Understanding how your financial habits, values, past mistakes, and goals match up to your future spouse’s can help save a marriage and avoid a costly divorce. Before tying the knot, consider sitting down with your partner and going through the following financial topics that may hold the key answers to future problems.
Talk about how you were raised when it comes to money. How did your parents deal with finances and how did it affect how you and your partner will handle the issue? This is the time to share how certain financial values that you grew up have influenced your decision making. Answering these questions can help you and your partner understand your financial roots to make better choices in the future.
Going through your credit report can be informative, and in many cases, embarrassing. However, it may be a cut and dry way to go through your past and learn about what made your credit good or bad. If it is good, you can share how you were able to maintain good credit with your partner. If it is bad, it is a time to talk about what you did and how you learned from it. In many cases, you can discuss how to improve your credit with your partner so that you can get the best rates on a home together.
Who gets to make the decision on finances? Who writes the checks? Does the person who has made the most research make the choice? How do you help the other person understand why you made the decision you made? As making financial decisions is a control issue, it is important to talk to your partner about how you two will deal with it so that neither of you feel left in the dark.
Talk to your partner about what you would like to achieve in the future and listen to what he or she has to say. Do you want to buy a house? If so, when and how? Will each of you deposit a certain amount into a down payment savings account? How much do you want to save per month? What are your entertainment budgets like? How rich do you want to be? These are all questions that need to be answered to determine yours and your spouse’s money goals.
Although it may not seem like the most romantic conversation to have, having a deep financial conversation with your partner before marriage can help save it. Best of all, it is a free conversation that can save you a priceless marriage in the future.
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