Learn and Plan | Finance questions to ask before marriage
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Finance questions to ask before marriage

Aug 18, 2022, 1:44:38 PM | Reading Time: 4 minutes

You’re getting married! It’s an exciting time and a cause for much celebration. But getting hitched also means you’ll be officially merging all facets of your individual worlds, including your finances. The sooner you start having frank conversations with your partner about money, the easier it will be to get on the same page. Here are eight financial questions you should ask each other before the big day.

What are your money values?

Hopefully, you and your partner share many of the same values, but what about money management? Your opinions and thoughts regarding money may be different. A lot of that has to do with the way you were each raised and how money was treated by your parents growing up. Talk to your partner about what they were taught about money, what they think about it now, and what they value most when they spend it. If your money values don’t line up, you’ll need to find some common ground financially.

What are your spending habits?

Many couples don’t dedicate a lot of time to discussing their spending habits, but chances are good that you and your partner will spend money differently. Start a discussion on spending by being honest and respecting your spouse’s perspective. Opening a dialogue about the way you should spend money as a couple will go a long way toward building and sustaining a healthy relationship.

What are your current money goals?

You and your partner may have different financial goals, so it’s important to talk about them and to find out what goals matter most to you as a couple and how you can achieve them together. Start by making lists of your goals separately before the discussion. Agreeing about what goals you want to accomplish as a couple should be your mission. When you’ve established unified goals, it’s a good idea to revisit them once in a while. Personal goals can change over time.

How much debt do you have?

Marriage should be built on trust, so it’s important to be honest and ask each other what you owe on your credit cards, school loans, and other accounts before you combine your finances. Be transparent by sharing your credit history. Once you’re married, you may decide to share joint bank accounts, credit cards, a mortgage, car loans, and more. Heavy debt and bad credit can adversely affect your purchasing power as a couple. Work together to eliminate bad debt and get your credit in good standing.

What are your money fears?

Going into a marriage, you or your spouse may have some insecurity or fears about spending money, losing money, combining money, or something else that can affect your finances as a couple. Ask your partner if they have any concerns about money as you start your life together. As a married couple, you should both feel secure about your finances and how you will handle them together.

Should we combine our finances?

Whether or not you decide to share accounts as a couple is something you should determine before you get married. There is no right or wrong answer to the question. Some married couples decide to combine everything, and some choose to maintain separate bank accounts. If you do decide to merge finances, it’s important to agree on what constitutes joint expenses and how much discretionary money you will each have to spend each month.

What are your long-term plans?

Before you walk down the aisle together, you’ll need to know what your future goals as a couple will be. Buying a home, saving for retirement, purchasing life insurance, or having a baby are some possibilities. Talk to your partner about what long-term goals you each see for your family going forward. Once you’ve both revealed what you’d like to achieve, talk about what specific steps can be taken to make those goals a reality.

Should we make a budget together?

A budget is an essential tool when you’re married and share expenses. Spend some time with your partner to organize your income and expenses. To create your budget together, subtract your total expenses and savings goals from your total income each month. If the balance is in the red, you’ll need to cut back on your spending or generate additional income. Try organizing your joint finances on a budgeting app like Mint.com, which will give you both access to all your accounts in real-time and help you to stay on top of your money every month.

Should we work with a financial professional?

As you work through some of the questions above, you may notice that some answers are easier to answer than others. In some cases, it might be a good idea to seek professional help. For instance, if you or your partner have questions about planning for retirement or coverage for sudden death, you may want to connect with a financial professional.


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