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Pre-Marital Money Questions

By Dina | Feb 14, 2017 | Pre-Marriage Counselling

Phoenix, AZ Premarital Therapy

Premarital counseling might seem intimidating, but it can be beneficial for your relationship — especially when it comes to discussing finances.

Having clear facts before you begin your life together can help eliminate arguments and misunderstandings down the road.

There are several financial questions to address before making final wedding arrangements. Oftentimes, discussions during premarital counseling sessions address:

The Wedding Itself
The ceremony, for many people, is almost as stressful as it is enjoyable. The costs can add up quickly, especially if you and your fiancé have large families. Establish a realistic budget for the wedding and stick to it.

Wedding Rings
It can be tempting to spend your savings on elaborate rings, but it’s important to keep things affordable. Agree on a price range that is reasonable and affordable for you and your fiancé.

Living Arrangements
Where will you live as newlyweds? Will you rent or buy? How will you cover the security deposit or down payment? Having a plan can help you avoid misunderstandings and disappointments when you look for a place to live.

General Finances
Will you keep individual bank accounts or combine funds into a joint system? If you do combine finances, which bank will you use? If you opt for separate finances, decide how you will divide the bills and expenses. Deciding the allocation of funds will help you avoid payment problems and confusion.

Financial Outlook
Discuss your long- and short-term financial goals. What do you want to save for – a European vacation, a new car? Do you have specific weaknesses, such as spending a lot on food or clothes? Being upfront with each other’s pitfalls can help you hold each other accountable for spending and help you stay on budget.

Family Members
One expense many people overlook is their new expanded families. Plan who will fund gifts for birthdays and special occasions or if you will share those expenses. It’s smart to set spending limits on these expenses, as well.

Children
Do you both want children? How many? Having children is a huge financial responsibility, so you should plan accordingly.

Emergency Funds
Life happens, and it is expensive! Discuss placing a set amount aside in case of unexpected vehicle repairs, medical bills, etc.

Long-term Plans
Even though you’re just getting married, it’s never too early to think about retirement options. You want to live comfortably during retirement, so saving or investing may be something to consider as soon as possible.

Additional Resources:
https://www.smartaboutmoney.org/Topics/Family-and-Finances/Love-and-Money/Talk-About-Money-Before-Getting-Engaged
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/personal-finance-questions-before-marriage-1.aspx
http://www.kiplinger.com/article/credit/T065-C006-S001-4-critical-money-questions-to-ask-before-you-get-m.html
http://www.moneytalksnews.com/10-money-matters-discuss-before-marriage/
http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/13/news/money-marriage/
http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/06/04/5-money-questions-to-ask-before-you-marry
http://finance.youngmoney.com/credit_debt/money_management/saving/money-talk-before-marriage/