Preparing for Marriage: Money Talks Every Couple Should Have

  • Publication date: 04/11/2024
  • Updated: 04/11/2024

Welcome to our latest dive into the heart of preparing for marriage, where we unwrap the somewhat tricky but utterly essential topic: how to talk about money before marriage. Amidst the flutter of hearts and the planning of the big day, there lies an often overlooked but crucial foundation for a lasting union — financial compatibility and transparency. In this article, we're not just scratching the surface; we're diving deep into the nitty-gritty of financial discussions that can set the stage for a harmonious life together. From the whispers of savings and budgets to the sometimes thunderous debates over debt and financial goals, we're here to guide you through navigating these waters with love, understanding, and a dash of humor! 

Should You Talk About Money Before Marriage

Photo by Corbin Gurkin

When it comes to the topic of money and marriage, it's not exactly the sexiest conversation to have. Let's be honest, talking about budgets and bank accounts isn't exactly romantic. But the reality is, it's a crucial step in ensuring you’re on the same page before tying the knot.

One of the main reasons to have this talk is to get aligned on your financial goals and expectations. You know, things like income, debts, savings, and spending habits. While it may not be the most fun chat, it's important for couples to know if they are compatible when it comes to managing their money. After all, you don't want to find out after the wedding that you and your partner have totally different approaches to financial planning!

Another big reason for couples to discuss money before the big day is to develop a shared financial plan. This could include setting joint savings targets, deciding on budgeting strategies, or figuring out how to handle major expenses, like buying a house or starting a family. Having these plans in place ahead of time can prevent a lot of unnecessary stress and conflict down the road. It's also important for couples to consider the legal and financial implications of marriage. Depending on where they live, tying the knot can have significant tax, inheritance, and property consequences. Understanding these before saying "I do" can help couples make informed decisions that align with their long-term goals.

At the end of the day, discussing money before marriage is absolutely crucial. When couples are open and honest about their financial situations, it can actually help build trust and strengthen their overall bond. And really, what's more important than that?

Useful Tips On How to Have the Money Talk Before Marriage

Photo by Oliver Fly

When it comes to preparing for marriage, one of the most important conversations couples can have is about money. Discussing finances before tying the knot can help ensure a strong and stable financial foundation for your future together. To help you navigate this crucial discussion, here are some useful tips on how to have the money talk before marriage.

Set the Right Tone

When broaching the topic of finances with your partner, it's important to do so in a way that is open, honest, and non-confrontational. Avoid lecturing or making accusations, and instead, approach the conversation as a collaborative effort to understand each other's financial situations and goals. Set aside dedicated time to discuss money matters in a calm and relaxed environment.

Gather Relevant Information

Before the discussion, take the time to gather and organize your own financial information, including income, debts, assets, and spending habits. This will not only help you communicate clearly, but it will also demonstrate your commitment to approaching the topic thoughtfully. Encourage your partner to do the same, so you can have an informed and transparent dialogue.

Focus on the Big Picture

While it's important to discuss specific financial details, try to keep the conversation centered on the broader financial goals and priorities you share as a couple. This may include saving for a down payment on a home, paying off student loans, or planning for retirement. By focusing on the big picture, you can more easily align your financial strategies and work towards a common vision.

Photo by Lauren Fair

Be Prepared for Difficult Conversations

Discussing money can be a sensitive topic, and it's possible that you and your partner may have differing opinions or even conflicts. Be prepared to have open and honest conversations about any areas of concern, and be willing to compromise and find solutions that work for both of you. Remember that the goal is to build a strong financial foundation for your marriage, not to win an argument.

Revisit and Adjust

Finances are not a one-time discussion; they require ongoing communication and adjustment as your lives and circumstances change. Agree to regularly review your financial plan and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that it continues to align with your shared goals and priorities. This will help maintain a strong financial partnership throughout your marriage.

Tricky Money Conversations Couples Should Have Before Marriage

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These conversations, when approached with candor and care, can illuminate the path to shared goals, mutual respect, and enduring partnership. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most tricky money talks to have with your partner:

  1. How do we each define financial success, and how can we work together to achieve it?
  2. What financial fears or concerns do we each have, and how can we address them as a team?
  3. How much debt do we each bring into the relationship, and what is our strategy for managing or eliminating it?
  4. What are our credit scores, and how might they impact our future financial plans?
  5. How do we plan to divide financial responsibilities and contributions toward shared expenses?
  6. Are there any financial commitments or obligations to family members that we should discuss?
  7. How do we feel about budgeting, and what system might work best for our household?
  8. What are our short-term and long-term saving goals, and how will we prioritize them?
  9. How will we approach major purchases, such as a home or vehicle, and what criteria will we use to make these decisions?
  10. What is our stance on joint versus separate bank accounts?
  11. How do we plan to handle unexpected financial setbacks or emergencies?
  12. What are our views on investing, and are we interested in taking a conservative or aggressive approach?
  13. How will we decide on discretionary spending, such as vacations, dining out, and hobbies?
  14. What are our thoughts on lending money to friends or family members?
  15. How do we feel about establishing a prenuptial agreement?
  16. How will we plan for retirement, and what steps do we need to take now to prepare?
  17. How do we envision supporting our parents or other family members in the future, if necessary?
  18. What are our thoughts on children’s education and the potential costs involved?
  19. How will we approach charitable giving and philanthropy?
  20. Are there any past financial mistakes we can learn from, and how will we avoid repeating them?
  21. How comfortable are we with financial risk, and how does that affect our investment and saving strategies?
  22. What role does money play in our happiness and fulfillment?
  23. How will we balance financial goals with our desires for travel, experiences, and leisure?
  24. How do we feel about one partner potentially earning significantly more than the other?
  25. What are our views on financial independence within the marriage?
  26. How will we manage financial stress or disagreements?
  27. What financial information do we believe should always be shared between partners?
  28. How often do we plan to review our financial situation and goals together?
  29. Are there any cultural or familial financial traditions or expectations we should consider?
  30. How will we educate ourselves and potentially our children about financial management and responsibility?

Navigating financial conversations before marriage is not just about planning for the future; it's about laying the groundwork for trust, transparency, and teamwork in all aspects of life together. These discussions offer a unique opportunity for couples to align their dreams, address their fears, and set a course for financial well-being that respects both partners' values and visions. 

Money Conversations Couples Should Have Before Marriage to Make Your Life Easier 

Photo by Molly Carr

Every couple, at the threshold of their journey together, stands before an opportunity to blend their financial colors, ensuring the durability and beauty of their joint creation. Engaging in these conversations is about embroidering a future where financial harmony amplifies love and companionship. 

  1. How do we each view money and its role in our lives?
  2. What are our individual financial goals, and how do they align with our goals as a couple?
  3. How much debt do we each bring into this relationship, and what's our plan for managing it together?
  4. What's our strategy for saving, especially for big goals or emergencies?
  5. How will we handle everyday expenses? Will we share them equally, proportionally to our incomes, or through another method?
  6. What are our career aspirations, and how do they align with our financial expectations?
  7. How do we plan to invest our money, and what are our risk tolerances?
  8. What financial system will we use for budgeting and tracking our expenses?
  9. How do we feel about joint vs. separate bank accounts?
  10. Are there any financial habits or beliefs that we need to discuss or compromise on?
  11. How will we decide on making significant purchases, such as a house or car?
  12. How will we support each other in case of job loss or a decrease in income?
  13. What are our thoughts on lending or giving money to family and friends?
  14. How do we plan to manage our taxes, especially if our marital status changes our filing options?
  15. What are our long-term financial goals, such as retirement or purchasing a vacation home?
  16. How do we plan to save for and finance our children's education, if we choose to have them?
  17. What is our approach to financial risk, such as investing in the stock market or starting a business?
  18. How often should we have financial check-ins or reviews to ensure we're on track?
  19. Are there any financial roles or responsibilities we prefer or want to avoid?
  20. How will we navigate financial disagreements or conflicts?
  21. What steps can we take to improve our financial literacy as a couple?
  22. How do we feel about working with a financial advisor or planner?
  23. What are our views on philanthropy and charitable giving?
  24. How will we ensure our financial practices align with our values and ethics?
  25. What legacy do we want to leave, and how does our financial planning contribute to that?

Embarking on these money talks eases the journey through life's financial landscapes but also deepens the trust and connection between partners. Laying a solid foundation for a future where money supports, rather than strains, the ties that bind.

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog