Four Financial Questions for Engaged Couples
Good communication is the key to a healthy marriage, yet so many couples neglect discussing their finances with each other. Discussing finances can be an emotional subject. From our experience, since money squabbles are at the heart of many break-ups, it’s important to sync up your financial goals and philosophies. Here are four conversations you and your fiancé should have prior to tying the knot:
What is your spending philosophy?
Determine whether you and your partner are spenders or savers, what you both like to splurge on and how your attitudes toward money within a marriage have been shaped by your upbringing. You may be surprised to discover that you both have differing ideas on how much each of you is allowed to spend without consulting the other or how much is too much to spend on a particular item. Once you unearth your philosophies toward spending, you can begin aligning them toward common financial goals.
What is your financial inventory?
Talk about your debts, including student loans, credit card debts, mortgages, and other loans. Look up your credit scores and share them with your partner. Discuss your bank balances, salary and any other assets or investments you might hold. These discussions can lead to decisions on how you’ll handle debt and planning for future events such as retirement.
How will you manage your money?
There are many logistical questions about managing your money to work out. Having an answer for each one of these discussion topics can help set your marriage up for financial success:
- Will you merge your accounts or keep them separate?
- What will your budget look like? Consider the following:
- your current spending, earnings, and savings goals
- any future changes to your situation, such as a promotion or home purchase
- Who will manage finances and track spending? Who will pay the bills?
- Who will track spending and manage the budget?
- How often will you meet to discuss your finances?
What are your financial goals?
Many couples will have already discussed the idea of starting a family, where you might like to live and what you want for a lifestyle. Use these conversations to segue into talks about saving for retirement, investment objectives and other future goals that will require a savings plan.
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