For most people, discussing money and finances can sometimes be considered taboo. However, all those social rules go out the window when it comes to tying your life to another person. If marriage is on the table, then the topic of finances should be as well. Of course, this might not be an easy talk. Which is why we’ve compiled a list of initial questions to ask your partner before tying the knot.
Would we combine our money or keep it separate?
If you plan to live in the United States, marriage comes with one big decision. Keep your money separate or have a joint account. This can be a difficult question to answer because of all the variables. Tax laws differ from state to state and lawyers suggest different things depending on your specific financial situation. One popular solution is the “Yours, Mine, and Ours” system. Together, you decide which expenses come out of the joint account “Ours” and the personal accounts respectively. Granted, there are a variety of different ways to work out this arrangement. The most important thing is that you start thinking about them, before tying the knot.
Who will manage the day-to-day finances?
Before marriage, you’re only responsible for you. As a couple, you become responsible for a combined set of bills, taxes, loans, mortgages, etc… So, who’s better at dealing with finances? Should one of you handle long-term goals while the other focuses on immediate needs? Who will be responsible for paying the bills? Are you hiring someone to do your taxes? These are important questions to ask, and they can often save you from uncomfortable fights later down the road. Assigning tasks will help you both to avoid confusion and extend your marital bliss.
How much can we spend without consulting each other?
Everyone has a different idea of what a “big purchase” is. To you, anything over $100 might need to be discussed, but maybe your partner thinks $1,000 is the breaking point. Either way, determining this key amount will ensure a standard for the future. It’s important to remember that the money belongs to both of you, so be ready to compromise! Be sure to enter the discussion with lots of room for understanding. Respecting your partner’s thoughts and feelings will help all financial talks go down in a smooth and friendly manner.
How much debt do you currently have?
Keeping secrets in a relationship is never good and debt is one of the worst ones to keep. Through marriage, you will share the responsibility of each other’s debt. So, it’s probably a good idea that you find out how much your partner is bringing to the partnership. Not only can this affect your day-to-day spending, but it can have a toll on your larger financial plans, such as applying for mortgages or loans. Also, be sure to have a plan on how to deal with your debt. Otherwise, it may just continue to grow and cause unnecessary marital strain.
Do you support anyone else financially?
This may seem like an odd question to ask, but there are a lot of instances where someone has been contributing financially to their family their entire life. Even though family members may not be financially dependent on your partner anymore, your partner may still feel an obligation to help provide for them. This is an important topic to discuss before marriage. After all, it’s better to share information now rather than having it discovered later. If your partner is financially supporting someone else, hear them out and understand why they feel obligated to do so. Together, you can discuss how this might affect your financial state and decide what is best to do in the future.
These may not be easy questions to ask, but it’s important to be on the same page when it comes to your finances. You are now a part of a team and your financial decisions not only affect you but your partner as well. Heights Finance is here to be a lending hand when you need us most. If you’re ever low on funds, skip the “personal loans near me” google search and head over to heightsfinance.com to learn how we can help.