It’s that special time in life – you’re considering popping the question. With the many thoughts of yes and no, when and where, how and even why whirling through your mind it’s easy to see how other details can be missed. Financial considerations are a critical part of marriage and there are a clear series of questions and discussions to be had to ensure that once a commitment is made.
The sheer cost of weddings in the modern world can play a part in this trend, with many couples avoiding the questions that will define the first few years of their marriage and life together. To ensure that your beginning years with your partner are as positive and vibrant as they should be, take a look at our collected list of tips to discuss when it comes to finance.
Being aware of your credit score is a critical part of future planning through finance. Particularly when newly wed, couples are likely to look towards significant purchases in life such as cars and houses. Knowing your own credit card is half the equation now, so you should make a conscious effort to sit down with your partner to discuss yours and theirs. Knowing that one of you has a stronger score than the other may affect your financial planning as well as who’s account will shoulder the larger expenses on a regular basis.
Do either of you have debt?
While this isn’t an easy question for the average person, the depth in which you share your lives as a partner makes this a straightforward and necessary discussion to have. As with the discussion over credit scores, knowing the landscape of your finances and debts makes a big change in how you will spend your income in your beginning years as a married couple.
Working through the details of debt will make your first years together much more productive and efficient, allowing you to clear debt carefully. This leaves you in a much stronger position in the years to come, opening up the chances to invest in your future and assets.
Do you share goals financially?
We all have our own definitions of a goal when it comes to finance. If your partner has debts that you don’t hold, or is working at a different salary than yours, it’s likely their initial and long term financial objectives are different in a major way.
One of the most powerful discussions to have is to discuss where you want to be down the line and what your financial goals are to help you achieve that. The adult discussion that will follow will be effective in merging these together; it might be the case that investment in a certain area of one person’s goals will eliminate debt or increase investment, allowing a speedier run towards the other person’s goals in the time to come. This kind of mutual planning and teamwork is a great exercise to ensure a clean, communicative and prosperous marriage.
Will one of you take over control of finances?
Particularly with two people working full time and having further commitments, it can be an effective solution for one of you to take greater control of the finances of both. This has the benefit of reducing stress and allowing a greater focus on the shared goals you have now established.
You might also want to consider plans such as sharing the responsibility on a regular basis, swapping the burden of maintaining finances between you every quarter or so. This can be effective in avoiding burnout – none of us truly want to come home to a list of bank related tasks! Sharing the load between you by alternating responsibility can help avoid one of you becoming unhappy with the necessary task of being in strategic control of your money.