6 financial conversations I needed to have when I got married
I got married 3 years ago. It’s a beautiful feeling to be part of someone’s life forever. We talked about everything, our goals, travel plans, aspirations, and dreams.
I missed discussing financial aspects early on.
I mean, who brings serious topics such as finance management between travel goals, dreams, wedding plans, etc? Over time, I learned that it is important to discuss financial plans together. All the money and wealth that you earn belongs to both of you. When you and your partner both turn 60, you are each other’s support and your wealth is part of that retirement.
Six conversations you should have before you get married
1. What’s the credit/loan situation? The past and current credit situation of your partner will affect your future spending. The burden of past loans may sour your future relationships because it puts a strain on your finances, together. You should be aware of any past debts, assets, and liabilities each of you might have before you get hitched. You might want to get rid of your existing debts and begin on a clean slate as a new couple.
2. One or two bank accounts? It is important to decide whether the two of you will have two separate bank accounts or a joint account after marriage. You may also consider merging your income into one bank account. Or you may decide to keep your accounts separate and transfer a specific amount periodically to a joint account for expenses.
3. What about my family? As a woman, you may be expected to leave all the responsibilities of your family when you are married. But you can choose otherwise. Talk it over with your husband-to-be. You could be the one who managed their finances, so you may rightly wish to send some/all of your income back home.
4. Are our financial goals aligned? It is not wrong to have different financial goals after marriage. But your spouse should be comfortable with it too. For instance, you may choose to freelance and be happy with a small income that pays for your everyday needs. Likewise, you may indulge in some leisure shopping or go on a trip every year. On the other hand, your spouse may be ambitious. He might want to save every penny to achieve a bigger goal, such as purchasing a villa, bungalow, or dream car. There may be some discord due to this.
5. Who will handle the finances? Budgeting and handling finances can be done by either husband, wife, or both. In India, household finances are usually handled by the woman. But in many cases, the husband too takes on that responsibility. Talk about this before you get married. There is a possibility that you and your future husband may want to decide on the budget for household expenses and provide the money that’s needed by earning member(s).
6. Spend or save? You may be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, so you might be a lavish spender. On the other hand, your spouse may come from a different background where thrift is encouraged. Arguments may arise if this issue is not firmly addressed. Every person has a different way of managing money. But when you decide to spend your life together, it is necessary that both of you are more or less on the same page as far as spending habits go.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Money isn’t everything, especially when it comes to relationships. However, having a heart-to-heart conversation about finances before you get married is important.