Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Financial Topics Couples Should Discuss Before Saying “I Do”

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When you are in the midst of planning a wedding, details like the dress, cake, attendants, food and honeymoon take up so much of your time that it can be easy to forget to discuss other important topics prior to your big day. For example, brides and grooms-to-be also need to discuss a variety of financial topics. Unfortunately, money tends to be the cause of a lot of marital fights, so if you can talk about credit cards, debt, credit scores and checking accounts ahead of time, it can help save some stress later on. With this in mind, the following topics should be discussed prior to saying “I do”:

Know Your Spending Styles

If you know where every dollar you make will go and your honey has a carefree “it will all work out” approach to budgeting, you need to talk about your differences. While you don’t necessarily need to change each other’s way of thinking, it is important to discuss how you spend and save your money as well as how you plan to handle income once you are married.

Talk About Debt and Credit Scores

Review your current financial states with each other and be completely honest about credit card debt, student loans, your credit scores and other issues before you get married. Even if you have been late on more Visa payments than you care to admit and your credit score is lower than it should be, being upfront about it now will prevent a mountain of headaches later when you go to pre-qualify for a house or car loan. Review your income, debt, savings and scores, and do not keep any credit card accounts secret from each other.

Decide on Separate or Joint Bank Accounts

While many couples assume they will have joint checking and savings accounts after they get married, this is not a rule that is set in stone. Different couples have different needs. Some couples combine all their money into one account. Others prefer to have one joint account for household bills and savings, but then separate accounts for your separate incomes. Talk with your fiancé about this and see what he or she has in mind. Again, be sure to work out these details prior to the wedding. It's good to know where you stand from the get-go.

Image via Shutterstock, courtesy of Social Monsters

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