You love your man with all your heart, and you can talk about anything. So far, you’ve discussed where you’ll live after the wedding, when to start a family and how soon you can adopt a puppy. But have you talked about money? Kathleen Gurney, president of the Financial Psychology Corporation, told Fox News that couples discuss sex more frequently than they do finances. This can be a problem. To help prevent money matters from getting in the way of an otherwise blissful relationship, consider the following tips:
Open Your Mouth
You might be a saver, and your honey might be a spender. Or, you feel credit cards are OK for holiday shopping, while he insists on only using credit in a dire emergency. Everyone has different views about money, and that’s OK. What’s not OK is ignoring the topic.
Sit down with your beloved and openly discuss what money means to you—your expectations, goals, saving and spending styles, everything. The more you know about your partner’s views about money (and vice versa), the better off your relationship will be.
Create a Budget
One way to keep money talks on an even keel is to create a budget together. Oftentimes, one half of a couple becomes the designated “money person”—the one who pays the bills and keeps tabs on expenditures—but it’s better you both know just how much money is coming in and going out every month. Work together to prioritize finances as a couple, and you’ll both feel like you have an equal say in the budget.
Talk About Debt
It is imperative you get completely honest with each other about all things pertaining to money. Do you have a $5,000 Visa bill hidden in your sock drawer? Share it (the bill, not the socks) with your man. From late loan payments to depressed credit scores, spill everything. After all, would you rather find out about his less-than-stellar credit score now or three years down the road, when you go to apply for a home loan?
If either one of you owe a lot of money to various creditors, look for ways to reduce that burden. You might visit a credit counseling organization, start a get-out-of-debt program or raise money to pay down your balances. If you receive regular payments from an annuity or structured settlement, you may be able to sell your future payments for a lump sum of cash now, which in turn can be used to help pay down your debt.
What do you want money to do for you? Work together to create a list of financial goals. This can range from saving for a new car or a home or building up enough savings so one of you can stay home with a baby one day. Use this financial goal worksheet to get started.