Marriage and Money: What to Discuss Before Tying the Knot

marriage-and-moneyWhy do you and your partner argue? When he doesn’t take out the trash? When she snores too loudly? Sometimes you disagree on larger issues like finances that can cause a deeper strain on your relationship. However, money doesn’t have to be the reason you fight if you talk about it early on. Learn what marriage and money topics you should discuss before you tie the knot.

Financial Background

It’s important to consider whether you have a similar background when it comes to choosing different financial strategies so you can see where your partner’s financial habits come from. How did your fiancé’s parents deal with finances? How does that impact how you two now deal with them? This can be an intense conversation particularly for those who have families that fought over finances. Sometimes people forget that money isn’t just about numbers; it can be an emotional issue, too.

Credit History

Discussing your credit history will help you and your partner take into account what debt you have and how you’ve handled your expenses in the past, which can help with long-term financial planning. Full disclosure early on has a more immediate benefit as well – it allows couples to build credit or correct any mistakes so they can qualify for better loan rates.

Sharing Responsibility
Deciding how finances will be handled is an important part of discussing marriage and money. What expenses will be shared? Who is going to pay for what? How will these responsibilities be divided? Money comes with control, so it’s important that both partners are on the same page when it comes to managing bills and longer-term finances. Similarly, what if one partner is bringing in all the money – does he or she get to make all the financial decisions? These topics are all important factors to consider in discussing marriage and money responsibilities.

Work-Life Balance
Discuss the level of affluence you two want to achieve. What kind of family-work balance do you and your partner want to have in life? Are you okay being a “single parent” when your spouse is working late? Do you want to have one parent at home or working part-time or will you want to put your children in daycare? Having a job is essential in providing for a family, but having a healthy home life is important, too.

Many couples fight over finances, which is completely normal – everyone is going to disagree with a partner about spending habits at some point. But having these discussions about larger marriage and money issues before tying the knot will make your new life together much easier and help you concentrate on larger issues – your family – instead of bickering about money.