Do You Take Their Credit Score, Savings Goals, and Spending Habits?
Before you say “I Do”, it may be a good idea to say a few other things first! Getting on the same page when it comes to household chores, weekend plans, and where the in-laws stay when they come to town can be the difference between a peaceful home and a chaotic war zone! But deciding how to handle finances can affect more than whether or not you sleep on the couch tonight. Think: future children’s college funds, your retirement accounts, and your individual credit scores, regardless of who was “wrong”.
Whether you’ll be combining accounts or maintaining separate finances, once you’ve framed that marriage license, you’re legally bound to one another’s credit scores. Understanding your partner’s philosophy on money, spending, investing, and saving may not be the most romantic part of your relationship, but it can be the firm foundation you build a long and happy life on!
Start small and consider the next 1-2 years. You’ve set a wedding budget, now think bigger. What goals do the two of you have in the first few years of your marriage? Whether your mission is debt reduction or budgeting for big life events, understanding each other’s focus can paint a picture of more than just your financial philosophy, but how you see the entire future. Are you planning to:
- Pay off Student Loans
- Buy a House
- Create a Baby Fund
Take a realistic look at your individual finances, and put everything on the table. This isn’t the time to hide a credit card debt you’re embarrassed by or to hide your antique eyeglass collection.
Create a spreadsheet of all monthly expenses, even the small things you don’t realize add up so quickly. Consider your rent or mortgage, utilities, phones, loans and credit cards, internet, cable or streaming services, groceries, entertainment, your daily coffee, everything.
Compare with your combined monthly assets, your work income, interest earned, side hustles, government assistance, spousal or child support, and inheritance.
Now that you have a clear picture of what regularly comes in and out of your home, you can work together to set a savings goal, and consider boundaries. Simply requesting that purchases over a certain dollar amount be run by both partners is an excellent way to both help you make the best decisions about spending, and to earn and maintain trust between partners.
Money may be a common argument among couples, but when clear communication and united goals are the first step down the aisle, the rest is a walk in the park!
If you’re ready to say “I Do” to a joint account, or if you simply want to talk through your finances, stop in either of our convenient locations, or call and make an appointment with your friendly Dundee Banker today!