When two people make the decision to get married often times they don’t fully realize that they’re signing on for more than just their partner. They are also marrying their partner’s friends, family and their finances. Getting to know all the little things about each other, such as favorite foods and movies, is fun, but it’s even more important that both partners take the time to get to know each other’s finances as well. Below are a couple questions that you and your partner should both discuss openly and honestly before you tie the knot.
How Much Money Do You Make?
This obviously seems like a pretty awkward question to ask someone – even someone that you are planning to spend the rest of your life with. However, just because it may make you a little uncomfortable doesn’t mean that should avoid it. Understanding the combined incomes that you are going to have coming in is going to be imperative when it comes to all of the budgeting that you also need to be prepared to do. Being aware of how much money you both make is going to make it a lot easier to set those financial goals that you both want to work towards.
How Much Debt Do You Have?
Did I give you the impression that this was going to be an easy conversation to have? It probably isn’t. Debt is never a fun topic, especially if you have some. However, it isn’t ever wise to hide things from your partner, especially things of the financial nature that will most definitely impact your lives together down the road. By taking the time to sit down and discuss exactly where you stand you are giving yourselves the chance to make a plan in order to get out of that debt and back onto solid ground. As painful as it may seem, just do it. Lay all your cards out on the table, no judgment.
What’s Your Credit Score?
You may not even be aware of what your current credit score is, let alone your partners. To make the awkwardness a little less palpable you can even look them up at the same time. There are plenty of websites that offer completely free credit scores. Once you get married your combined credit will either work to help or harm the both of you. Take the necessary steps ahead of time to assess the damage, and then set up a game plan to get it back on track. A few years down the road when you’re looking into some of the bigger purchases, like a car or a house, you’ll definitely be glad that you did.
Answering these basic questions and beginning the conversation will also give you both some insight into each other’s financial values and beliefs. Finances are one of the bigger causes of marital stress and can even lead to divorce. Get everything out in the open now so that it’ll be smooth sailing for you both in the future.