When you decide you want to marry someone, there are a lot of small elements that go into that decision. The more you got to know them, the more the details came together that either brought you closer or pulled you apart. Finances are one of those details and that area contains an entire subset of its own. Below are 10 conversations you should have before marriage. If you didn’t have them before you got married and you are having problems now, it may be a good idea to have these conversations now.
10 Financial Conversations to Have Before Marriage
- General thoughts: How do you each feel about money? Do you love, want to roll around in it? Does he hate it and prefer trade and barter? These are important things to know before you start combining finances and financial efforts.
- Current bills: Now is the time to lay all the cards on the table. How in debt are you? Are you each prepared to help the other pay off debts?
- Budget: Budgets aren’t fun to make, but they are a necessity of you plan to do anything more than a live week to week. Now is a great time to find out if you are a spender or saver and to see where your partner stands on this issue as well
- Credit Scores: Compare credit scores and reports. Not only will this give each a good idea of how you both have handled money in the past; it will also give you a starting point to reference when it comes to planning for the future.
- Goals and Purchases: Do you have the same goals and would you buy the same things. If you came into a lot of money, would you put in a pool or a barn? Would you buy a new car? Where do you want to be financially 5 or 10 years from now?
- Careers: What is the long term career plan? This is not just about money. It could mean a change in location and lifestyle as well.
- Children: What are your financial plans when it comes to children? Will you be saving up for them for college? How many do you plan to have? Are you financially prepared to take care of them? Keep in mind these are just a few of the questions you’ll have to answer as parents.
- Shared accounts: Before you get married you probably each have your own account. Are you going to combine accounts or do you plan on keeping them separate?
- Assets: What kind of assets do you plan on? If your partner wants to stock up on old beer cans and you prefer to put your money into stocks and bonds, there could be a problem.
- Retirement: Now is the time to plan for retirement. You’ll need to know what kind of investments and plans you each are going to make so that no one person carries the entire burden of saving for retirement while the other is out shopping.