9 Money Questions Before Marriage

 In Money Habits & Attitudes Blog

In her “Top 9 Money Questions to Ask Your Partner Before You Get Married,” Maria Lin (@marialinnyc) says:

“Before marriage, all kinds of lovely conversations ensue: How many kids? What should we name them, Jayden or Hayden or Payden? Where should we live, Paris or Wyoming or Sao Paolo? Beach house or woodsy cottage? Dog or cat?

In reality, the better questions might be: How much is in your 401K? or Your credit score is what?”

Lin’s top questions include:

  1. What’s your credit score?
  2. Do you have any debt? (Ask what kind of debt it is, as credit card debt from spendy living is different from student loan debt.)
  3. How much do we have, and where is it? (Net worth)
  4. Are you a saver or a spender? (With Money Habitudes, there’s more information that comes into this conversation and it’s more nuanced. But, the point Lin hits on is similar: it’s important to understand how you and your spouse view and handle money and how you’ll interact around finances. Of course, one can often be a “saver” but then become a “spender” in certain situations such as the holidays, when thinking of one’s kids or when the in-laws come to visit.)
  5. Where do we want to be in 5 years? 10? (This is the lifestyle question.)
  6. Do we want kids, and if so, who will work?
  7. How will we share responsibilities? (Including  earning, budgeting, saving and spending, administrative  such as paying bills).
  8. How will we have tough money conversations? (According to CBS Moneywatch, 80 percent of people have lied to their spouse about spending money.)
  9. Should we sign a prenup? (Prenups shouldn’t be seen as cold harbingers of divorce — they can be tools for talking through important financial issues in case the worst happens.)

Money Habitudes helps couples start what can often be a difficult or awkward conversation to address these issues (and much more) and do it in a fun, engaging, constructive manner.

As Lin says, “Take some quiet moments to go through the following questions with your future spouse. Financial values and habits often align with bigger issues, so don’t minimize problem areas — and don’t be surprised if these conversations end up being more interesting than you think.” Indeed, talking about money can be really fun and eye-opening and can build trust and understanding and make for a stronger relationship.

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