I Think I Do (Future Spouse Money Talk)

 

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As a woman, in a relationship, I must say I’m a little nervous. This guy is nice, and I’m sure he has what it takes to be a good husband. One conversation we have not had is about finance. Don’t get me wrong he knows what I do for a living, and I know what he does. To be honest, because I write financial literacy books and blogs for a living he could easily get an understanding of my financial history. I, on the other hand, don’t have it that easy and neither do you.

We are going to have to has a conversation about money. I must say this makes me a little uncomfortable. I’m used to people volunteering their financial stories in hopes that I can help them. I don’t usually have to go to a person and ask. This conversation is important because it is not just my future it’s my kids future. I need to know his financial standing, and you need to know your future spouse’s finances as well.

How to have the conversation

First of all, there needs to be more than one talk, and you should come to the table with an open mind. You may think you have a good idea of what the other person may earn, owe, or have in the bank but be prepared to be surprised by what you hear. Don’t judge, remember that money is a learned activity and if someone wants to change their behavior they will. Also, you might be surprised to find out that you’re the one in the relationship with the bad money habits.

Which topics to cover

You need a current financial picture. Each person should come to that table ready to talk numbers. Bring your bills with you if you require the Total monthly bills, and taxable income should be on the table for discussion as well.  You should discuss credit scores and any current plans to increase a score or what has worked positively for you in the past. Any student loans, credit card, and other debts should be included in the convenience. I know this sounds like a lot and may make you uncomfortable, but you will share the responsible of paying this debt one day.

Plan together

Now that the scary part is over the fun can begin. Now that you have a clear picture of the hill or mountain of debt in front of you, you can plan. This conversation should be more about debt free plans, life insurance, and beneficiaries. You can create a joint retirement plan or vision board for future careers. Maybe one of you wants to go back to school for a better career.  Plan your family on paper including houses and kids. Have fun no need to live in a box.

When do we do this

I believe you should have this conversation before you say yes to the ring.  Maybe not the complete details of the numbers but enough to know if you want to say Yes or if you want to ask her in the first place. Money is one of the top reasons for divorce there is no need to start off on a bad foot.  About a month after you are married, you will need to have the conversation again to begin to make whatever changes you decided in the first few talks.

Comments

  1. I totally understand the logistics and think it’s great to be so sensible, but surely marriage should be about love and not money? I would have married my husband had he been in a ton of debt or exceedingly wealthy… I love his heart, not his wallet (or lack of).

    1. Author

      I understand your comment but you still have to have the conversation before marriage so that it don’t become a problem later. I’m not saying not to get married I’m saying “know what you’re walking into”.I totally agree with the part about love first and you loving someone’s heart. But as a person who just got rid of over $300,000 debt, I would want to know that he still has all $300,000 of his debt. That way I can prepare myself mentally and financial to help him after marriage.

  2. I agree. These topics have to discussed at length before making a big commitment! It may be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary and it has to continue throughout !

  3. These are all incredibly important. Money can break a relationship more than most people know. It is a major stressor.

  4. wow, this article really helpful for the newly married or going to marry couples to talk about money. well detailed 🙂

  5. I think the things you mention are so important to discuss in a relationship, but often the hardest to do… Not discussing these topics will only bring heartache and strife down the road…

  6. Absolutely! I want to scream this from the mountains. This talk is just as important as the kids talk. Great post!

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