Financial Topics to Discuss Before Marriage

couple-1030744_1920Marriage is a big commitment and change for your life and finances. Before you actually say “I do” though, there are a few things you should discuss with your partner and a few money questions you should get answered.

Money is one of the top causes of tension in a marriage and is also said to cause quite a few arguments. The safe route to go would be talking about any money concerns or questions before you walk down the aisle.Some people are uncomfortable talking about money and might not want to open up, but this is your life partner you’re talking to, so you should defenitly have this conversation.

Here are 4 financial topics to discuss before marriage.

1. How Much Debt Each of you Have

This is probably one of the first and most important questions of all. Once you get married, the debt is not only your spouse’s but also yours so be sure that you are aware their debt situation.

Loans and credit card debt can be a big surprise or your partner might not have added up all their totals and on;y has a rough estimate of what they owe so be sure to sit down and talk about debt before you sign your marriage license. Also, make sure you and your partner are both in good standing your their debt and help each other get there if you aren’t.

One of you having a bad credit score could definitely stop you from being able to purchase a house or a car.

2. How Much you Wish to Save Each Month

Saving is very important and should be prioritized right along with your with bills when it comes to properly managing your money. Saving for a rainy day needs to be on your agenda as a family because anything can happen.

When you tell yourself you’re going to wait until the end of the month to set something aside for your savings account you should think again. If you put saving off, there is a good chance that you will not have anything left at the end of the month. Make sure you both are adopting healthy savings habits like paying yourself first and setting up recurring automatic withdrawals to your savings account each month to make saving easier.

3. Who Will Be in Charge Of Paying Bills

You should spend some time deciding who will be the one to make sure certain bills are paid each month. Both of you should play an equal role in deciding how your finances are managed but if one of you is better at organization and has the availability to manage responsibilities like bill pay, you should both mutually agree on those roles.

Figuring this out ahead of time is good and will avoid any confusion and possible late fees from not paying on time. If you want to split it up who managed what then that may work as well. For example, you might want to be in charge of paying certain bills while your partner is in charge or making savings contributions and submitting the rent or mortgage payment. As long as there are no assumptions about what should be done and you are both on the same page, that’s what matters most.

4. How Much Each of you Feel Comfortable Spending

When you get married, you’ll need to decide whether you want to combine finances or not and how that will help improve your situation and relationship. Determine how much you and your partner want to spend in a typical month and how you will handle any spending splurges.

Most couples follow a monthly budget and allow each other to spend up to a certain threshold of money on wants or leisure purchases like $100-200 per month for example. Your spending limit and budget may look different from other households and that’s okay. Stick to what seems realistic and makes you feel comfortable.

What additional questions would you ask your partner to help you manage money better as a team?

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