Sharing the rest of your life with your loved one is a rewarding and beautiful experience, both of you are eager to start a future together while your dreams and goals come true. However, the honeymoon phase can turn into a nightmare, if you haven’t discussed with your partner how your financial situation is going to be handled.
If you are unsure how to talk about money with your partner or even question how important it is to share your finances with your future bride or groom, this article is for you. Life itself is unpredictable, so having your finances covered is going to relieve one of the major stresses on relationships.
First thing first, you need to talk about the relationship each of you have with money in order to understand your needs and establish how it will be handled once you get married. The way you approach money may not be the same as your partner does, that is because our relationship with finances is developed back to our childhood.
More precisely, we learn our financial habits from our parents, if your loved one tends to be extremely attached to money or on the contrary, splurges on every single occasion. It is surely a reflection of his or her parents’ behaviour.
Both of you need to be comprehensive with each other, and establish a new partner that serves your purpose as a couple. Especially because extremely
important aspects of our behaviour and self esteem are related to money; like how we perceive success or how we act with the lack of it.
Individual Goals, Financial Goals and Savings
Once both of you talk about your relationship with money, you can proceed to discuss the financial goals you want to set. Sharing the rest of your life with someone involves a lot of planning and being truly honest with your partner. Money will always be an essential part of your shared journey, but it doesn’t mean it should be scary. On the contrary, money should be seen as a support to achieve your dreams.
You can start the following questions:
- What are your goals in life? Would you like to have children?
- How can we reach our goals through our current finances?
- Do you want to retire early? How can we do it?
Once you have the ball rolling, you can ask more questions and find the answers together. Furthermore, make sure to cover “Savings” and “Budget” in your discussion.
Unexpectedness can always happen in life, and it is always better to lay in the “soft spot” called savings than ask for loans or overuse your credit card due a complication or misfortune. Moreover, your best friend will have a healthy and realistic budget, so you can start shaping your life together around your finances, taking away some of the stress and anxiety we may experience from money.
Share Your Debt, Credit History and Financial Obligations
Congratulations! You have shared your feelings about money and which are your goals for the future. Before you combine your assets and start creating your budget, it is time to share the “tricky” part of the experience: your debts and credit history. Again, you are sharing a life together, there is not a better time to create a plan for financial stability or to tackle your debts than now. In addition, discussing which financial habits lead you or your partner into debt is extremely important. It is not the same if one of you has thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and the other has credit card debt due a lifestyle that is not sustainable.
Above all, a full disclosure of your debts and assets is vital for a successful life together. Without this conversation how are you going to purchase your first home if your credit score is low? Or, how are both of you traveling once a year if your credit cards are always generating high interests and you are not able to pay them?
It could be hard but at 4 Pillars we can always support you and your partner, starting your debt free life with your loved one has never been easier thanks to us.
Moving forward, one more topic you need to include in the conversation is your financial obligations. You and your partner are going to be a family, meaning the shared happiness, success and wellbeing is the priority of the other. However, if any of you have a financial obligation with an ill parent or relative, maintenance of another property, paying for spousal support or covering child support payments; the subject must be brought to the conversation.
Related Links: Working out love, money and debt together
You and your partner have discussed your money habits, shared your dreams for the future, talked about debt and even wondered which is the best way to start your savings account. Now, it is time to merge your accounts. However, you can start doing so one step at a time. Instead of running to the bank and opening a shared account, you can create a budget and stick to it first.
Once you two feel comfortable enough and you have discovered which is the best way to handle money as a couple, proceed to make more permanent arrangements. For some couples a shared account is the ideal, others prefer to have separate accounts and each partner pays different services or needs. At the end, you two have the final decision; although the communication, trust and compromise to talk openly about your finances should stay open.
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