When it comes to getting married, there are a lot of questions to ask your future spouse. Money is one of the biggest reasons couples get divorced. Before taking the plunge, here are a few money topics you might want to bring up with your fiance (or serious long-term partner) before you get married.
Should we combine bank accounts?
In my experience, couples who have shared bank accounts were married when they were young or before one or both of them were established in their careers. Couples who marry when they are older and more established, or who are in second marriages, tend to keep their finances separate. While there is no right answer, my recommendation often is to meet in the middle. Keep your own accounts, but also have joint accounts for shared expenses and savings.
How much debt do you have?
At the heart of this question is not about shaming anyone about the debt load they are carrying. People have debt for a lot of different reasons, so ask this question in order to have an understanding of what you’re both getting into. The amount of debt someone carries can have a huge impact on your plans for saving for the wedding, paying off debt, and creating a new life together. It can also have a long-term impact on retirement savings and investments.
How does marriage impact our credit scores?
While your credit scores do not combine when you get married, you may be responsible for debt incurred during the course of the marriage. Ask about credit scores to know your starting point, especially if bigger purchases that require a credit check are on the horizon.
How much money do you make?
Asking this question is important if you want to understand the type of lifestyle you will live as a couple. If you want to have kids, a house, and one stay-at-home parent, you’ve got to make enough money and have little enough debt to make that happen. If there is a big discrepancy between incomes, that may lead to other conversations about things like who will make investment decisions or who will be in charge of the checkbook for everyday expenses.
Will we have a budget?
Trick question. YES! You will have a budget. A budget helps you see where you are today so that you can make decisions to meet your future financial goals. It makes the conversation about money with your spouse simpler.
Schedule a Eureka Session today if you’re ready to start the conversation about money with your soon-to-be spouse!