Marriage is a complex issue, especially when it involves money. One wrong move can cost you a lot of money and ruin your family legacy in the process. That’s why it is important to learn about the financial aspects of marriage before tying the knot.
If you’re getting married this summer, you’re probably looking into ways to spend less and save money. Whether you’re planning on spending a little, or you want to cut your spend down to nothing, there are a lot of ways you can save money.
It’s hard to imagine a world without money, but it was once a real possibility. But thanks to the advent of technology, our lives have been completely transformed by currency. In the past, we had to simply use cash in order to buy things, and the advances of the modern world made it possible to access our money without actually having to physically hold it in our hands. Today, we can buy virtually anything we want—knowing that our purchase is guaranteed to be fully backed by our government, as well as the promise of a growing economy.In the union of two people, different personalities, backgrounds, lifestyles, desires, needs and wishes come together. There are similarities that connect you and differences that can become a crazy maze to navigate. Finances are one of the issues that can separate two people. That’s why it’s important to have in-depth conversations about your marriage and your money before these conflicts arise. These important conversations about money should ideally take place at the beginning of any serious relationship and before marriage. If you are married or in a long-term relationship where finances are shared, your partner’s actions and decisions will affect you too. Financial issues are also among the top five factors contributing to divorce when partners cannot agree. But it’s not too late! If you haven’t had these conversations yet, but there are money issues in your marriage, there is still time for a heart-to-heart talk. You can solve money problems in your marriage by being honest with each other, setting goals together and working as a team to achieve those goals. In my marriage, we also have two different spending habits and that sometimes causes problems. I am a saver and my husband is a spender. It helped that we set a savings goal and budgeted money for fun. I have no right to condemn him for what he does with the money, but I still look at him with a sly eye!
Talking about finances in marriage
It is important to know how your partner feels about his finances. These are money topics that will help you determine your future spouse’s spending habits and financial goals. Important topics to be addressed in the financial area are:
- Money personalities
- Financial targets
- Pension and estate planning
Being at two different places in your financial journey shouldn’t be an obstacle, but you both need to be willing to meet, learn and improve. Having different monetary personalities can also help you balance yourself. I mentioned that I am frugal, while my husband is willing to spend more. Nevertheless, we were able to influence each other and move each other forward. In any case, you can start this important discussion with these questions:
- How much do you earn per month? People like to treat this topic as a big taboo, but it’s the beginning of an open and honest conversation about managing your finances well.
- Are you in debt? How many? This includes credit card debt, school loans, car loans, medical bills, tax debts, loans from friends, child support, etc. Unpaid debt can lead to wage garnishment on both wages.
- What are your costs? Can you and your partner comfortably meet your expenses without living from paycheck to paycheck?
- Do you have savings? It’s important to save money and have an emergency fund so you don’t incur (or have incurred) new debt.
- Do you keep track of your average spending? How aware is your partner of your finances and the risk of debt accumulation?
- Are you prepared to live within your means? If you or your partner are not on the right track financially, are you ready to make the necessary changes in your life?
- Do you give one tenth of your income to charity? If these things are important to your spouse, it’s good to know and understand that.
- What do you like to spend your money on? Do you have expensive tastes? Spending money on things you love is a good thing, but only if you have the budget for it.
- How do you feel about merging (or splitting) our finances? I am a big believer in combining finances, we prefer to live on one income and save with the other. Some couples choose to splurge on finances. This can be done by dividing the costs 50/50, by putting a percentage of your salary in a joint account, or in some other practical way. It is also important to discuss what happens if someone loses their job or starts earning less.
- Should there be a fixed allowance or limit on maintenance payments? If you agree on an amount that you are free to spend without asking the other person, you will prevent future arguments. My husband and I have both budgeted a monthly amount.
- Who will be responsible for managing the accounts? A person should be responsible for paying their bills on time every month. However, both partners should be clear about all costs and deadlines (especially in case of problems).
- Do you want to rent or buy? If the goal is to buy a home, it’s important to have a good credit history and save for a down payment. In addition to the mortgage, other expenses of the owner must be taken into account.
- What is your credit score? Your partner’s bad credit history won’t affect your credit after marriage, but it may change the terms for which you both qualify. Don’t worry, there are many ways to improve your credit score.
- What are your financial goals and how are you working to achieve them? Discuss your goals together and work on them as a team.
- Would you like to have children? How many? Think about childcare, school, home and car expenses to make sure there is enough money for everyone.
- Would you be willing to spend money on fertility treatment or adoption? These options can cost thousands of dollars if you want them.
- Will any of us become housebound? Find out what your spouse’s wishes and expectations are for a contribution to the marriage.
- Would you like to send your children to a public or private school? There is a clear price difference between public and privatized education. My husband has been to both institutions and sees major differences in the lifestyle of the two. In his personal experience, teachers in private schools were more involved in the learning process and put more effort into making sure every student understood the material. Whatever your preference, it’s important to be aware of the cost.
- Do you need pets? Being a responsible pet owner costs money and time.
- How do you feel about lending money to your family and friends? Borrowing money that is paid back or not is a bone of contention in marriage. It is helpful to agree on a borrowing policy with your partner and stick to it.
- When you do certain jobs or tasks, do you prefer to do them yourself or do you pay someone to do them? Is your partner planning to employ staff, e.g. housekeeper, gardener, etc.?
- What type of donor are you? This problem had to be solved in my marriage before I had too many expensive paperweights. We had to negotiate a limit for unexpected gifts unless it was a specific request.
- Do you invest in a pension plan? When do you plan to retire? Make plans for a good financial future.
- Do you have life insurance? Do you have a will? These plans should be made with your loved ones in mind, especially if children are involved.
- How many cars do we need? Do you or your spouse want to own more than one vehicle? Project car? Motorcycles?
The answer to these monetary questions can be a real revelation to you! But the results of such an open and honest conversation about your needs and expectations will help prepare you emotionally for future challenges.Money and marriage: 25 finance topics before tying the knot. Read more about premarital financial worksheet and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way for married couples to handle finances?
Money is one of the most complicated and most influential parts of our lives. Millions of couples are engaged in a financial battle. And every couple has different financial habits and preferences. In this post, we will consider one more step before tying the knot: whether to keep separate finances or merge your finances. It’s important to keep a close eye on the finances when a couple is about to get married. Couples can start their marriage with little or no money, and not even be able to afford to buy a house. So, choosing the right marriage partner is important. To help you choose, we have prepared this article to give you some tips about how to handle finances before you tie the knot.
How Financial can ruin a marriage?
Married life is a complicated thing, as is the way we approach our finances. Financial problems in marriage are a huge cause of divorces and can lead to serious consequences for children. That’s why it’s so important to talk about money before you say “I do.” The negative effects that money can have on a marriage are undeniable. It can bring out the worst in people and create strife and stress in many unions. The negative aspects of money have a direct impact on our relationships. Money can create problems for us. It offers opportunities to create conflict and it can make people feel that they are less important. Money is a symbol of power. It has the ability to fulfill our desires. It has the ability to make or break us.
How do you balance finances in a relationship?
How do you balance finances in a relationship? Financial compatibility is a critical factor when considering marriage. If your relationship is based on mutual understanding, trust and personal and financial security, you will have an easier time weathering financial storms than a couple that are not emotionally compatible. The wedding bells may sound romantic, but the reality of lifelong commitments to be made in a relationship increases the likelihood of financial confrontations. If you truly love each other, you should make sure that you are each other’s financial equal. Instead of allowing one partner to live above his or her means in order to fund the other, make sure that both partners are making financial contributions to the relationship.
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