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  • Writer's pictureZiggurat Realestatecorp

5 financial conversations every couple should have before tying the knot

Wedding bells are ringing, and it's easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of planning. But before you say "I do," it's important to make sure your financial conversations are just as harmonious as your love story. Having open, honest discussions about money early in a relationship is key to understanding each other's priorities and values when it comes to finances. It can also help prepare newlyweds for a successful financial future together.

Although money has always been a contentious topic in relationships, research shows that couples who regularly communicate about their finances have a greater chance of success in their marriages.

Here are five conversations that every couple should have before tying the knot.

Money history and mindset

Before merging joint finances, it's crucial to kick things off with an open conversation about your money histories and attitudes. Think back to your childhood. How did your parents manage finances and what did you learn from them? What's your outlook on cash nowadays? Is it a source of security or stress? Identifying your partner's financial approach will help avoid future conflicts and enable both of you to develop sustainable personal finance strategies. This is your chance to learn more about each other and turn finances into a mutually beneficial venture.

Current financial situation

Sit down and review your combined financial picture — income, expenses, debts, savings and investments. What do you both bring to the table? What types of debts do you have and what strategies do you have in place to pay them off? How much are you saving each month? What financial responsibilities do you currently have toward your parents, siblings or other relatives? Are there any major financial decisions that need to be made before getting married? Knowing where each of you stands financially can help you make sound decisions as a couple and create a plan for how you'll manage your money as husband and wife.

Financial goals

Discussing your goals for your lifestyle and future together before marriage can help shape how you'll make financial decisions as a couple. Do you want to have kids? Are you looking to buy a house? Talk through your dreams and desires, from small everyday habits like eating out or taking vacations to longer-term ambitions like starting a business or saving for retirement. Decide on a timeline and set milestones for when you'd like to accomplish each goal, then determine how much you'll need to save in order to get there.

Money management strategies

Brainstorming strategies for how you'll manage your money as a couple is essential. Figure out which expenses you'll split down the middle and which ones you'll divide up in different ways. Will your salaries be pooled together, and if so, will they be placed into one joint account? What are rules around spending habits like buying unnecessary items or making large purchases? Would you rather stick with the traditional cash or embrace the modern convenience of credit cards and e-wallets? Discussing these details upfront can help prevent any misunderstandings or disagreements down the line.

Financial responsibilities

Everyone has a different approach when it comes to money management, so it's important to determine who will be responsible for what. Who will pay the bills? Who will handle investing and retirement planning? Who will take care of taxes and filing paperwork? When both partners are aware of their individual responsibilities, they can more effectively work as a team.

Keeping an open dialogue and clear communication is key for any healthy relationship, and it's no different when it comes to your finances. Set aside time each month to review your budget and track expenses together. Take this opportunity to talk about what's working and what isn't, and discuss ways to adjust your strategies. If something needs immediate attention like an unexpected expense or emergency savings need, you should address it immediately without hiding anything from each other. And don't forget, managing money is not a one-time deal, it's an ongoing journey. So, keep an eye on your finances and tweak things as your needs change.

As you navigate these conversations, it's important to remember that every couple is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing finances in a relationship. If you're struggling to have these conversations with your partner, consider seeking the advice of a financial planner or counselor who can help you create a plan that both of you feel comfortable with.

Money can be a sensitive subject, but having these conversations now can save you from potential headaches and heartaches down the road. Remember, the most important thing is to approach these conversations with an open mind and a willingness to work together toward a shared financial future. By doing so, you can build a strong financial partnership to match your romantic one.

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