4. Expenses. Do you have a car payment? A gym membership? Medical expenses? Loan payments? Hopefully you have a good sense of how much money you spend in a month, but if you don't, this is a good time to figure it out. You should both think through every regular expense you have and write it down.
Combine those totals to get an idea of how much you'll spend as a couple, and compare it to your joint income. How does it look? If you have some wiggle room, that's great. But if you are spending way more than you're earning, you know you'll have some budget decisions to make once you start your life together.
5. Savings. Whether you have $100 in savings or $100,000, you need to talk with your partner about what you've got and what you're saving it for. Talk about more than just the amount you've got socked away; talk about how you got it there. How important is it to you to have money in savings? What kind of sacrifices have you made to put money away? What investments do you have or hope to have?
Planning for your financial future retirement, college funds, vacation or emergency money will be an ongoing conversation in your relationship and you might as well start having it now. Do NOT Get Married Unless You've Learned These 4 Critical Skills
6. Expectations. You've probably had a lot of dreamy conversations about your life together. But have you included the "how-we're-going-to-pay-for-this" part? Probably not. Eventually, couples that are headed toward a life-long commitment need to talk realistically about their vision for their future, and the implications that vision has for their finances.
Romantic? Not really. Necessary? Definitely. Cover everything. Do you want to own a house? How soon? Do you see yourselves living in a specific part of the country? What will that mean for your finances? How do you think children will change your financial picture? Will one of you want to stay home? Do you see yourself changing careers? Going back to school? Again, an honest conversation now can save you tons of heartache later.
Scott & Bethany Palmer are financial experts, authors, TV/radio personalities and sought after speakers. Their mission is to help people improve their relationships through a better understanding of their approach to money. Their new book The 5 Money Conversations To Have With Your Kids At Every Age and Stage hits shelves soon, order here. Check out Scott & Bethany's latest video: Money Smart Kids.