Money Saving Monday: 7 Financial Questions To Ask Before Getting Married

by Jennifer Hall
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(Photo by HOANG DINH NAMAFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by HOANG DINH NAMAFP/Getty Images)

So you’re madly in love and you’re planning for the big day. You scurry to organize your nuptial festivities; cake, bridesmaids, flowers, and venue…check, check, check, check!

So, what about your financial checklist? How are you and your soon-to-be-hubby planning on handling your funds? More importantly, have you even had the discussion?

It is important to get everything out in the open, neglecting to examine your financial habits before tying the knot can be the source of numerous problems during a marriage.

If you aren’t sure how to bring up money matters with your fiancé here are 7 Financial Questions To Ask Before Getting Married:

1. How Much Debt Do You Have?
Whether its student loans, credit card, or hospital fees; debt is a critical thing to bring into a marriage. Not only does it determine how much you can spend, but it also affects your savings and investment options. Agree in advance to work to pay off all debts as soon as possible.

2. What Is Your Credit Score?
It’s the magic number. When it comes to major purchases you can’t get around it. It’s a good idea to get a free copy of your credit report on an annual basis. You can obtain your free report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

3. What About Your Investments and Assets?
Both assets and investments are all apart of one’s big financial picture. Share details of your investment portfolio with your spouse. To ensure that current allocations will still fit when you are married consult with your financial advisor. Depending on how much you’re looking at in the way of assets, you may choose to protect them with a prenuptial agreement.

4. How To Divide The Financial Responsibility?
Who is going to pay the bills, balance the check book, and do the banking? Usually, the responsibility falls on the more organized or financially savvy spouse. However, it is important for the bill-payer to keep his or her partner abreast with financial updates. Review the budget, discuss planning, saving, and more together.

5. Joint Or Separate Bank Accounts?
Some couples choose to handle their finances as a team pooling from one account. While others opt to deal with bill paying more independently utilizing separate accounts. It all depends on the individuals involved. Choose what works best for your needs.

6. How Will We Handle Routine Spending Decisions?
From groceries, to clothes, to household expenses, and entertainment; couples need to discuss how routine spending decisions will be made. Most pairs rely on a monthly budget. Even with that, are decisions made without consulting both parties?

7. What Are Your Financial Goals?
This may seem like an easy question; however the answer is of huge importance when getting married. As a couple, a partnership, it is of the utmost importance to have the same financial goals. Is owning a home essential? Do you plan to spend money on travel? Is starting a business a future goal? It’s key for your spouse to either want the same things, or at the very least be supportive of your vision.

These questions aren’t meant to take the romance out of the occasion, but to enhance your future. Use them as an introduction to your wedded financial fitness.

-Jennifer Hall, CBS Radio Local

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