While finance appears to be a topic rarely discussed before marriage it seems to be the main issue when couples choose to separate. As part of planning your lives together, you should also be discussing your financial future together.
Here are some questions to reflect on as a couple:
1. What are your goals - individually, and as a couple.
Be specific about those goals. List and priorotize them; short, medium and long term. Are they aligned with your values? And are any of your individual goals in conflict with one another? What happens if you want a baby within two years while your soon-to-be spose wants to complete a five year PHD program?
2. What does money mean to you?
You come from different backgrounds. Discuss what money means to you personally – this will shed light on your own individual relationship to money. How did you parents manage their finances? Were they generous, cautious, prudent or just lived for today?
If you were raised in a single-parent home, your approach to your finances may be different from a partner raised in a financially secure household.
3. Talk about how you feel about debt.
People have different levels of tolerance for risk when it comes to investing. The same goes for debt. Some people are comfortable carrying debt more than others. There are those who are so uncomfortable with any level of debt that they may not want to buy a house till they have a large down payment.
4. How do you see bringing your finances together?
Discuss whether you want joint accounts or would prefer to keep things separate.
5. How will you share the costs of running a home?
If your incomes are differen
6. Talk about your past experiences with money.
Were you from a family with money? Or Not?
7. Where are you at, financially?
Disclose all debts, assets, and financial obligations. It is one way to get real! Bear your financial assets and liabilities.
8. See a financial Advisor. Choose someone you can both be happy with.
9. Discuss the issue of control – how much control does each person feel they need in the area of finances.
How much do you feel you need to tell each other before making a purchase?
10. How will you deal with conflict in regard to money?
Conflicts over money continue to be one of the main reasons couples separate. The reasons for conflicts is due to difference in approaches and views around money.
Honesty is the best way to approach the subject of money. Money touches all aspects of our lives, the sooner you understand where your partner is at with their finances, the better you'd be able to navigate your differences.