

. . . Have you heard how much it costs to raise kids for 18 years, then pay for college for them?

In a panic, you ponder: Have I taught my daughter the right financial lessons to survive? You wonder   if you stressed saving money for rainy days, or mentioned how important it is to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses . . . or surviving layoffs or unemployment. You only hope that she got the point of putting a few pennies in her piggy bank rather than spending every dime that came her way.  

You look back over the years, asking yourself: Was I a good example in my financial life? Did she understand why we looked at so many places before deciding on the right house for our family? Was she watching while we compared prices for the best deals in the grocery story? When she was planning her school wardrobe each fall, did she realize that the latest fads don’t last as long as more conservative clothes do? Did she make the connection between routine chores we assigned her and the allowance we gave her? Did she know how to budget any other money she earned?

Parents are children’s first teachers                                                                               

Life’s most important lessons are learned at home. From equipping themselves with marketable skills to earning an adequate living and spending their wages wisely, parents model behavior that can lead to happy lives, or days filled with financial stress. Money issues lead to marriage problems. One key indicator of successful unions: A bride and groom able to manage finances well enough to save money.

For advice in financial planning, newlyweds are wise to visit a financial advisor before tying the knot.

Manage Your Money . . . provided by AAM Fee-Only Financial Planning & Investment Advisory LLC

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Ronald Van Surksum, CFP             

4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite 2               Grandville, MI 49418                                    

Phone: (616) 531-5220                             Cell: (616) 450-8439                               

For permission to reprint:                         06-15-22