The holidays are upon us, which means popping the champagne cork… and the question. Nearly one-third of all engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If your Santa baby bought you that diamond ring, congratulations! Now’s the time to talk about each other’s financial value system and how you’ll handle your finances as a couple.
The topic of finances can be an emotional third rail for some and how one responds to financial decisions strikes at the core of their value system. Therefore, we encourage you to discuss your thoughts and feelings about finances before you walk down the aisle. Here are some key questions to ask your beloved:
- Do you have any debt (credit cards, student loans, etc.)? Do you pay your credit card bills on time and in full?
- What is your attitude towards debt?
- Are you a spender or a saver? Do you buy name brand or generic? Do you pay with cash or credit?
- What is the maximum dollar amount you can spend before consulting the other person?
- What are your income and lifestyle goals?
- Who will be responsible for paying the bills and how will the bills be paid (check, online)?
- How are you saving for retirement (401k, investment account, etc.)?
- If you choose to have children, will you be a dual income or one income household?
Now that you have a sense for how one another feels about finances, you can decide to what extent you’re willing to comingle your money. There is no right are wrong way to approach how you comingle your money, if at all. This article outlines 3 approaches – but again, it’s not one-size fits all. You need to do what is right for you.
If you would like an objective third party to help you work through how you’ll manage your finances as a married couple, we’re happy to help. As part of our NexGen program, we offer 2 complimentary hours of financial planning that can cover any topics related to personal finance – including how to manage your money as a couple. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the planning sessions, please contact Anne Simpson [email protected]
Editor's Note: This blog post is part of the December 2017 edition of Odyssey NexGen Newsletter. Curious about Odyssey's NexGen program? Email [email protected] to learn more.
Reviewed & approved via C2C by AP 12/19/17