When you are planning a wedding, you think about the venue, the food, the guest list, and the honeymoon, but rarely do people think about planning for after vows have been said. Marriage is a large step that has far-reaching effects on all aspects of your life, including your finances. It is crucial that you have an honest conversation with your soon-to-be spouse about your expectations, spending habits, and current finances so you can experience a long, happy, and lasting marriage. Here are four questions you should discuss with your soon-to-be spouse
1. Where Do You See Us in Five Years?
While this is a favorite job interview question, it can apply to marriage too. In the next five years, do you foresee you having children, purchasing a house, focus on building your career, or traveling? These are all significant life events that need a focused plan (both financially and emotionally) to be successful.
2. What Is Our Current Net Worth?
You would be surprised at how many couples get married knowing little to nothing about the other person’s current financial situation. If a spouse enters a marriage with extensive debt, it could be a point of contention later down the line when credit scores can dictate your ability to purchase a home. Sit down with your fiancé and be honest about your current debt and calculate your assets. Understanding where you stand financially together will help get you get a clear idea of what you need to do to achieve your financial goals.
3. What Are Your Spending Habits Like?
Are you a frugal penny-pincher, excessive spender, or somewhere in between? When you have two people’s spending habits coming together, it can clash when you have different financial philosophies. Create a functional monthly budget together so you can come to a peaceful compromise. If you don’t know quite where to start, schedule an appointment with one of our mediators. Having a third party guide you through this potentially sensitive subject can help minimize conflict and create a plan everyone can get excited about.
4. What Are Our Roles and Expectations?
Before you get married, it is important to establish your role and talk about any expectations you may have. Do you wish to stay home with the children and expect the other spouse to work? Do you want to be in charge of finances? Would you rather everything be split 50/50? While these issues seem very straightforward, they can often become reasons couples divorce if they aren’t addressed ahead of time.
If you would like to speak to one of our San Diego mediators about how to plan for your marriage, contact San Diego Family Mediation Center today. Call (858) 736-2411 to schedule your consultation.