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Financial Tips to Consider Before Marriage

  • Financial Literacy


One of the biggest factors that lead to divorce and separation is money. Many couples date, get engaged, and go down the aisle without properly discussing how they want to deal with their finances once they’ve tied the knot and settled down. Couples that skip this all-important conversation (or more realistically, conversationSSSS) realize that they disagree on a lot of money matters, which may be causing them to lose money or bury themselves in debt. The only logical solution? To separate.

Don’t become another victim of financial woes’ wicked grip. Read on for our financial advice for couples headed towards marriage -- or married couples who missed that part. 

First of all, it’s never too early to talk about money with your partner. You don’t need a ring on your finger or a grand proposal to even begin discussing financial matters. Before you even envision a life together, you’ll need to know if you align when it comes to the way you deal with your finances. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask each other.

1. What kinds of debts and resources are you bringing into the marriage?

Let’s say you do get married; you won’t just be sharing each other’s money. You’ll also be sharing each other’s debts. Before you even head down the altar, know your partner’s financial situation thoroughly.

• How much does each of you make?

• How much does each of you owe (credit cards, home loans, car loans, etc.)?

• How much does each of you have in savings and investments?

• How often, and how much, do you regularly contribute to savings and investments?  

2. Will you be supporting other people outside our immediate family?

Let’s say your soon-to-be spouse has a child. Or maybe he’s the breadwinner of their family. You’ll need to know if he’ll continue supporting them once you get married, and if so, how much will he be giving each month. These are expenses you’ll need to factor into your monthly budget.

3. How will you merge your money?

No matter how financially independent you were in your single life, getting married will inevitably involve merging your finances. It’s important, and healthy, to think of your money as shared resources versus “mine” and “yours.” After all, you’re both striving to reach the same goals now. You’re both working to support your family, earn money to pay bills, food, and utilities, and save for luxuries like vacations and gadgets.

While there isn’t a right or wrong answer on whether or not you should get a joint bank account, majority of the couples do. Just do what feels right for you and your partner, and make sure you both agree 100% to it. Remember, communication is key.

When it comes to physical assets such as land, houses or even furniture, remember to discuss if or how you will be merging these as well. For example, whose sofa will you be keeping? If both of you own houses prior to getting married, will you be keeping both and having one rented out? If so, will you choose to keep the property in individual names, or will they be held jointly? Or will you opt to sell the spare house?

Discussing and deciding on these things well before you get married is a great way to preventing major misunderstandings (and heartbreak) down the road.

Now, then... Congratulations! Best wishes! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

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AUTHOR BIO Your friendly neighborhood Shero.

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