Whether it’s love at first sight or a longstanding relationship, when the time comes to get hitched, you need to have a chat about money first. YBI reports.
Let’s face it, for many of us, talking about money is somewhat taboo. It can be considered gauche or in poor taste. However, when it comes to beginning married life, it’s a good idea to start the conversation. People’s attitudes towards finances can be very different and unless you ask questions you may be caught out by a spouse’s financial bad habits.
Start out easy
Don’t immediately jump in to setting up budgets and planning for the future. Your initial conversations need to help you understand each other’s point of view when it comes to money.
What role does money play in your life? Are you a spender or a saver? How many credit cards do you have on the go? Have you had any financial successes or setbacks? Understanding what works and what doesn’t work for each of you provides a building block to establish further conversations.
My mamma told me
What were your parents’ attitudes toward money? These will have a lot of sway in shaping your own relationship with money. We model the behaviour we see around us. Whether your parents squandered or saved can have a reflection on how you feel about money. Do you and your partner come from similar financial backgrounds? Where do you differ? How are you the same?
Downing debt demons
How do you each manage your debts? Are you drowning in credit card debt or do you pay off your card every month? Do you have a BNPL addiction? What about credit card debt? Are your tax obligations up to date? What’s your credit score? Having an honest conversation about how much money you owe and what you are doing to pay down the debt is the first place to start.
Making money plans
The plans you and your spouse share for the future will also impact your money plans.
If you’re planning on buying a house your savings plans will need to reflect this as will your lifestyle. Do you want kids? Starting a family has a whole series of financial implications so you need to plan for these too. Perhaps you simply want to plan for a big holiday or a joint purchase? Either way discussing your financial and life goals together will help you lay a foundation for what’s to come.
Having money conversations is never easy. Remember not to be judgmental. Be prepared to feel challenged. You won’t always agree. Don’t get caught up in differences, instead, look for common ground. Money conversations are hard but having them with your loved one will set you up for a brighter future.