One of the major mistakes most couples make in getting married is taking the plunge before they have  much experience of living as individuals in the real world.  If you know someone who is getting married or thinking about marriage, have them read this checklist.  It might help their marriage become better than they hoped for or prevent it becoming a nightmare.

Before I begin sharing my wisdom, I want you to know that I am happily remarried.  Unfortunately, this wisdom I share did not come cheaply.  I encourage marriage, I think that marriage is a wonderful thing and wish you to have a successful marriage.

Most marriage failures can be attributed to two main factors, money and lack of communication.  When the money is flowing life is good and everybody’s happy.  When the money is tight, things can change a lot –  tensions rise and communication can break down.

Marriage checklist

  1. Education: Get your primary education out of the way.  The biggest mistake most couples make is assuming  they’ll finish their education after they’re married.
  2. Career: Establish your career before you get married.  Establishing a career takes a lot of time, money and energy.
  3. Experience: Each person should live on their own away from each other and away from their parents for awhile, because they need to understand the cost of living.
  4. Self-fulfilment: Don’t expect your partner to fulfill your needs.  They should compliment you of course, but they shouldn’t be your entire life.
  5. Common interests: Make sure you have several common interests, things that you would do either together or separately.  The more activities you have in common with each other means the more fun you will  experience together.
  6. Realistic budget: Create a budget that you and your significant other plan to live by.  I suggest that you both go through FPU (Financial Peace University) by Dave Ramsey.  You won’t regret the experience.
  7. Emergency fund: Create an emergency fund.  Dave Ramsey says a baby fund is $1,000 in the bank.  A fully funded emergency fund is 6+ months of expenses that you don’t touch except for an emergency, such as being get laid off.
  8. Share your dreams: Talk about what your future looks like in 1 year, 5, 10, and 20 years down the road.  It’s preferable if you agree on what your future looks like.
  9. Children: Talk about when you would like to have children and how many you would like to have.  Ideally, you agree on that too.
  10. Child-rearing: Talk about child-rearing.  It’s best if you both agree on how you will do it as a couple.