Marriage and Money: 5 Truths to Tell Before You Get Married

(nerd wallet) – If the wedding bells are ringing and you’re getting married, it’s time to discuss money with your prospective spouse.

new Financial Infidelity Survey by NerdWallet More than two in five Americans in a relationship (43%) say they have withheld or lied about financial information when discussing with their partner. Before you say “I’ll do it,” have these five financial conversations for her to get your marriage off to a good start.

1. Money Lessons You’ve Learned

No one wants to feel critical of their lover, but if you’re taking the sideways glance at how your partner spends their money, it’s worth sitting down and discussing the financial lessons you’ve both learned growing up. Even if you come from a family that never talked about money, you may have witnessed money habits that have helped define your financial worldview.

Ask your partner about how their parents spent money, what stories there were about debt in the house, and whether they had enough or too little money. This is especially important if your partner has a different culture or socioeconomic background than you, as you were likely raised with different money standards.

After this conversation, you may still not agree with their ways of saving and spending, but how their financial psychology was shaped, in other words, why they save and spend the way they do. You may have a better understanding of what you are doing.

2. Outstanding Debt

About 1 in 12 (8%) Americans who are in a relationship (referred to as “partnered Americans”) lie about how much they owe their partner have withheld information from others.

Spouses are usually not legally responsible for the debts their partners have accumulated before marriage, but the debts can still have a significant impact on the couple’s finances. If you’re combining money or working towards a common goal, paying off your debt will affect how you save and spend it.

Each partner should write down their debt balance, interest rate and payment terms. After that, the couple can decide how to pay off the debt.two popular debt repayment strategy It’s a debt snowball and a debt avalanche. Snowballing focuses on paying off debts from smallest to largest balance. The idea is that knocking out a small balance will give you instant motivation. Avalanche focuses on repaying debt from the highest interest rate to the lowest interest rate that is more cost-effective.

The best way to pay off debt is the way you stick to it, so discuss your options with your partner and start working together to pay off your debt.

3. Income and expenses

The survey revealed that 14% of Americans with partners have lied to their partners about their income or withheld information from their partners. And nearly a quarter (23%) of Americans working with partners have lied to their partners or withheld information about how much they spent on a purchase. Your income and expenses affect how much money you and your spouse have available to build a life together. Work out your current income and expenses, ask your partner to do the same, and decide together if you have enough money and if not.

Not all couples agree on discretionary fees. A good way to solve this is to assign each partner an equal amount of personal spending each month. So even if a particular purchase isn’t to your liking, the amount you spend is what you both agree on.

4. Credit score

According to the survey, 12% of Americans working with partners have lied about their credit scores or withheld information from their partners. Marital status is not considered in credit scoring, and spouse scores are not linked or combined in the scoring formula. However, scores can still affect each other. For example, if you decide to buy a home, your mortgage may take both credit scores into account. If your credit is bad, interest rates can be higher, if not outright rejection, and your spouse can be resentful if you lie about it.

each of you should Check Your Credit Score To see what my starting point is. If one or both have scores that need help, make a plan to get started together. build trust. This may include paying off debts, setting up automatic payments to ensure all bills are paid on time, and requesting credit reports to dispute mistakes. .

5. Financial goals

Not having enough money can be stressful, but it can also be a lot of fun to use it to plan for the future. Maybe you want to buy a house as a couple (Median price in 2023: $342,000, according to Zillow), take a dream vacation or start a business. Discuss all the things you want to do in the future that will cost you money. It may not be practical to do everything on both lists, but don’t dismiss the idea just yet. Pick a goal or two and come up with concrete first steps to achieve your financial dreams together.

Nearly 60% of American adults live with a spouse or partner, according to the latest estimates from the US Census Bureau. Being honest and open about finances, even if it’s a little awkward, helps build a solid foundation in those households. Marriage and Money: 5 Truths to Tell Before You Get Married

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