If you find the person you know you want to spend the rest of your life with, you might be excited to take a walk down the aisle. But this isn't a decision to take lightly, and there are several things to discuss with your future spouse. Therefore, here are seven money manners to discuss before he puts a ring on it.
Before walking down the aisle, you and your future spouse should have a candid discussion about income. Some people are uncomfortable talking about money, but given how you plan to spend your life with this person, you have to divulge this information. Your spouse needs to know how much you earn, and you need to know how much he earns. This way, you can plan accordingly and find housing that's within your budget.
2. Credit Card Debt
Some people are embarrassed about their credit card debt. But if you owe a lot on your credit cards, you owe it to your future spouse to let him (or her) know. If you hold back this information, your spouse might be caught off guard once you're married, and he might feel that you withheld this information on purpose. Too much credit card debt can lower your credit score and make it harder to qualify for mortgages and auto loans. So, it's important to reveal how much you owe, and together you can come up with a debt reduction plan.
3. Student Loan Debt
Not only should you reveal your credit card debt, but also your student loan debt. Student loan debt doesn't hurt your credit score as much as a revolving credit line, but if you have a high monthly payment, it can impact how much you're able to spend on a house or car. And if you're spending a great deal of your income paying down student debt, this might reduce how much you can contribute to household expenses.
4. Savings Accounts
Whether you have $1,000 or $10,000 in your savings account, your future spouse needs to know. This doesn't mean you have to combine all your savings into one account, but if you hold back or lie about how much you've stashed, and your spouse learns about this later, he or she may feel that you're trying to hide money.
5. Who Will Work?
This is an important discussion to have before walking down the aisle, so there are no surprises. Discuss whether one or both of you will work. If you're interested in being a stay-at-home parent or only working part-time, you need to discuss this with your partner in advance to see if it's doable.
6. Other Financial Obligations
Don't hide other financial obligations from your partner. For example, maybe you're helping your parent or sibling and giving this person money each month. Or maybe you cosigned for someone's loan and now you're stuck with the payment. Don't forget to bring up any alimony or child support payments.
7. Spending Personalities
It's important to understand your future spouse's spending personality. Is he or she a saver or a spender? This way, you know what you're dealing with before walking down the aisle, and you can decide whether this is something you can live with. Problems can develop when couples have different attitudes toward money.
Money is one of the top things couples fight about, and fighting about money is a top predictor of divorce. But with a financial discussion before walking down the aisle, you can reduce these arguments. What other money matters should we discuss before getting married?