If you’re here it’s because you’re either married, engaged, or hoping to be married someday.
And that’s great!
There’s nothing quite like finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and actually making it official.
I speak from experience when I say some of the best life moments happen within a marriage, but there can also be some pretty low moments as well with money fights being some of the worst.
It’s no secret that most marriages end because of money fights.
So what can we do to at least get you working towards being on the same financial page as your significant other?
Give you a list of questions to ask that will get everything out on the table early!
So pull out the wine, order a pizza, and let’s get started!
What Are Some Of Your Financial Goals?
Being aware of each others money goals is HUUUGE!
One of you may want to retire at 35 and live in the mountains off the grid.
The other may want to live in the city and work until they physically can’t because their work invigorates them.
Maybe one of you wants to quit your job and build a business someday.
These types of differences can lead to a ton of money fights if you don’t have the discussion early.
Maybe your partner has never really sat down and thought about their money goals. Again, this is a great place to have a discussion as a team to see where you can get in alignment.
How Much Do You Make?
I know, I know. This question may be uncomfortable to ask because it’s a little personal.
So what?!? If the relationship is serious and you’re planning to get married, this is a huge deal.
The ability to fulfill your purpose is positively or negatively impacted by who you choose to marry.
Ask the question!
Have You Ever Been Through Bankruptcy/Repossession/Foreclosure?
This is something you must know going into a marriage.
It could affect the earning potential of your future spouse.
Your ability to buy a house, start a business, and more can all be impacted by a yes to this question.
If you do get a yes, the two of you have to create a plan to deal with it together.
It’s important that you ask when it happened as these things do fall off of a credit report over time.
You should also ask about any potential tax debt as well!
How Much Debt Do You Have?
I knew Taylor and I both had debt when we got married.
But it wasn’t until our honeymoon that we both realized we had $61,000 worth of debt combined.
Knowing this info sooner wouldn’t have changed how we felt at all.
However, laying this out there earlier in the relationship may have gotten us started on the right track sooner.
To get out of debt together, you have to discuss your debt together.
Are You Planning To Take On More Debt?
Are they going back to school and planning to take out student loans?
Were they planning to finance a brand new car soon?
Are they currently living solely on their credit cards?
All of this needs to be talked about. Why?
Because in most places, the debt of your spouse is also your debt. And that could be a problem during a marriage or if things don’t work out.
Do You Have A Plan To Pay Off Your Debt?
One of the worst seasons of our marriage was when we first committed to paying off our debt.
I wanted to cut out everything that wasn’t necessary and get it over with.
Taylor wanted to take things slower and enjoy life a little more.
It was challenging. But we finally found a compromise.
A lot of fights could have been avoided had we talked about our plan together before our wedding. Share how both of you plan to address your debt and try to get on the same page early.
I recommend the debt snowball method.
How Do You Pay For Unexpected Expenses?
Does your soon to be spouse get themselves deeper in debt every time something goes wrong?
Or do they have enough cash saved that a minor emergency is no big deal.
What about you? Are you relying on credit cards or do you just transfer money you already have saved?
Talk about your preferences together.
How Much Do You Have Saved?
First things first, will you be going deeper into debt for the wedding or do you both have enough saved to pay cash?
This question will also give you a look into your partner’s financial priorities.
Are they more of a spender or a saver? You need to into the marriage knowing what type of person you’re working with.
Are You A Faithful Tither/Giver?
Whether you tithe/give or not, it’s important to know where your future spouse stands on the subject.
It’ll also give you a small look into their heart to see what matters most to them.
Not only will you get on the same page, you can also create opportunities to serve your community together as a result of this discussion.
Would You Have A Problem Living On A Budget?
Are you adamant about living on a zero-based budget every month?
Or maybe you hate budgeting and your future spouse loves it.
Figure out not only where they stand on budgeting, but also who will be the more hands-on one in the budget creation process.
Both of you need to be involved in making the final decision, but it is totally cool if one spouse wants to nerd out with the numbers.
(I say that because I’m the nerd over here.)
What’s Your Plan For Retirement?
This is huge because most people don’t have nearly enough saved for retirement.
You’ve both already laid out your goals and dreams.
Now see just how much work you both need to do in order to make them happen.
How Do You Feel About Combining Our Finances?
For us it was a no-brainer.
We came home from the wedding and transferred everything into one account.
That’s just what we believed was the right thing for us.
But maybe that doesn’t work for you.
Make that known early on to avoid a big money fight later.
Do You Want A Prenup?
This is a very important questions to ask before things get super serious.
I never once asked Taylor to sign a prenup and she felt the same way.
I mean we were so broke on our honeymoon we had to have a money talk so there’s that.
However, if something happened to me after we became millionaires, I’ve already made it known to Taylor that I prefer she get a prenup if she were to remarry.
I’ve also committed to doing the same.
Not because I wouldn’t fully trust someone new, but because money attracts weird people.
Crazy parents, aunts, cousins, and others attached to a 2nd spouse can do some weird stuff. And it could cost us the fortune we built not just for ourselves, but for our daughter.
This is a discussion that needs to be had sooner rather than later.
What Did You Learn From Your Parents About Money?
This can give you an inside look at why your potential spouse handles money the way they do.
Were their parents ultra cheap? That could explain their need for only name brand stuff.
Did their parents never tell them no? Maybe that’s why they struggle to say it to themselves or hear it from you.
You need to really listen to the response to this one and ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of your partner.
Do Any Family Members Currently Depend On You Financially?
This was a bit of a problem for us because I had family that would hit me up for money from time to time.
Of course when I was single it was “no big deal”. (Even though I was deep in debt with no savings.)
But after marriage, we had goals we were working towards together.
At some point I had to realize I wasn’t helping, but enabling and also costing us the life we so badly wanted for ourselves.
Please have this conversation beforehand. It’s an important one.
If you find yourself having to cut some family members off, you can use this post as a guide.
You also need to know if they are depending on anyone in their family financially as well.
Do You Have Life Insurance?
Life insurance replaces your income should something happen to you.
Neither of you should leave the other on the hook for expenses you’ve created together.
If you to know how much coverage you should have, check out this guide I recently wrote.
How Should We Handle Financial Disagreements?
Would you rather bring in a 3rd party like a financial coach?
Do you want to just hash it out until you come up with a resolution?
You need to know how you plan to handle big money disagreements before you ever have one.
Do You Want Kids?
If so, how many?
And would someone be staying home with the kids or would the kids go to daycare?
Do you prefer public school? Or would you rather spend money on private?
Would you like to save for college?
There are so many layers to the kids and money conversation that this is a must have.
How Much “Fun Money” Should Each Of Us Get Per Month?
Fun money is a set amount that each of you gets to do whatever they want with.
Taylor and I both receive $125 each and neither of us can question the other about our fun money purchases.
This has saved us from a lot of arguments! A lot!
Talk About It
Some of these money talks are much easier to have than others, but each of them is important to your financial health.
My hope is that the insights gained will only strengthen your marriage.