Share your financial information before sharing your vows
Knowing your fiancé’s financial information may eliminate post-marriage surprises.
Many couples decide to get married without an understanding of their fiancé’s financial situation. Down the road, disagreements about money may be a potential reason for divorce, so couples need to have many discussions about their attitudes toward money and other financial behaviors before the wedding.
Couples should start conversations concerning their financial roots. In other words, define past experiences and events that shaped their attitude toward money. An individual’s method used to manage (or not manage) finances draws heavily from their family’s handling of financial matters during childhood.
A premarital activity for all couples should be an exchange of their credit reports. Reviewing each other’s credit history may help reduce the number of post wedding surprises. Free copies of credit reports can be ordered annually by visiting annualcreditreport.com or by contacting 1-877-322-8228.
Another discussion should include financial planning for the future. Talking about long-term goals and the plan needed to accomplish these goals is important. Couples may have different feelings about the degree of risk that is acceptable for investments. Conducting online research and consulting a certified financial planner can assist in reaching a compromise.
Above all, the successful handling of daily financial decisions is crucial. Assigning responsibility for paying bills, balancing the household budget, keeping track of debt, savings and investment is a monumental task but it must be done. Whether this becomes one person’s responsibility or a joint effort, both parties must be kept aware of the family’s finances.
Michigan State University Extension educators believe the subject of finances should be the basis for ongoing communication between couples. It takes discussion, understanding and compromise to be successful in this arena of marriage.
If you are wondering about your financial health, take a financial health survey from MI Money Health to get your financial health score! It is confidential and your answers never connect back to your name. This survey can help you evaluate your current financial situation, provide ideas on how you may improve your financial health and connect you to resources in your local community.