This post is part of our Marriage + Money series, sharing important financial topics with our currently engaged readers. This conversation is sponsored by CreditRepair.com
Don't head down the aisle without discussing these important money matters
Here at The Budget Savvy Bride, we have a strong value system surrounding money and marriage. We've seen the reports that state that money disputes are one of the biggest stressors on a relationship. It's even been said that debt is one of the biggest factors in divorces.
That's why we are so passionate about sharing information that teaches couples how to be wise with their spending for their wedding day and beyond. After all, managing a wedding budget is great practice for running your household as a married couple.
Before you head down the aisle, there are some important financial conversations you should have with your sweetie. From savings goals to credit scores, here are five important money talks to discuss before the big day:
Five Important Money Topics to Discuss Before You Tie The Knot
Financial Values + Goals
One of the biggest conversations that you should have with your partner before exchanging your “I do's” is all about your respective financial goals and values. What are your beliefs surrounding money? Are you spenders or savers? Do you live below your means or do you tend to live by a “YOLO” mentality? Would you prefer to buy your dream house or take dream vacations each year? Discuss your personal goals and how finances will come into play during your marriage to ensure you're on the same page, or at least able to compromise.
Once you and your future spouse have discussed your financial values and goals, it's time to talk about where the two of you are currently, financially speaking. This one can be uncomfortable, but it's absolutely imperative to discuss any outstanding debts or loans. It's likely that each of you has some form of debt, whether it be a car loan, student loan, mortgage, or credit card debt. A person's debt can tell you quite a bit about their financial responsibility, especially if they have a large revolving balance on their credit cards. Debt can be a big source of stress, so it's important to know where you and your partner stand up front before making a lifetime commitment.
Don't miss this: Five reasons to not go into debt for your wedding
On the other side of the coin from your debts, discuss your current assets with your partner. This means disclosing the amount of money you each have in the bank and/or investment accounts. Perhaps one of you owns property, that is considered an asset as well. This isn't to say you're required to share everything you owned before you got married, this is more about transparency. This is also a great time to discuss both incomes, so you know how much will be coming in each month to go towards household expenses.
Credit History and Credit Scores
Another important thing to disclose to your fiancé is your credit score. After discussing your debts, you might already have an inkling about where your partner rates on the credit scale, but it's important to get the full picture. Each of you should get a copy of your credit report to share with your partner. If either of you has red flags on your report, handle the problem sooner rather than later.
Though your spouse's credit score won't have any direct affect on yours, if you're planning to make any big purchases together like a home or a car, lenders will often take both scores into account. A bad score could hurt your chances of qualifying for the first home you've both been dreaming of. If one of your scores is struggling, check out CreditRepair.com, which can help you repair your credit, improve your score, and help you to reach those mutual goals.
Read This: Money, Marriage and Credit Scores
Money Management Style
After you've reviewed your individual financial situations, discuss how you'll manage your money when you're married. Use this conversation as a starting point to make a game plan for how you'll proceed post-nuptials. Make sure you understand your partner's spending habits before opening joint accounts. You may want to have a joint account that contains only a limited amount of money for joint everyday purchases and keep separate accounts until you are more comfortable with each other's habits.
Related: Practical Money Advice for Newlyweds
Start your marriage off on the right financial footing by having these uncomfortable money conversations *before* you get married. Not only will it be helpful to be on the same page, but you'll also be set on the path towards marital money bliss!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.