So, you're getting married. Congratulations. Your marriage is certain to succeed though over 50percent of marriages fail, right? After all, you love and are committed to each other.
But just how much do you know about your future spouse's financial situation? Since almost 90percent of divorces have at their roots financial problems, quarrels, and accusations, it's pretty likely that most of these couples headed into marriage without a complete financial picture of their relationship.
Here are some questions for you to talk over with your intended spouse so that you can both be on the same financial page.
Who is going to manage the money?
So many people enter marriage thinking that the other person is going to handle everything, only to find out later that neither is keeping track . Decide who is going to manage the accounts, keep track of expenditure and do investment research . Divide it up if necessary. But both partners should always be aware of the total financial picture. Regular financial meetings are essential.
Are both going to work?
One of you? Both of you? Full-time? Part-time? Some couples choose for both of them to work, while otherschoose to have the wife stay home so they don't become accustomed to having her income, thus allowing her to stay home with the kids.
Assuming you will both be working, what will happen if you decide to have children? Who will stay home with them? Will you need to find someone to look after them?
If both work, how will we handle the household expenses?
Having two incomes can put surprising strain on a relationship. You have to worry about who is contributing more to the household expenses and who is not doing his/her "share". Handle this situation before it becomes a "hot potato".
Will you pool both incomes and pay household expenses out of that or will you maintain separate accounts for separate incomes and a joint one for household expenses that both contribute a percentage of your income to? How much should each one contribute?
How much personal spending money should each have?
Each spouse needs some money to spend without having to worry about having to account for it. Decide what is fair.
How much could I spend on a purchase without needing consent?
Set a limit on how much before consulting with each other. Decide on an amount that will help you to live within your means and not create resentment.
What is your attitude toward money?
Our attitudes toward money are often formed when we are just children. How do you feel about buying on credit? How much debt is essential? How much debt is too much? Consider whether you're a spendthrift marrying a miser.
How much debt are you bringing to the marriage?
If you can't be honest about this, there's not much hope for your marriage. Know the debt load each one is carrying, because once you're married, that debt is shared. Decide how you will manage it and work toward eliminating it.
How do you feel about budgeting?
Couples who don't have a budget are usually the ones in the deepest financial trouble. Budgeting is key to making a success of finances. Don't just talk about a budget. Plan it out and make it work.
How often to review short-term and long-term finances.
Periodic financial meetings are a must. Some couples may need to check up on things every other day, but most couples need to review their finances at least once a week. That way they know how much money is in the bank and they can discuss expenditures for the coming week. Have a budget meeting at least monthly and review investments as the need arises.
What are your long-term financial goals?
Where do you see yourselves in 20, 30 or 40 years? What are you doing about retirement? Talk about short-term and long-term goals and create a plan to achieve them. - simplejoe.com