Knowing your better half’s attitude towards money
A strong marriage relies very much on a couple’s loving and committing to each other equally. A mutual understanding of each other's attitude towards money is fundamental. Many couples did not rely on the other financially before they got married, but this will usually change once married. Your partner may have different values and ideas from you about owning a home, investing, or how much money should be given to your parents each month. You may disagree about lending money to friends, how much to spend on clothes, tipping at restaurants or even daily means of transport and these different views could result in conflicts.
Be clear about how you will handle shared expenses
As couples will live under the same roof after marriage, that means sharing expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, gas and electricity bills, sharing a car, or paying for an annual holiday together. You will need to work out whether these expenses are shared equally, or whether one partner is willing to pay more.
It really doesn't matter so much who pays as long as you talk about it and come to an agreement. It's important to build a stable financial foundation for a life together. The basic principle is: don't let money become a barrier to a happy marriage.
It’s best to talk about your views on money before getting married, so you know what to expect from each other. The following questions may be useful:
- Do you want to handle finances separately or together?
- How will you manage daily expenses? Should income and expenses be managed separately or together?
- What is your income? What is your monthly spending? What do you normally spend on?
- Do you make a budget for savings and expenses?
- Do you set aside money for emergencies?
- What level of risk can the two of you handle?
- How much money do you want to give your parents?
- Do you need to increase insurance coverage? Or take out extra insurance?
- What are your short-term and long-term financial goals?
- Do you plan to buy your own home?
- Do you want kids?
- When do you want to retire? Have you set aside money for retirement?
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