Congratulations, you’re engaged! Time to concentrate on flowers, dresses, menus and venues, right? Before you fill your schedule with tastings and fittings, take some time to answer these equally important financial questions. Getting onto the same page with your approach to money is a key component to being able to take on the financial future with your partner.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Do you have any debt?
Marrying someone with debt doesn’t necessarily mean you are taking on your partner’s responsibility to pay it off. But knowing the amount of debt and the plan to pay it off is important for planning a household budget.
How will we budget?
Everyone has his or her own way of budgeting, but as a couple you need one method. Having one person in charge of the monthly budget can help create consistency.
What is our approach to checking accounts?
Deciding to have individual or joint checking accounts is a good place to start when it comes to banking as a married couple. There’s no wrong way to do it, as long as you both agree and it works for your situation.
What is your credit score?
Having good credit will be crucial when it comes to buying a house, taking out loans, or buying a car. Pull your credit scores for free from here and work together to take care of any credit issues.
How will we save?
Developing a savings plan before getting married will ensure you are working towards your financial goals from the start.
Do you prefer to buy things with cash or credit?
Understanding how your partner uses credit and how he or she approaches paying off the monthly bill will allow you to budget properly and stay on top of credit.
Do you have any plans for investing?
When it comes to investing, meeting with a banker might be a good idea. Having a professional go through your options can make the conversation easier and more focused.
What are you saving for?
Kids, vacations, a new house, cars… the list can go on. Having savings goals can determine the approach. If you have multiple goals, may be multiple savings accounts is the way to go.
Finances can be a difficult aspect to being married. Bringing together two ideas of budgeting, spending and investing can be a complicated transition. By discussing these questions with your future husband or wife you can start having conversations to help you plan your financial future together.