An important part of getting engaged and preparing for marriage is talking about how you will handle finances as a couple. Studies have shown that money is one of the most common things that couples argue about. We all have beliefs about money and strategies for managing our finances before entering into a relationship, and those beliefs and strategies don’t always align.
These differing views about money can lead to disagreements and arguments in our relationships, so it is important to make sure we work through our differences before getting engaged. By talking about how you and your partner will approach money and finances in your relationship before getting engaged, you will be more prepared to have tough conversations and handle challenges related to money during marriage.
Set aside a time to discuss how you and your partner plan on managing money as a couple. Be open and honest about your views on money and be willing to listen to each other’s different approaches for managing finances. Some questions you may ask one another are: What are your financial goals? What does your debt look like and how do we plan on managing this debt as a couple? Do you plan on going back to school? Do you have a budget? If so, what does it look like and how will we adapt our budget to consider both of our financial assets and needs? How do we want to invest and save our money? How will we plan for retirement? Are you going to merge accounts? If so, how and when will you do this?
Use the information you gather during your discussion about money habits to work together as a team to come up with a financial plan that both you and your partner feel comfortable with and confident in. Know that it may take some time to find a plan that works for both of you, and it will likely involve some compromise. It’s also important to keep in mind that this won’t be a one-time thing. Be sure to check-in with your partner about your financial plan throughout your relationship. Things can change over time, and checking-in can help you ensure that you both stay one the same page.
For more information about how to manage your finances as a couple, check out our Relationship Booster on Couples and Money!