There's no getting around it. Money is a focal point in today's society! Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, it is for you to decide. The main idea, although, is that Financial stability is the pedestal that allows you to essentially live the life you want and deserve.
Money struggles lead to sky-high levels of stress and anxiety for many people, which then bleeds into every sector of those peoples' lives. Marriages and relationships are unfortunately one of the most common things that are hindered by money.
According to Divorcesource.com, a 2009 study conducted by Jeffrey Dew, a professor at Utah State concluded, “One of the best indicators of marital discord is financial disagreements.”
Dew went on to say, “Couples who disagree about finances once a week are over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples that report disagreeing about finances a few times a month.”
This article goes on to explore 7 make-or-break financial topics (in no particular order) that are ABSOLUTELY necessary discuss with your partner before getting married.
Effective communication with your partner is key in every part of your relationship, and money is no exception.
The first step to effective financial communication with your partner is determining how much you need to talk about money, and what money topics in specific are most important.
Ask each other the following questions (just a few examples):
- Do you need to tell the other person if you’re spending a certain amount of money?
- Do you want to meet weekly to go over your budget?
- Do you want to have quarterly and yearly money evaluations?
Being on the same page is essential. You need to predetermine your financial priorities, and going one step further, you should determine what priorities you agree with. There may be things you do not agree on, and that is okay. You simply need to find some sort of solution or middle ground on the disagreement. Effective communication is the key to making things work smoothly.
You should not be hiding money secrets with your partner, because that is exactly what leads to disagreement, and potentially divorce.
It all starts with communication!
Before getting married, you should disclose your current financial standing and responsibilities to your partner. It is important to be honest and make sure you are not hiding any secrets, and as stressed before, that is not a road you want to go down!
Let's say you have thousands of dollars of credit card debt, for example, yet chose not to tell your partner. That debt could get in the way of the life your partner was expecting to live with you. It could affect your life goals, future plans, and your overall lifestyle.
You should tell them about your debt, credit score(s), student loans, assets, and essentially anything else. Honestly is a sign of maturity and an admirable trait that will go along with your partner. Your financial standing and responsibilities could potentially make or break your marriage, so do yourself a favor and simply tell the truth about your finances.
You should always be open to discussing your short term and long term financial goals with your partner.
The following is a list of financial goals that you may want to discuss with your partner…
- Savings goals
- Spending goals
- Buying a house
- Health care
Once you set goals as a couple, you can begin working towards them together. It will feel good to have something you are working towards.
Use your goals for everyday motivation to get where you want in life. Don't settle for anything less!
When you are married, are you and your partner going to have a joint bank account, or would you prefer seperate banks accounts?
Either way, this is something you should absolutely discuss before you get married.
If you and your partner do not predetermine your bank account situation, it could potentially lead to issues. Ask yourselves questions like these…
- If you have separate bank accounts, can you trust each other with the freedom to do anything they please with your money?
- If you have a joint bank account, what will it be like? Do you and your partner prefer a little bit of financial freedom?
Ask yourselves questions like these, and make the best decision with your partner.
Personal Spending Habits
Everybody has interests and hobbies that they spend their money on, so the best thing to do the remain on the same page with your partner is create a budget together.
Your budget, of course, will include things like bills and your other financial responsibilities, but it should also incorporate your personal spending habits.
You should be doing your absolute best to save as much as you can, but it is unrealistic to think that every dollar that is not allocating towards your financial responsibilities should be saved.
You should sit down with your partner, evaluate how much money is coming in, and determine how you can create a realistic budget that helps you save, yet still lets you do the things you love.
Often times, however, excessive spending leads to disagreements between couples.
Do you smoke cigarettes, drink, or gamble?
If so, do you tell your partner how much you are spending?
Whether you have the money or not, do not hide secrets from your partner. Simply be honest and tell the truth.
Do you and your partner want kids in the future? This is probably something that you should discuss before getting married.
First, you and your partner should sit down and decide if children are something you want.
Kids are a massive financial responsibility, so if decide that you want them, you absolutely have to spend a considerable amount of time forming a financial plan that allows you to do so.
What does money mean to you? Ask yourself this question and do not be afraid to share the answer with your partner.
This is important to think about and discuss because money means different things to different people. Some people value money and their things more than personal relationships. Others are the exact opposite.
Money also makes people feel certain ways. It can lead to stress and anxiety, but it can also lead to happiness.
It is smart to talk about what money means to you and how it makes you feel. Hopefully, you are your partner are on the same page, and if not, you can work to understand each others' approach to money.