There are many aspects of marriage that are consistent trouble spots for couples. Disputes about money are by far the most common cause of divorce. Here is a list of money-related topics that every couple should discuss in detail before they tie the knot. Remember, you may revise your answers later but you want to have a good understanding of your prospective spouse’s feelings and habits.
- What are your spending habits?
- Do you live paycheck to paycheck?
- What percentage of income do you save?
- Have you always been responsible with money?
- Discuss any goals that you have that require money.
- How do you plan to achieve these goals?
- How important is each goal to you, on a scale from 1 to 10.
- How did your parents handle money while you were growing up?
- Was anyone in your family stingy? How did that make you feel?
- Was anyone in your family financially irresponsible? How did that affect you?
- Do you have any family members who have been or are currently in financial trouble?
- What age did you become financially independent?
- Share what your money management habits were leading up to that point.
- Do either of you have debt?
- How much?
- How long have you had it?
- At what rate of interest?
- If it is a significant amount, discuss why and how it reached that level.
- How will it be paid?
- How will you pay for the wedding and honeymoon?
- Will there be any debt acquired?
- If yes, what is the plan for eliminating this debt?
- Do either of you own real estate?
- Do you have other major assets?
- What would be required to access the value of these assets if needed?
- Are any of these assets shared with other owners?
- Will both of you contribute to household expenses?
- If so, what percentage will each person contribute, or which bills will each person pay?
- What are your current expenses?
- Can any of these items be merged or eliminated?
- What impact will your marriage likely have on expenses?
- Will you establish a joint savings account?
- Who will contribute to it?
- What it will be used for?
- Is there an amount of money is too much to spend without consulting the other?
- How do you think major purchases should be handled?
- How much money will each person have to spend as they like?
- What type of expenses do each of you expect the other to pay out of their discretionary budget?
- Do either of you currently have retirement accounts?
- Will your accounts be combined?
- In the event that one of you passes away, what are your expectations for your assets and debts?
- Are you aware of the estate laws in your jurisdiction?
- Do you have a will?