THE BIRDS + THE BEES
That age old awkward conversation that some of us had with our parents was meant to prepare us for the responsibility of entering into an intimate relationship with our partner. But for most of us, we weren't given any advice or guidance around how to navigate the equally awkward and taboo topic of handling money in the framework of a serious relationship, let alone marriage. Merging accounts, varying debt burdens, questionable credit scores - getting into someone's financial bed can be just as risky and should be handled with adequate precaution.
Studies show that our thoughts and values about managing money are shaped heavily by our parents (either what to do, or what NOT to do). That said, it's not hard to understand why most couples don't necessarily share the same values on spending/saving, etc. Getting intimate with each other's finances can be extremely critical to your long-term success both financial and marital. It's a big part of our job, as advisors, to help couples find common ground so that their own personal biases don't become detrimental to their long-term financial health.
"70% of married couples argue about money ahead of [....} sex "
MONEY + RELATIONSHIPS
Check out some of these stats from several recent surveys about money + relationships:
- 36% of people say that talking about money makes them uncomfortable.
- 72% of people report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time, 26% say it's more like ALL of the time.
- 70% of married couples argue about money - ahead of fights about household chores, togetherness, sex, snoring, and what's for dinner.
10 Questions TO ASK BEFORE SAYING "I DO"
While it can feel very unromantic to bring up money conversations, believe it or not, even Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have had the money talk. So while you may not want to lead with: "hey, can we discuss how your ex ruined your credit score?" <cringe> here are 10 questions to help start a conversation to better understand your future partner's financial habits.
1) What are your thoughts on having joint accounts in the future (or will I always Venmo you for half the rent each month)? ;)
2) What are our financial goals? Short-term, mid-term and long-term?
3) Do we want to be a dual-income household or will one of us stay home to help raise the family?
4) Who's in charge of making sure the bills get paid on time?
5) Have you ever considered a prenup?
6) Do you have any savings (or an emergency fund)?
7) Do you carry a balance on your credit cards and what's your credit score?
8) Are your parents financial secure or will we need to plan to support them (partially or fully) at some point in time?
9) What are your thoughts on loaning money to family or friends?
10) What would you do if you won the lottery?
While there are no right or wrong answers, these questions can help you better understand your future spouse's values and priorities. Given the fact that a lot of marital disputes surround the topic of money, we highly encourage you to prioritize these conversations before tying the knot. Creating a financial game plan is a great pre-marital exercise so that you have a road map what you want and how you're going to get it. Don't be afraid to bring in a 3rd party to help. A lot of times it's much easier to hear it from someone else that your weekly Soul Cycle Double is affecting your ability to save for a down payment. #truth