Marriage is a lifelong commitment, but before you decide to tie the knot it’s important to sit down with your partner and discuss money first. One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a couple is how you’ll manage your finances together. Talking about money may not be the most romantic thing to do, but it’s a necessary discussion to have before you say, “I do.”
Here are 15 financial discussions you need to have before marriage:
1. Your financial history
Start with sharing your financial history with your partner. Discuss your credit score, outstanding debts, assets, and liabilities. It’s essential to be transparent and honest with each other.
2. Your financial goals
Discuss your long-term and short-term financial goals. Do you want to save for a down payment on a house, start a business, or pay off debt? Make a plan together that outlines how you’ll achieve these goals.
3. Your spending habits
It’s essential to understand your partner’s spending habits. Are they frugal, or do they tend to splurge? Do they tend to make impulsive purchases? Understanding each other’s spending habits will help you work together toward your financial goals.
4. Your income
Discuss your income and how much you each earn. If one of you makes significantly more than the other, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll divide expenses and how much each of you will contribute.
5. Your savings
It’s important to have an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Discuss how much you should save each month and how you’ll allocate the funds.
6. Your retirement plans
Talk about your retirement plans and how you’ll save for retirement. How much will you contribute to your retirement savings each month?
7. Your debt
Discuss any outstanding debt you have and how you plan to pay it off. If one of you has more debt than the other, you’ll need to figure out how to tackle it together.
8. Your budget
Create a budget together that outlines your income, expenses, and savings goals. Make sure to include all your monthly bills, such as rent, utilities, and groceries.
9. Joint or separate accounts
Decide if you’ll have joint or separate bank accounts. Joint accounts help simplify finances, but separate accounts provide more independence.
10. Your financial responsibilities
Discuss who will be responsible for paying the bills, managing investments, and tracking expenses. It’s important to have a clear understanding of each other’s financial responsibilities.
11. Your financial boundaries
Establish financial boundaries and discuss any limitations you have. For example, if you don’t want to take on any debt, make that clear to your partner.
12. Your financial expectations
Talk about your financial expectations for the future. Are you planning to have children? Do you want to buy a house? Make sure you’re both on the same page.
13. Insurance coverage
Discuss your insurance needs, including health, life, and disability insurance. Make sure you’re both adequately covered.
14. Estate planning
Talk about estate planning and decide how you’ll divide your assets in case of death. You may want to consult with a financial planner or attorney to create a will or trust.
15. Regular check-ins
Finally, plan to have regular check-ins to review your finances and make any necessary adjustments. This will help you stay on track and achieve your financial goals together. Having these 15 financial discussions before marriage can help you and your partner develop a healthy and sustainable financial plan. It may not be the most romantic conversation, but it’s one of the most important ones you’ll have as a couple. Being open and honest about your financial situation and goals, means that you can build a solid foundation for a happy marriage and a financially responsible and abundant future.