5 Financial Topics to Discuss Before Marriage

bridal-636018_1280 (1)Marriage is a big step and can shift the entire financial aspect of your life. After you get engaged or once your relationship gets serious are both the best times to discuss your finances with your partner. In between planning your life together, it’s important to discuss the not-so-fun or interesting aspects of your life and how you will make joint financial decisions in the future.

Here are 5 financial topics to discuss before marriage with your partner.

1. Your Financial Goals

This should be a given, but you should sit down with your partner and discuss your financial goals, their goals, and your joint goals. Find out what is most important to them from a financial standpoint so you can see if anything differs from your point-of-view.

For example, your big financial goal may be to purchase a house in a year, but your partner’s goal could be to pay off more debt first for a few years then start looking into buying a house.

It’s best not to assume that you both have exactly the same financial goals and that’s okay. It’s best to talk to each other first so you can know what you need to compromise on or discuss further.

2. What you like to Splurge on

Sometimes in a marriage, your purchasing habits can annoy or confuse the other person so it’s best to clear the air ahead of time and reveal what each of you like to splurge on and decide if you can accept it or work toward reigning the excessive spending in.

For the most honest answers, write down your splurge points on a sheet of paper at the same time as your partner then switch them to see what they put down.

If you don’t like something that your partner put down or want to discuss it more, don’t hesitate to bring your feelings and opinions up at this time because it could prevent an argument in the future.

3. Your Credit

You should know your partner’s credit score and financial situation before you marry them. Point blank, period. It’s important to have that type of information out in the open within your relationship so you know your options for the future if you ever decided to apply for credit together or take out a loan.

If there are areas on either of your credit reports that need to be improved or debt that needs to be paid off, you can develop a game plan to tackle those challenges together as a team.

4. How you Want to Handle Paying the Bills and Budgeting

Some people go into marriage with certain expectations that they assume their partner will agree with. However, if you’re going to assign a financial role to yourself or your partner, you should be very vocal about it. Discuss what you will do with your income and how you will budget.

Also, decide how you will be paying your bills each month and who will be responsible for which task.

5. Will You Have a Joint Checking Account or Separate Accounts?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You just need to find what works best for you and your situation. If you prefer to spend money together or if you’ll have a one income household, a joint account would probably be best.

If you both bring in an income and would prefer to split everything 50/50, you might opt to have one joint account for shared expenses and separate accounts for everything else if you can both trust each other to make wise financial decisions.

At first, I figured my partner and I would do this, then I did the math and realized we would save more money and have more to put toward our debt if we put our income together each month and shared it. The choice is totally up to you when it comes to deciding this.

What financial topics do you think are important to discuss before marriage?

Posted in: Family, Money

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