Things are going great with you and your significant other. You have been dating each other for a while and things seem to be going great, but until you start asking about their financial history. Being asked or asking about someone’s financial history can always be daunting. Many young couples spend hundreds of hours planning their fabulous wedding but forget to prepare for their financial mergers. People treat money as a scary monster, so we tend to avoid bringing it into the conversation.
Almost one-third of couples say finances cause the most stress in their relationship. Couples who fight about money once a week are 30% more likely to be divorced than those who fight about money a few times a month. This can all be avoided in the beginning by having an honest and open conversation about their finances before getting married. Here are some questions to ask to start the conversation.
What do you earn, owe, and owe?
It may be hard to open up about this question, but the lack of money is better than the lack of communication. Having all the information out on the table helps couples see what they have and do not have to help each other build strength in their relationship. Being transparent in finances also plays into other aspects of the relationship.
How do you or your family deal with your finances?
Our surroundings heavily influence our actions. Understanding each side of the story helps couples understand each other, teach each other where we lack or even avoid certain financial trips. It helps give insight into what kind of budget they live on or who handled responsibility or taught how to handle money.
What are yours, mine, and ours?
A clear understanding of who is who helps each individual concentrate on important things. There are trust and transparency creating while making sure that you are not creating a secret place where secrets can hide where it can lead to divorce. It is not necessary to have combined or separate accounts but determining where each has the independence to spend money without damaging anyone’s financial health.
What are your financial goals in order of priority?
Being able to work together or motivating each other can be fun. Although, making too many goals can be hard to achieve, joining forces on 1 or 2 major goals can help tackle them easily.
Although these conversations can lead to some arguments, they can help deter larger and more serious financial arguments in the long run. When the financial decisions are made, write them down because we all know each person will remember the conversation differently. There is always room to edit decisions together. It is never too late to begin asking these questions to find a healthy financial relationship and relationship!
Lucas Zhang was a Finance major at Ohio State University. He writes about finance, mortgages, and technology for Irish Mortgage Brokers.