You found that perfect person who completes you that you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Now you are getting married! It’s a big step and will be one of the biggest days of your life. Sharing your life with someone is a wonderful, intimate experience.
But are you intimate enough? Have you sat down and had the money talk?
Money talk, you ask?
Yes, money talk. Have you sat with your spouse-to-be and have a serious talk about our finances? I mean intimate talk. Telling each other about your money history, your money experiences, your debts, your plans, your thoughts about money and debt…a real honest talk.
Do you know many couples don’t have this talk? Did you also know that many marriages end because of money?
Why don’t more couples disclose their money thoughts and history?
This is very similar to why more don’t have a budget. Some people are embarrassed about their past and are afraid of being judged. Others don’t want to have to answer for their spending habits and have to answer for what they spend. I wouldn’t be surprised if many just don’t think d talking about money. Whatever the reason you aren’t allowing yourself to have a complete relationship by keeping money secrets from your significant other.
Here’s what to discuss in your money talk:
Credit Card Debt
Let your partner know where you stand with your credit card debt. Don’t be embarrassed. You’re going to share your lives together and this includes your debt as well. It’s better to get this out in the open now.
What Credit Cards You Have
Discuss what credit accounts you both have open. You may find that you have way too much credit between the two of you. This also helps to improve trust in that you don’t have any secret credit cards the other doesn’t know about.
Your partner has a right now they are possibly marrying into tens of thousands of dollars in student loans debt.
Past Money Problems
Talk about past issues you’ve had with money. It’s ok that you’ve had bad money experiences. Talking about your past money issues will help your future spouse understand your emotions about money.
Bills You Currently Pay
Show each other a list of everything you currently pay. Again you should both get an idea of what bills are coming into the relationship. You may be able to eliminate a lot or combine some (like cell phone accounts).
How and Where You Save/Your Checking
Disclose your savings and checking accounts and your current savings plans. Discuss how you want to handle these once you are married. Put together a plan for both of you to save. Will you keep separate accounts? Will you combine them? Talk about it!
What type of accounts to you save for retirement in? Get the paperwork prepared to add each other as beneficiaries on each other’s accounts. Talk about how you both feel about retirement and how you will save for it.
How Will You Handle Spending
Do you want to come home one day and find a huge flat screen TV? Maybe you do but its got to be paid for doesn’t it? Discuss how you will handle purchases. Put together a plan for how you will go about purchases and what kind of purchases you’ll both discuss before making.
Who Pays What
Who will be responsible for what bills? Where will the money come from? If you have two checking accounts which account will pay what?
Credit Reports and Scores
Pull your credit report and credit scores and share them with your partner. This is full disclosure with your partner about what accounts you have and black marks you have on your report. It can also be a great surprise in finding out how great your credit has been!
In order for you to start off right in your marriage you need to be honest and share yourself. Keeping secrets about money and finances from your partner is dishonesty. I think you’ll find that when you talk to your partner you will build up your trust and this will lead to a greater, more intimate bond between you!