As you build your life with your partner, money is going to come into play all the time—from where you choose to go out for brunch to the house you might buy someday to how you choose to plan for your future together. Before you walk down the aisle, get on the same page about your financial habits and feelings so you can work together and create a money plan that is ideal for you.
1. What are our money priorities—and philosophies?
Before anything else, you’ve got to get up close and personal about how you feel about money. You may talk about how money played a role in your household growing up, what beliefs you hold about money, and how you think money might influence your life moving forward. Getting a sense of each other’s financial viewpoints will allow you to better understand where you’re both coming from as you continue to discuss money over the course of your marriage.
2. What splurges are okay?
You may be the type who likes to go out for a fancy dinner now and then while your partner may enjoy spending his or her extra cash on a new video game. These things didn’t matter so much when you were single but they may make a difference now that you’re sharing a household (and potentially a bank account). Talk about how much money you plan to set aside for splurges and determine what feels comfortable to you.
3. How much savings should we have?
Depending on your money philosophies, you may have drastically different (or totally similar) views about how much money you should have stocked away for emergencies, vacations, and so on. Talking about what that ideal number is can be important for setting a budget and your overall money goals.
4. What are our expectations of each other?
It’s important to be on the same page with each other regarding how much you expect each other to spend, and save, each month, as well as what you think the other person should contribute. (Like, who’s paying the water bill and who’s taking cable… or are those both coming out of a joint account—more on that below.) Plus, you may want to set some guidelines about whether or not you need to “ask permission” before buying a big ticket item: As in, if you’re planning on spending over X amount, should you give your partner a heads up? Talking about these expectations now will help you avoid issues in the future.
5. Should we make everything joint?
While your money and assets are combined under the law once you’re wed, you may be undecided about if you want to actually share joint accounts. Some couples relinquish their personal credit cards and savings accounts to create new ones together, while some maintain separate accounts, while others do a combination of the two. Talk about what you think would be best for you.
Money can be tough to talk about but keeping an open dialogue about this tricky topic is the key to a happy, lasting union. For some more money tips you might need before you tie the knot—and the chance to hone your money communication skills—check out these apps and websites that can help you save while wedding planning.
And don’t stop there, Loverlies! Here are 7 more conversations you need to have before you get married…
–By Natasha Burton
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