Money Before Marriage
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Money Before Marriage

Updated: December 26, 2012

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It may not be easy, but bringing up personal finances as well as inquiring about your partner`s finances will help you and your relationship in the long run.Your partner may already have good budgeting and spending habits, or they may have terrible ones ransacked by student loans and poor money management. Either way, you can listen and take note and finagle your way into learning more about their financial history.

Do they seem to pay their bills on time, or do they seem to be always running from a creditor or trying to hustle a quick buck? Do they only use credit or do they prefer cash? How many credit cards do they have? These questions should pop up, before he pops the big question.

Marriage is no longer 'until death do us part,' it`s more like 'until I can`t stand you anymore.' With divorce rates so high, it’s important to air out any issues you two may have before you make the big leap.

Research has shown that money is a frequent argument in many marriages, and many stem from a lack of communication. It seems that couples don`t spend enough time discussing finances prior to their 'big day.' So I advise you lovebirds to remember to talk about finances before you say 'I do'. If not, then you may be setting yourself up for financial misery and marital stress.

Begin by budgeting something small together, like a vacation months in advance. Or maybe plan the trip as a reward for writing down and monitoring monthly expenses, growth of savings, and prompt bill payments. If you two succeed at completing similar short-term goals, such as going on a cruise, then feats such as buying a house together or car, become easier.

Once you know the ins and outs of your partners’ debt, it is up to you to make a decision of whether or not to keep separate credit cards and credit reports or to merge them. As I explained earlier, with the divorce rate being so high, many advisors do not recommend joining accounts, but couples should talk about what works for them. It’s also an option for each of partner to have a separate account and a joint account for joint ventures such as vacations, saving for children`s college, a new home, etc.

Adhering to your future financial goals will affect your present actions. Experts recommend that couples save at least three to six months` living expenses as a buffer in case of any emergency such as job loss, illness or family emergency. If as a couple you are looking to save money, regulating dates might be a way to watch your funds. Once you cut back on certain expenses such as excess dining out and other expensive recreational activities, in favor of less expensive activities, such as picnics and free dates your finances can grow together.

If there are questions that you still haven’t asked or answers that you’re still searching for, don’t hesitate to sit down with your financial advisor and your partner. We all know debt comes from a variety of places, so it`s feasible that your new partner will have racked up some along the way. Just remember to remain understanding and comforting as they work their way through their finances.

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