Questions To Ask Before You Commit
Updated: Aug 7, 2020
Why It Is Important To Talk About Finances and Answers You Should Know Before You Take That Next Step!
Money is one of the topics that is considered taboo in social settings. But given that money-related conflicts are one of the biggest reasons for divorce it is important to talk about finances before you decide to take that next big step with your partner.
When it comes to money what should you know about your partner before you take that next step?
Let’s look at this in stages:
When you are in a new relationship you can observe some things during your first several dates that may indicate how the other person handles and feels about spending money. Do they enjoy fancy restaurants? Do they insist on buying or do they feel more comfortable splitting the bill? You can begin to notice things about their lifestyle and how it matches or conflicts with their occupation.
When you are a bit further in your relationship you may start naturally taking about dreams and goals. This may give you insight into their career ambitions, where they want to live, if they want kids, etc. You will likely have a clearer sense of how they handle and feel about spending money now that you are not working as hard to impress each other.
Now the next step. You are considering a bigger commitment. Maybe that is moving in together, maybe marriage. In either case, you need to look at how the financial life you have had as individuals will change now that you are making this larger commitment as a couple.
I would suggest that you have a discussion about all of these items before you take that next step in your relationship.
1-Do you keep track of your money? If so, how (checkbook, app, spreadsheet, mobile banking, etc)
2-What assets are you bringing into this relationship (What do you own)?
3-What debt are you bringing into this relationship (What do you owe)?
4-How do you use debt (large purchases, daily spending, etc)?
5-Do you carry a credit card balance? How big?
6-What is your plan for managing/paying off debt?
7-Do you use cash, lease, loan for your car?
8-Do you have student loans?
9-Do you have a mortgage? What are the terms?
10-Do you regularly loan friends and family money?
11-What was your experience with money growing up? What does it represent to you?
12-What are your financial aspirations?
13-What are your career aspirations?
14-What is your credit score?
15-What is your risk tolerance when it comes to investing/starting a new venture?
16-How do you feel about charitable giving?
17-How much money would you like to have in savings to feel secure?
18-What lifestyle do you want to have (what areas are important to spend more money on)?
19-How many checkbooks will we operate from?
20-Will we combine all of our money or keep some or all separate?
21-How will we divide financial duties (how we pay bills, how we budget and track)?
22-Do we did need a prenuptial agreement?
23-Who buys the ring/pays for the wedding?
24-If we have children do we want to use daycare or will one of us stay at home?
25-How will we communicate regularly and honestly about our finances? (regularly scheduled money date night?)
26-What other guidelines or rules feel important for our finances?
It may seem like a lot but if you don’t talk about it now it could be much more difficult to deal with later.
I would love to hear from you. Could you and your partner answer each of these questions? If so which were easier to discuss? Which were the most difficult?