By Herman G. Mermmyer III
1. Open discussion with no Secrets
As you are courting you may experience many topics of conversation, many much more taboo than money… such as sexual topics, politics or even religion. All of these seem to be much more readily addressed than Finance. A 2008 survey by Smart Money/Redbook found that 36 percent of men and 40 percent of women confessed they had been less than honest with their spouse about what they had paid for an item. The clear start should be a fully open conversation about your full financial situation. Discuss your salary or wages, your debt, your spending habits, and any other obligations you may have financially. Then set Goals with your partner discuss your dreams and visions. Find common ground and build on those concepts.
2. My money is your money
Let’s not draw lines in the sand and create boundaries. Even if one partner is the sole provider of the home does not mean that that person should have all control over all financial decisions. Use your money evenly give a little take a little after all you are working for the same goals hopefully.
3. His hers or ours?
To combine or not to combine that is the question. If you are a couple without a lot of assets, a joint account can work well. This allows you to develop your own financial momentum as a couple. If you’re a more established couple or going into a second marriage, separate accounts may make sense. You both may already have successful careers and financial systems set up that you want to keep intact. This is also a good option if one partner has credit card debt that the other doesn’t want to absorb. One more option is to have a a bit of both words joint accounts for living expenses and household items and separate accounts for personal spending. For example, you could put 10 percent of your income in personal accounts and put the remainder in the household or joint account.
4. The only thing that stays the same is change
As you grow into your marriage, your money concerns are likely to be change and grow as well. They will be different from those you had when you first walked down the aisle. You need to discuss these issues; you should discuss your big money picture at least once a year and potentially have a budgeting meeting to discuss smaller monetary topics monthly. Make sure your plans mesh. Retirement and investing goals are an important piece of the family financial strategy. If one’s 401(k) is invested solely in high-risk funds, the other partner may want to diversify more. Continue to work towards each other’s desires and goals — from taking vacations or buying a home to having children. Talk about the “what ifs.” What if one partner loses his or her job? What if one wants to go back to school? What if someone gets a job in another part of the country? What about early retirement or economic downturns? The more prepared you are the better you will handle the crisis if and when it comes.
5. Plan for the future even the tough topics
There are some topics that nobody likes to talk about but that need to be discussed, especially when children are involved. First and foremost, make sure you have a will. If you don’t make a will before your death, state law will determine who gets your property, or worse yet, even raise your children. You also want to consider life insurance to provide for your family if you pass on. Finally, talk about a prenuptial agreement if one of you has kids or you’re entering a marriage where one partner has a great deal more in assets than the other.
Herman is a writer and internet marketer with financialboat.com for more information please visit the site and see what we have to offer. it is our goal to help people to achieve personal financial freedom through financial planning budgeting tip and investment strategies.