In any marriage having the ‘finance talk’ is just as important any other talk with your spouse. If you haven’t already had one then its time you talk ‘finance’ to him on an SOS basis. Here are some things that you must discuss:
#1. Your financial goals.
You and your spouse may have completely different goals. Maybe your wife wants a luxury holiday home in the hills after retirement and you might want to travel all around the world. If you have the right financial plan, both of those dreams could come true, but you need to be on the same page to get there.
To start, off you can discuss these goals with each other and make a financial plan for achieving them. After discussing and agreeing to a good financial plan you must stick by it at all times unless some emergency occurs and you need to stray away from your plan (In such a case consult each other first and come up with a solution). Since both your goals might not be the same you must figure out where to compromise and how to work towards both of your goals simultaneously.
#2. Opening a Joint Account
Having a joint checking account with your SO doesn’t mean you can’t have separate accounts as well. Setting aside a specified amount each month in the joint account can give you the best of both worlds; you can share household expenses and shared saving goals with the joint account and maintain financial independence with the separate accounts.
#3. Your debts, loans, credit history,etc.
Like all other things in a relationship you must be completely honest with each other about your credit history and debts. You may someday face the question of whether or not to become a joint account holder or taking up a loan together. Even if you decide not to do that, these discussions are necessary for simple budgeting purposes.
Having this discussion sooner than later could save you an even harder conversation down the road when your financial past comes back to bite you.
#4. How Your Parents Dealt with Money
You may assume your wife will handle majority of household expenses because your mom did so or your husband will take care of children’s expenses because that was your dad’s job. Even your spending habits depend on your family background. If you grew up in a household where money was managed strictly, you might be more money conscious than your fiancée, who grew up in a home where spending was liberal. After your marriage you both should come up with your own ways of handling finances together as a couple and not as individuals.
#5. Everyday Spending and Budgeting
Divide daily expenses between each other and decide who will manage what. If both try to manage it together you might end up overspending and not staying on a budget.
Many times the spouse who doesn’t manage the money may feel that the other spouse has too much financial control. Or the spouse who does manage the money could feel overwhelmed with the responsibility.
Decide together who will take on which role and continue to communicate about everyday finance and budgeting decisions on a regular basis.
“Money isn’t everything, especially when it comes to your relationship. But learning how to communicate and work together on financial issues will help you communicate and work together in other areas of your relationship. When you’re on the same page financially before you’re even married, you’ll build a stronger foundation for your life together.”-Huffington Post