Nothing is harder to deal with in marriage than money. Giving it your full attention at the beginning, figuring out what is real for both of you and then how you’re going to deal with it is important. This can be a hard place for honesty, if money was never talked about where you grew up, you’re going to have to learn new skills. And if there’s debt or bankruptcy, it may feel excruciating to reveal what may feel like failures. But you’re getting married and getting intimate. So, get going!
- How much money do you make a pay period?
- Does the money taken out of your check cover your taxes at the end of the year?
- How much money do you spend a pay period. Yep, keep one of those little books for at least 2 weeks.
- How often do you look honestly at your money?
- Do you have a budget and do you keep to it?
- What did you learn at home about money? What was said, what was unsaid but implied? Was it talked about easily and openly? Was there enough? Was it hoarded or squandered? Was there panic, or calm about money?
- What has been your reaction to what you learned at home? Do you do it the same way?
- Are you an impulse shopper? What’s the last thing you bought on impulse? Do you use it? What’s the last BIG thing you bought on impulse? Do you use it?
- Do you buy on credit or do you wait until you have the cash?
- What’s your debt level? Credit Card, Student Loan, Mortgage?
- How much of your paycheck goes to finance debt?
- What’s your saving level?
- Do you have money if you become unemployed?
- Do you have a lot of things you don’t need?
- Do you have a lot of things you don’t use?
- How were you planning to pay for your wedding?
Tip: Compare them with your beloved’s. Is this too hard? Find a counselor or a financial planner to work with. Then once you’ve got your personal stuff laid out, you need to look at what you’re taking on with the marriage. It’s now one relationship. No more his or her debt; it’s your debt. You want to get it cleared up and out of the way. You want to clarify your financial goals. You want to design a budget that works. You want to put someone in charge of it. You both want to agree to how it will be administered, and by whom and what the exceptions are. You want to be trustworthy about your money stuff. Knowing and trusting one another in this area will cement your marriage together. The rewards are extraordinary.