Tips for Discussing Finances with Your Future Spouse | April 14, 2016
“For better or for worse… For richer or for poorer.” This is we promise to our spouse when we pledge ourselves in marriage. CFB’s Executive Assistant, Sarah, has her big day coming up at the end of April so along with our greatest congratulations, weddings, finance and married life have been a topic of discussion at CFB. With several great tips and ideas from the CFB team, we thought it would be something worth discussing on a larger scale.
When you “tie the knot”, you also tie a financial knot that you have to keep strong throughout your lives together. It’s a matter of setting expectations from the start, making careful financial plans together, and checking in with each other regularly to keep your finances on track as your lives progress. Because in fact, money management can actually be a rewarding way to bond with your loved one.
Marriage introduces changes in a new couple’s financial situation that will affect all aspects of their life together. Everything from personal financial goals to credit card debt will bring new challenges to the relationship. Understanding how to navigate through these changes can be challenging, but planning ahead can allow you to build a strong financial foundation for your relationship.
Start the Conversation
“Have an open, honest conversation with your partner before you jump into married life or even moving in together” says Kyle Thompson, Senior Financial Advisor at CFB.
Sure, it’s hard to tell the person you plan to spend your life with that you’ve got debt, but it’s even harder to tell that kind of news to your new spouse after the wedding. However ugly your finances, you need to get it out before the wedding bells ring.
Have a sit-down where you both share the good, the bad and the ugly, because ultimately, successful partnerships all come down to communication. Bring credit card statements and other bills, investment account statements, and information about your debts. Be open with each other about your expectations and talk about your money concerns. If one of you is bringing substantial debt into the marriage, don’t hide it. Be honest and come up with a plan for paying it off.
Discuss your respective spending habits and ensure you have a clear understanding of how your partner operates. No two people have identical values when it comes to money, so open communication will help identify what is important to each of you. Then you can make the best decisions about your money as a couple.
“There is a trend of putting off the discussion about finances between partners nowadays. It is of vital importance to not only start the conversation, but continue talking about it on a regular basis to keep on top of your financial situation” says Tapel Cafer, Director and Senior Financial Advisor at CFB.
Don’t let small problems or assumptions grow into large problems. As with setting financial goals as an individual, make a financial plan for your future together as a couple, and review it on a regular basis. Communicating regularly will give you plenty of opportunity to discuss changes and concerns as they occur throughout your relationship. There is no singular clear strategy that fits all couples, whether you keep joint or separate accounts, or choose to consolidate or keep separate your debt, so this is a great reason to have a chat with your financial advisor for tailored advice for your personal situation.
Whatever you decide for your financial futures together, starting the conversation and arming yourselves with the right knowledge is an important first step to take before getting married.
This article is for general information purposes only. It has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.
Why not follow, like or link in with us on social media?
You can find all the latest news and posts from Complete Financial Balance, ask us a question, send us your comments and more by following the links below.