Do you and your fiancé have compatible financial goals?

June 07, 2018

While it may be less fun than planning a wedding, having a discussion about long-term finances can have an enormous effect on a marriage. It’s worth talking to your partner beforehand to ensure there will be no financial surprises down the road.

 

When most people think of their upcoming wedding, they imagine white gowns, tailored suits, flowers and music. But sharing a life with the person you love involves more than candlelit dinners and romantic getaways. 

One of the key ingredients to a happy marriage is making sure each partner understands the other’s financial situation, their relationship to money and their expectations for your upcoming lifestyle. According to Experian, one in 3 newlyweds reported that their spouse’s spending habits are different then what they expected.

Here are 7 questions to ask your fiancé before saying ‘I DO’

 

1. What is your current level of debt?

Sit down with your fiancé to discuss each of your financial standings such as credit card debt, student loans, etc. Knowing your financial standings will prevent any surprises later on.

 

2. What is your credit score?

Your fiancé’s credit score does not affect yours, but it is an important factor to consider if you plan to open a joint account together in the future.

 

3. What kind of lifestyle to you see us living, and how much will it cost?

Share your goals and dreams. You are starting a life together that will include major financial decisions. It’s important for a healthy marriage to have the same goals.

 

4. Are you a spender or a saver?

Knowing your partners spending habits up front can help you plan and establish financial goals. Create a money plan that works for both of you and includes a monthly budget, savings plan and emergency fund.

 

5. What is your approach for investing and planning for retirement?

Is your fiancé participating in a 401(k) retirement plan (or similar)? Are they a risk taker? Be aware, if an investment fails your partner shares the repercussions which will affect your credit as a couple.

 

6. Should we have a joint account?

Joint finances help you grow as a team to create goals and work together to achieve them. You may prefer to pay all bills from a joint account and maintain sole accounts for individual expenses.

 

7. Whose responsibility will it be to pay the monthly bills?

One of you may be a more organized person who prefers to take care of the weekly details. Experts recommend couples sit down monthly to review their finances together.

 

After-the-wedding checklist

Living within your means is KEY TO FINANCIAL SUCCESS and communication is key to a happy marriage. Here are some tips to get you started on building a strong financial foundation:

  • Add your new spouse as your beneficiary to your investment plans and insurance policies. 
  • Change your tax withholdings from Single to Married status. 
  • Schedule monthly "dates” to discuss your finances in a comfortable relaxing setting.

 

Continue reading for more information about saving and budgeting.

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