Picking out the linens or tableware is only one step of getting ready for marriage. Discussions about finances are a crucial part of preparing for your future. It's important to talk about money early in the relationship to avoid future issues.
A study from Kansas State University, "Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce," sheds light on the subject. It found that couples who struggled with money at the beginning of their relationship were more likely to get divorced. Check out these eight important financial matters that you need to discuss with your partner before your marriage.
1How Finances Will Be Combined
Will you combine your accounts or keep them separate? Couples need to decide how they want to handle all of their finances after marriage. Most choose to combine the accounts or open new joint ones.
2Who Will Take Care Of The Bills?
It's easier to choose one person to handle bill payments. This avoids confusion and makes responsibility clear in the relationship. The person in charge of bill payments also usually handles tax preparation.
3Each Other's Debts
Questions about debt are essential for a healthy financial relationship. Debt can vary from student loans to credit cards. Understanding how much debt each person has before marriage will affect future decisions.
Can you get a mortgage immediately after the wedding? Can you upgrade your living room furniture? All of these questions depend on how much debt you carry.
4Your Income Sources
The paycheck you see once or twice a month can be a part of a bigger income picture. To accurately plan your future, you need to know all of the income sources. List them down.
Are you receiving annuity payments? Do you get royalty checks from a novel you published ten years ago? These details need to be shared with your partner. Being open about your income builds trust in a relationship.
5Desire For Further Education
Student loans are one of the biggest sources of debt. If you or your partner is considering more education, how will you pay for it? Consider your budget first.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states that student loan debt has reached $1.2 trillion. It's estimated that the average borrower has $26,000 in student loans. Before you pursue more education, you should consider the impact on your future marriage.
6Involvement Of Parents On Your Finances
Are your parents helping pay your bills? Or are you the one helping your parents? These are important questions that affect a couple's financial plans and decisions.
How would you feel if a parent helped during a difficult financial period? It's important to set boundaries and repayment terms ahead of time. Be sure to discuss this before any financial emergency happens.
7Your Saving Strategies
Questions about savings need to cover investments and retirement. Couples can create a savings plan to reach goals. You may be buying a house or taking an international vacation.
Do you contribute to a retirement plan at work? Do you have other investments? How will combining finances affect your strategy?
8Your Financial Dreams
It's important to discuss your overall goals for the future. Do you want to retire before 50? Do you plan on changing careers? Your financial dreams need to be part of the conversation about the future.
Your partner's dreams may differ from yours. But you can combine many of them and work together to reach them. Understanding these plans before marriage will help you make better decisions.
Couples who ask financial questions before marriage are better prepared for the future. It's easier to achieve the financial life you desire when both of you support goals that will get you there. Knowing these eight things to discuss with your partner before getting married will keep you from going astray.