Getting hitched? Congratulations! It’s all rainbows and butterflies right now and you’re sure to be viewing the world through rose tinted glasses. But real life; now that’s a whole different cup of tea, especially when it comes down to finances. Did you know that money is the number 1 thing couples fight about, around the world?
Questions such as, should you open a joint account or maintain an individual one, post marriage? And, who will pay which bill? Talking about these things at the very beginning will keep you from unwelcome problems later on. Since successful communication is the cornerstone of a successful marriage, don’t put off having the money talk with your partner. Your plans don’t need to be set in stone just yet, but having this conversation will bring you much closer to a happier relationship.
Additional Reading: Financial blunders to avoid in a marriage
Your current relationship with money
Are you a spender or are you a hoarder? Do you pay off your bills at the earliest or keep pushing them to a later date? Do both of you have a healthy Credit Score? All these factors affect how you deal with money. And these habits, good or bad, will spill into your marriage as well. To start with complete clarity between the two of you, it’s best that you and your future better half get together for a heart-to-heart conversation. Discussing your spending habits is, of course, the number one item on the agenda. But, also talk about how you feel about taking loans, Credit Card debt, etc.
Funny but true, one’s parents’ attitude towards money also plays a huge role in how you treat money. Talking about their spending and saving habits will give you both a chance to better understand each other’s financial value system and background.
Future plans which need money
We all have some plans which we put onto the back burner, waiting for the right time to put them into action. Sometimes, the right time comes post marriage. You might want to quit your well-paying but boring 9 to 5 job and dive into something that you’re passionate about or your partner might want to pursue a higher degree of education. Whatever the scenario, there will definitely be a shift in your income. Of course, you shouldn’t have to compromise on your dreams, but it’s a good idea to talk these things through with your partner before you tie the knot. It will not only give them a heads-up about your plans for the future, but you will also get to know how they feel about it. Getting this kind of clarity will only help you plan better for the future.
Current or future financial obligations
Do you have parents or siblings who will need financial assistance in the future? Do either of you have debt that the other person isn’t aware of? Are there health issues which need to be taken care of either immediately or eventually at some point in the future? While life will throw random challenges at you, talking about situations that you know could crop up in the future could be a relationship saver. It’s important to understand that after you get married, even if you maintain expenses separately, if either of you need to take care of a heavy expenditure, your spouse’s finances will also be challenged.
Big money moments
Once you decide to get married, every life changing moment, starting from your wedding, will involve money. You both need to discuss how you plan to save for such occasions. Moving from a single income to a double income family might tempt you to splurge more, but you both need to resist that temptation and save up, especially if you want to start a family. When do you plan on having kids? Would you want to own a house before you plan for kids? Will either of you want a career break or sabbatical after kids? Talking about these plans will not only give you both some clarity about the future, but will also enhance the bond you share.
Retirement planning should ideally be taken care of individually. Of course, there’s no harm in setting up a joint account to plump up your retirement fund – what kind of investments you’d like to make, where you’d like to invest, etc. All this would certainly make for a good conversation.
Take the quiz: Are you financially compatible with your partner?
The next time you find yourself whispering sweet nothings to your better half, think about taking some time out to plan your financial future. You can thank us later!