Featured: Til Debt Do Us Part: Five Important Money Questions to ask before saying I do
So this week I’m going to talk about a slightly taboo subject, Yup you guessed it MONEY!! What is it about is here in the UK and Ireland? We would rather talk about some horrible disease we have than talk about money? When actually being open and adult with your other half about money up front can save you a whole lot of heart ache down the line.
“Figures this week revealed rows about money during the recession triggered a rise in divorces. Money worries, the threat of redundancy and cutting back on life’s luxuries led to more relationships breaking up figures from the Office for National Statistics”. – ThisIsMoney.co.uk
With this slightly chilling fact in mind, surely it’s worth taking a break from talking about colour schemes and table plans to have a 5 minute heart to heart about your financial future? Here are my top 5 questions to get the ball rolling 🙂
Where do you stand on budgeting?
If one of you pulls out your monthly colour coded, fancy, adds it all up spread sheet and the other says something like oh “yeah I’ve heard about that sort of thing, I find I just spend until the money runs out, then eat beans on toast until pay day” You are going to need to have a serious sit down and try and come to some sort of compromise. The spender is more than likely going to think the “monthly spread sheet” is way too restrictive and the spread-sheeter is going to hate the lack of control.
Do you have any money in savings?
This can seem pretty rude when its being asked and I’m not suggesting the what’s mine is yours attitude if one of you has a bunch of cash stashed away and the other doesn’t have a bean. But its good to know, for instance I am the type of person who puts £20 away each month for car stuff.. and by stuff I mean the little expenses, the ones you need now and again, new windscreen wipers or tyres, the stuff what although wouldn’t break the bank, would mean a lean month. Equally if you do have a giant pot of money somewhere you need to know that the other person isn’t going to expect you to dip into it all the time just because its there.
Do you have any Debt?
Ok as if talking about money wasn’t boring enough check out this huge giant hammer of a question right here to kill the mood.. but this is the biggie as it can affect lots and lots of future decisions, like buying a house, having Kids even going on holiday every year. Having said that though, it doesn’t have to be the deal breaker even if one of you is up to your eyes. You will need to think carefully about how you make any joint purchases going forward and how the one person’s poor credit score might affect the others once you are H&W if you choose to combine you finances.
On that note, How do you see your future finances? Joint, separate, a combination of both?
This totally depends on what will work best for you.. if you are both entering on a sort of equal point financially there are lots to be gained from joining your accounts, Better interest rates on loans and mortgages for instance, the banks see you as a better bet as there are 2 incomes paying the bills. You may prefer to have a joint account for bills that you each pay an amount into each month but keep your wages going into separate accounts. You may way to just split the bills between you. I have a friend who does this she pays the mortgage out of her account and her other half pays all the other bills and car expenses, it works out that they both pay about the same but without the hassle of having to work out that what half of all the bills are.
What do you want from the future?
Do you want Kids? Do you want to buy a house? Do you want to retire at 45 and live on a remote Island? If so do you have any plans to do any of these things? for instance does one of you have a super high interest pension scheme.. (if so can you let me know what it is? I’ve love to know) The point of this one is its you need to try and get on the same page financially to some degree. Now I’m absolutely not saying that you have to be 100% in agreement and I know lots of people who aren’t and are very happy but why are they happy? They have talked about it all and have come to a compromise for the deal breakers. Knowing each others opinions and being able to work together are key to being happy.
Chances are you will have had this conversation at least in part before now, after all you are planning to spend the rest of your lives together you probably have a good idea what that rest of the your life is going to pan out like. But you may have glossed over the details and the devil is always in the details. Better to have a quick chat and thrash out some of the finer points rather than be literally thrashing them out in the divorce courts.
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