Fiancé and Finances
02/02/2015 03:51AM ● Published by Family Features
Marriage is a milestone in life; yet, many enter into the next phase without asking their spouse some vital questions about money. If you are among the soon-to-be wed, consider starting a conversation using the questions below. Couples who plan their expenses ahead of time are more likely to enjoy their earnings, and less likely to need credit repair intervention.
Men, women and weddings
Females are often portrayed as materialistic or over-the-top when it comes to their big day, but recent findings from an online Harris Poll tell a different story. Surprisingly, the study found that twice the number of men stated they would or did go into debt to pay for their dream wedding.
The study also found that both men and women valued financial responsibility. In fact, 91% indicated a preference for entering marriage debt-free as opposed to having a dream wedding.
"Marriage is a lifelong commitment built on trust, clear communication and honesty," said John Heath, Directing Attorney for Lexington Law. "While some may find financial discussions unnecessary, understanding each other intimately in terms of what you both bring to the table – be it wealth or debt – will strengthen your relationship and help to avoid potentially serious friction to your marriage down the road."
Discussing money matters
So how does one go into a marriage with a solid financial standing? Those soon-to-be-wed couples who converse openly about their finances are more likely to enjoy their big day with an understanding of their mate’s views on money. The experts at Lexington Law offer these questions every newly engaged couple should ask before the big day:
1. How do you view money?
This is a loaded question, but your fiancé’s answer will help you understand their perspective and how it aligns with yours. Here are a few conversation starters on the subject:
- How do you budget your money?
- Are you meticulous about your bills and expenses, or are you comfortable to just “wing it?”
- What’s the most you would ever spend on a home, car, piece of clothing, etc.?
2. How should we budget for a family?
Kids are expensive, especially if you haven’t planned for them. Talk to your partner about how many kids you would both like to have. Plan for child living expenses and how they will impact your budget, i.e. clothes, food, activities, medical expenses, schooling, etc.
3. How should we communicate about money?
Some couples are content to let one person handle the finances, and others like to split up the bills and share household responsibilities. Regardless of what you decide, it is important to have a plan in place before getting married.
4. What should we do when we disagree about spending?
You and your spouse won’t agree on everything. In fact, you may completely disagree on how to spend, save, and generally manage your money. The question is: What should you do when these disagreements arise? Avoiding the subject will put you at greater risk for financial (and marital) trouble. There’s no easy answer for this one, but presenting the topic during your conversation is a good start.
5. Do you have any debts that I should be aware of?
Secrets aren’t the best addition to a marriage, especially when it comes to debt. Be sure you and your soon-to-be put the credit cards on the table before walking down the aisle. Marriage is a life partnership; start by dealing with your debt together.
You’ll head into your new life as a married couple with ease when you have an open and honest dialog about your financial situation. For more tips for managing your money, or your credit, visit www.LexingtonLaw.com.
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