Financial issues are one of the main reasons for divorce these days, and one of the biggest causes of stress in our lives. Whether you have already tied the knot, or are planning to soon, there are some critical financial discussions that you need to have to try and prevent financial issues from becoming a bigger problem than they need to be. It is a good idea to continue these conversations and more throughout your marriage or relationship. Financial issues need to be a team effort, and the more you sweep them under the rug…the worse they get.
1. Where You are at Financially Right Now
Let your partner know what loans you have, what debts you still need to pay off, investments you may have, savings money (discuss what it’s for). You have to know where you are starting out to make a plan for the future.
2. Financial Goals
Discuss both short term and long term goals such as…goals for paying off debts (when and how much you will pay each month), how much you want to save from each paycheck, goals for buying a house, retirement plans, health care, education goals, plans for future jobs (especially when kids come in to the picture). It will make such a difference to discuss these things a head of time and get on the same page.
**If you are interested in making more money to help in your financial goals, here are some great side jobs to help bring in some extra cash:
3. Monthly Budget Plans
Is one of you a spender and one a saver? Do you like to eat out multiple times a week? Is buying expensive clothes, makeup, or home decor important to you? These are good questions to answer not only for yourself, but for your significant other. You need to be on the same page with where expenses are going, and how much. This will avoid trying to hide purchases, and creating tension. Go over each of your expenses from the past month and see where you spend most of your money. I am sure there are places that both of you can improve on to get to a better place budget wise. Planning a budget together is also the “how” of your short term, and long term financial goals. By creating a budget that you both agree on you will be planning your route to achieve those goals together!
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4. What Expenses Need to be Decided Together
Do you need to discuss an expense any time you swipe the card? Or just large expenses? This isn’t something we thing about discussing very often, but it is a good thing to be on the same page about. You don’t want to cause a fight each time you come home and one of you has bought something. So figure out what works best for each of you. Will you include a certain amount of “extra” money for each of you every month? Do you just trust the other person and not worry about expenses they are making? Do you make every purchase a combined decision? There isn’t a right or wrong way, but there will be a way that works best for you so figure out what that is!
5. Bank Accounts and Bills
Discuss whether or not you will have joint banking accounts, or separate. Also know who will be in charge of bills, you should both know what monthly bills and expenses are coming in each month, but knowing who pays what (or signing up for auto pay) will avoid missed payments and blaming one another for late fees.
6. Financial Weaknesses
Admitting our weaknesses is really a sign of strength. If you and your partner can openly discuss each of your weaknesses financially then it will be easier to help each other through those in the future and work through them as a team.