We are frequently asked, "Should we combine our financial accounts before we get married?" Our answer is, "absolutely not." Don't marry your money until you are legally married. We have seen too many engagements end, leaving couples who have combined their money with the painful task of sorting it all out during an already difficult time.
Naturally, if you are heading toward marriage, you probably already share your money with each other, but we're talking about things such as joint savings accounts, shared credit cards, retirement funds and checkbooks. Combining these finances before you've created a legal union can create headaches you simply don't need.
However, just because you're not sharing all your money yet does not mean you shouldn't be talking about it. A strong money relationship needs to start before you are married. Here are the six talking points to guarantee a smooth money transition into marriage:
1. Money Personalities. If you don't know what your Money Personalities are, drop everything and find out what they are. Understanding how each of you thinks about and deals with money is the foundation of a healthy money relationship. If you can't communicate about money, you have a long, painful future ahead of you. So, find out who you are, talk through how you are different from each other, and think about how you will compromise when the inevitable conflicts come up. If you do nothing else, do this: click here for a free Money Personality Profile.
2. Debt. There is no substitute for an honest conversation about debt. If you have some, tell your partner about it. Figure out how the two of you will pay it off. How will that debt impact your finances for the next few years? How can you work together to manage the debt? Lying about debt leads to something we call "financial infidelity" and will kill your relationship right from the beginning. Engaged? 4 Ways To Tell Whether Your Marriage Will Work
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3. Income. Get a realistic picture of the present and the future by talking about how much you make. It's amazing how many people don't really know what their spouses get paid. Not only will knowing this help you make plans for the first few years of your life together, it also helps prevent money secrets from creeping into your marriage. What Women Wish They'd Known Before Marriage