I was reading this article today and thought it was very important so I decided to write about it. Since getting married is supposed to be a life-long thing, you should try to make sure you and your spouse are compatible financially. It would be pretty bad to find out after you say “ I Do” that your spouse is knee deep in debt. This is something you would like to know beforehand so you don’t have any financial surprises after getting married. Here are 10 questions that you should ask before saying I do and my thoughts on them as well.
Where would you like to be in five to ten years?
By knowing what your spouse is thinking, you will be able to plan your future goals without something unexpected happening. You might want to discuss questions such as starting your own business, when you would like to have kids, how many children do you plan to have? Etc. These are important answers to know so that you plan ahead and don’t have any surprises.
What are our assets and liabilities?
Both of you should fill out a net worth worksheet so that way, you can determine how to combine the accounts and which debt you should tackle first. I already have my net worth worksheet filled out and updated monthly so that should not be a problem for me. By having a net worth worksheet, you will also see how you are progressing every month which can create a mechanism for you to want to save more. Nowadays, with the high amount of divorce, having a prenup is also a good idea.
Should we keep our finances separate or combine them?
This will be dependent on you and your spouse. I, personally, like to have accounts combined but not everyone likes it that way.
Who will be responsible for paying the bills?
This is important as you don’t want to have your lights cut out because nobody was aware that they need to make payments to the electric company. As I have stated before, I think Online Bill Pay is a great tool. You can schedule the bill payment schedule online and as long as you have the money in the bank. It is a good idea to sit down with your spouse once in a month to discuss the bills paid and what came in so both parties know what’s happening with the money.
How does your credit report look?
I think this is a very important topic. If you decide to purchase a house together, you might have a surprise when you get a high interest rate if you do not know what your spouse’s credit score is. To avoid these unexpected shocks, you should know what the other person’s score is so you can plan ahead of time. You can order your reports for free once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com. I suggest you obtain your report yearly just to see if there are any errors on the report.