Before walking down the aisle and saying “I do”, it’s important to talk about some money matters in advance. You may still be elated with the fact that your partner slash fiancé proposed to you and this may be an awkward topic, but you’ll thank yourself for braving to open it up before the marriage. According to surveys made, most couples don’t talk about it prior to the wedding, though financial responsibility is important to them. Moreover, one of the most common causes of divorce is financial difficulties. That being said, here are some of the money matters that you and your partner should discuss prior to tying the knot
Debt He Owes
Ask how much debt he owes and if he’s paying it on time. Once you get married, his debts will also become your responsibility. This would also affect your family finances greatly. You don’t want to be surprised that you have loads of loans to pay once you’re married. Moreover, if a guy is towering with debts, it could mean that he’s not good at managing his finances. You may want to think over if you really want to settle down at this time.
A bad credit score would affect the approval of your loans in case you decide to apply for a home or car loan in the future. You may want to consider this, especially if planning to get your new family home. Even if you have a good credit score, your husband’s bad credit score could still affect you.
You may already know it, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. However, if you don’t, it’s about time that you ask. Would both of your income be enough for you to have a comfortable life? If not, you may want to consider if you can live with limited financial resources.
Get to know how your partner spends his money. Does he always buy more of the things he likes or he’s more of a thrifty person who purchase the things he needs and seldom purchase things that he wants? It’s best that you talk about this as early as now so you can compromise on how you would spend your money as a married couple. Some adjustments may need to be made as husband and wife.
When you’re single, you don’t have anything to worry but yourself. You pay your own bills, buy your own foods and purchase the things you need or want. When you get married, you’ll be paying your bills and expenses as a couple. It will be your money and his money, so it’s important to create a budget that would work for both of you.
Determine the benefits that your husband has at work. You may then compare it to yours so you could decide on which would be of most help to you. For instance, your husband may be eligible for a benefit that’s not available in your workplace. He may add you as his beneficiary and you may secure all the needed paperwork as soon as possible.
Healthcare and hospitalization are huge expenses. Check if he has existing health insurance. If not, you can prepare the needed documents to add him as a beneficiary in your insurance. If he has one and it’s better than yours, he could add you as a beneficiary instead.
Joint or Separate Bank Accounts
There are couples who prefer to have a joint bank account and there are also those who decide to keep their accounts separate. Talk about it and see which would work best for both of you. You may also open a joint account for the house expenses and keep your personal accounts for your personal needs.
It’s important to know this to determine how much you need to save each month in order to have contingency funds that would let you survive for at least six months in case you get unemployed.
Number of Children
Are you planning to have kids? If yes, how many children do you want to have? Will you be paying for their college education or would you let them get a student loan? All of this information has a huge impact on your finances.
It may feel awkward at first, but this is something that you need to do if you want to avoid financial issues with your partner in the future.
Featured and 1st image by Jason Hutchens (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by Chairman (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons