It is common knowledge that you may not fully know your spouse until you start living together but it's best to reduce the number of surprises you may encounter before getting married.
Talking about money may not be as easy as other pre-marital topics, but you and your future spouse will do yourself some good by picking a date to have the money talk.
Here are eight things you must discuss before getting married:
It is important to ascertain whether you are marrying a saver or a spender. How much is too much and how little is too little? Get to know more about each other's childhood lifestyles, college, and current spending habits. The first test of this is how you decide to spend for your wedding- lavish or reserved?
Credit Score and Debt
As a couple, you must discuss whether you have any unpaid debts and whether you will be forgoing certain occurrences like going on holiday or buying a new car to finance them. Will you jointly cover this debt or will the partner that incurred it be solely responsible for it?
Periodic milestones aimed at after one, five or ten years of marriage should be discussed to plan ahead. Identify career or business goals, family growth and potential lifestyle changes that you wish to achieve as a result of setting these periodic goals.
Here, it's time to discuss provision for food and payment of rent, mortgage, and utility bills. Decide whether you would like to split costs equally or take up specific responsibilities according to your disposable income.
If you are offering financial support to extended family or anyone else outside the home, you must consider if you'd like to continue this and for how long. Who knows, your spouse may decide to share these costs with you if they are not too demanding!
Saving for Future Kids
Here is the chance to discuss how many kids you would like, what sort of school fees you would save up for in a special account and if you would require a nanny when they are at a certain age. It's also good to consider if you will continue to work after having kids so that you can determine your potential income at that time.
The time before marriage is a good time to speak about income during retirement. Will it be possible to start the business of your dreams during retirement, or begin a foundation for a worldly cause?
Joint or Separate Accounts
As controversial as this point is, it's necessary to discuss. Decide whether it is best to maintain separate accounts and one joint account for mutual responsibilities towards the household, future education, buying land or even stock market investments.
Good luck in having this money talk with your future spouse, it will be well worth it!
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