Get The Money Right Then Get Married

married finances marriage financial discussion

Are you thinking of popping the question or are you already planning a wedding? If so, congratulations, but you need to make sure that you have thought things through completely. This is not to say that your decision is wrong, but you must also pay attention to the finances. 

Love is a big thing, but so is financial compatibility. Sounds impersonal, but it could not be truer. While the 50 percent divorce rate may be a myth, divorces in this country are still a big thing. One of the biggest factors that leads to divorce is money, which is why you should address this matter straight on. 

Before you get married, make sure that you and your partner are on the same page with your finances. Here are some questions to ask about money from Make sure that you sit down and learn the answers before that special day. 

1. How Much Debt Do You Have? 

Debt can be an anchor around your finances, but it is all too easy to hide. Before you commit to each other, you need to each lay out your debt on the table. Student loans, auto loans and credit cards can add up to a sizable amount. 

When you marry, you are also taking on the responsibility of your partners debt and they are taking on yours, so you must be up front about it. Once you are up to date, you can then develop a plan to tackle it, together. 

2. Are You Investing For The Future? 

People have different philosophies on retirement and investing, so it is best to try to sync up. Some people are master savers, stashing away as much money as possible for a later date. Others will have an attitude of everything will work out in the end, so why worry. 

In a relationship, both partners need to adapt the same attitude on planning for the future. If one partner is scrimping and saving while the other spends with careless abandon, there will be problems. 

3. What Is Your Salary? 

We have all been taught that it is rude to ask how much someone makes, and for the most part this is true. The exception is when you are in a relationship. You should know exactly what your partner is bringing home, because you will be sharing this income. 

Knowing a person’s salary will better prepare you for the future. Is there a possibility that you might need to drop to one income for the raising of children? Is one of you making drastically more than the other? Know your partners salary so that you can both know what your present and future options are. 

4. What Are Your Long-Term Goals? 

Are you and your partner on the same page as to how you want to retire, because you need to be. If one partner wants to retire and open a yoga studio, this idea might conflict with somebody who wants to buy an RV and travel the country. 

Take the time to sit down and come up with long term goals that meet both of your needs. It will likely involve some compromise from one or both of you, but you need to have a clear direction to travel. Having a clear goal will make everything easier moving forward. 

5. How Do You Feel About Loaning Money? 

This seems like an odd question, but it will likely come up in your marriage, so you need to address it early. What happens if a member of your spouse’s family needs to borrow money? Are you on board with doing anything and everything to help family and friends or are there limits? 

If there are limits, you should both agree to them early to prohibit any future drama. Decide now so that when an issue arises, you each know what the other expects. 

6. Should We Buy Or Rent? 

Buying a home is a major dream for many Americans, but nor for all. Should you and your spouse buy a home, or should you rent one? 

Buying certainly has some advantages in that you can build security and it helps to build wealth. For those of you who want a family, putting down roots might be the direction to go. 

On the other hand, renting can give you freedom. If a couple does not want to be tied down short-term leases can give a couple the ability to switch directions on a dime. 

7) Do You Want To Combine Finances? 

Last, but not least, what happens when you get married after your expensive wedding? Will you open a joint checking account or just go about life like normal? 

This is a big decision and if you choose to combine finances, one person in the relationship will need to give up some financial control while the other one will need to take on more responsibility. It could be a big adjustment and one that you should prepare for early. 

For those couples that maintain separate accounts, who will pay what bills? Make sure that it is clear before the marriage begins, because finances will only get more complicated going forward.

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