Financial To-Do's Before Saying I Do
A solid relationship is based on the emotional and physical intimacy we create with our partners. But a lasting relationship requires financial intimacy. A big part of staying together is having an appreciation and mission for making the right financial moves together, if you're not in sync, you will have constant stress in your relationship.
Here are a few financial To-Do's before you say I Do👰🏾
First you should know that when you marry, you do not take on any of the debt that your spouse amassed before you wed. But everything you accrue during the marriage is a joint responsibility. If your spouse opens a credit account that you know nothing about and runs up a $10,000 balance it becomes your problem, even if the account is not on your name. The credit card company can and will come after you for payment. How romantic is that?? ?
With that said, you should know where your partner stands financially. The way someone handles money is a personal character trait. A lack of respect for money is a powerful signal that shouldn't be ignored. Get to know your partners money mindset.
If you're living together you're most likely sharing living expenses. Your shared expenses should be paid out of a joint checking account you both contribute a fair share to. A joint account should be used for family expenses: the mortgage or rent, utilities, bills, groceries, and so on. But you should also keep your own separate checking accounts. You want to merge but not completely lose your personal financial identity. Its a healthy amount of independence and will also protect you if the relationship ends.
To split your expenses fairly, you should work together to figure out a plan that is based on equal shares, not equal dollar amounts.
Most important is figuring out a plan to save money. You have your joint accounts and your separate checking accounts, figure out how much you both will equally contribute to building your emergency reserve fund. The best place to start is by figuring out how much of an emergency stash you will need, depending on your situation.
Money issues have been cited as being one of the top reasons for divorce. Fighting about money could really put a strain on any relationship so its important to communicate with your partner and review your financial goals as often as you could.