Lovebirds; before you say ‘I do’, remember to talk about the money.
Money matters. Don't let any one tell you different. You could set yourself up for major pitfall by not taking the time to talk about money issues before walking down the aisle.
Here are some questions to discuss with your partner:
How Do They Budget? If you can live off less and save more, you can achieve bigger goals. Seeing how your partner budgets is essential to your financial health as an a couple. Start out by budgeting something small together, like a vacation months in advance. Or maybe plan the trip as a reward for monitoring monthly expenses, growth of savings, and prompt bill payments.
To join or not to join? Couples should talk about whether they prefer joint credit card accounts or to retain their individual ones. Its also an option for each of you to have a separate account and a joint account for joint ventures such as vacations, saving for children’s college, a new home, etc. Note, when joining accounts beware of balance transfer fees.
What are Their Future Money Goals? As a couple, adhering to your future financial goals will affect your present actions. If as a couple you are looking to save money, you might cut back on certain expenses such as excess dining out and other recreational activities, in favor of more home-based or free activities. Experts recommend that couples save at least three to six months’ living expenses as a buffer in case of any emergency such as job loss, illness or family emergency.
How Much Do They Owe? We all know debt comes from a variety of places, so it’s feasible that your new partner will have racked up some along the way. Once you know the ins and outs of your partners’ debt, it is up to you to make a decision of whether or not to keep separate credit cards and credit card histories or merge them. Many advisors will advise against joining accounts.
If there are questions that you still haven’t asked or answers that your still searching for, don’t hesitate to sit down in front of your financial advisor with your partner. Practicing honest and open communication before your wedding day will only fine-tune the skills for when you two are actually married. Just think of it as good practice.