Today’s podcast is Get Financially Naked… BEFORE you get married. I’ll discuss why it’s important to bare your financial details to your significant other, warts and all, before you walk down the aisle.
• I’m amazed at how many couples have no qualms about getting physically naked with each other before getting married, but keep their financial details tightly under wraps. With money issues being cited as the first or second cause of over 70% of divorces, this is a conversation that HAS to take place.
• Don’t wait until you’re engaged or moving in together to start having money conversations with your significant other!
• When you first start dating someone, just observe how they talk about and handle money. Do they allude to the fact they have a lot of bills, credit card debt, or big student loan payments? Do they always insist on paying for dates, or insist on YOU paying? Or are they “even-Steven” when it comes to going out? These things will give you some clue about how they handle money. Do they admire financially successful individuals or refer to them as “greedy rich people”?
• When you begin to get more serious with someone, that’s the time to start having more in depth conversations as money topics come up. You don’t have to set up a formal meeting and say “Now we’re going to have a serious talk about money!” Remember that just because someone does something a little different from you with their money, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. How we were raised and what our parents taught us – or didn’t teach us – about personal finance can affect our behavior today.
• Once you are officially engaged, I highly recommend that you take a premarital financial class together. My online Mindful Money Academy is a 6-week course that happens once a quarter and it will spur insightful money conversations. It may also be helpful to have a 1-on-1 coaching session with a financial counselor to help you navigate the combining of your finances.
• Before you get married is the time to get completely financially naked with your significant other. No hidden purchases, debt, or savings. Talk about how you are going to handle the day to day financial transactions in your house. Who is going to be responsible for making bill payments, buying groceries, purchasing items for the house? Is all of your money going to be in one joint account, or will you keep some separate?
• If you have these conversations before you get married and work out the issues, you much more likely to have a strong, loving marriage that lasts. However you may discover there are issues that are deal breakers. It’s better that you find this out now BEFORE the wedding! So don’t be afraid to get financially naked with your soon to be spouse.