Once you’re in a serious relationship and thinking about getting engaged, there’s one conversation that shouldn’t be skipped — the money talk. Here’s why you should get on the same financial page.
Why you should talk about money before getting engaged
We’ve all heard the saying ‘money can’t buy happiness’ – but it sure can cause a lot of stress! Financial issues are one of the leading causes of tension in relationships, with studies showing that couples who fight about money are more likely to divorce.
It’s no surprise why this is such an issue. For many people, money is closely tied with feelings of self-worth and success. And when finances become strained, couples may feel like they’re failing at life, which can lead to resentment and arguments.
Unfortunately, it’s hard for financial issues to be avoided in relationships – as long as people are living together and sharing bills or expenses, there will always be some sort of tension. However, couples can take steps to minimize the amount of stress that money issues bring, especially before they even get engaged.
Talking about Money Before Engagement
One way is to have honest conversations about spending and saving habits and how they make financial decisions, so both partners are on the same page. Couples should also make sure they’re setting realistic financial goals and discussing strategies for achieving them. In addition, couples can establish an emergency fund for unexpected expenses, and each person in the relationship should have their own money to use however they please.
Questions to ask about money to get on the same financial page:
Asking your partner questions about their financial situation will help both of you get on the same page before marriage. Here are some questions to consider asking:
– Do you have any debt (credit cards, student loans, etc)?
– Do you have a budget and how do you manage it?
– What is your credit score and what steps are being taken to improve it?
– Are you saving for retirement or any other goals?
– What kind of investments do you have and how do they fit into your overall financial plans?
– Do you have a plan for handling unexpected expenses or emergencies?
-Do you want kids?
Having these conversations can be tricky, but discussing finances before you get engaged is essential in helping couples make informed decisions about their future. It will help ensure you are both on the same page in building a strong foundation for a successful marriage.
Here are some strategies for having a successful conversation about money to get on the same financial page.
1. Set the tone: Before starting, take a few moments to acknowledge the difficulty of this conversation and create an atmosphere that is respectful and understanding.
2. Talk one-on-one: It’s best to have money conversations with each other in private – not with family, friends or work colleagues. This ensures that the conversation stays private and avoids any potential misunderstandings or hurt feelings.
3. Listen & empathize: It’s important to take time to really listen to each other without interruption or judgment. Show that you understand their point of view as it may be different from your own.
4. Stay focused on facts: Avoid personal emotions and opinions when discussing money. Stick to the facts, such as numbers, so that you can focus on finding an agreement or solution together.
5. Take breaks: Conversations about money can be challenging and take up a lot of energy; don’t be afraid to take regular breaks if necessary. This will help clear the air and allow you to come back to the conversation with a clear head.
6. Know when to ask for help: If the conversation gets too difficult or overwhelming, it may be helpful to bring in a third party – like an accountant, financial coach, or mediator – who can help both of you reach a solution that is fair and balanced.
Having a conversation about money can be intimidating but by following these strategies, you can make sure the conversation is positive, productive, and respectful.
Managing expectations around an engagement ring, wedding, and even a pre-nup
Now that you and your partner have discussed the financials, it’s time to talk about the ring!
But first, let’s consider prenups. It can be a scary topic for some couples but discussing a pre-nuptial agreement is important for ensuring both parties’ assets are protected in divorce or death. Don’t let the “D” word scare you away; a pre-nuptial agreement doesn’t mean you’re expecting your marriage to fail—it just means that both of you are responsible and prepared.
Also, it’s important to be on the same page with regard to expectations for the wedding. Understanding each other’s priorities will help you come up with a wedding budget that reflects your values.
Now, back to the ring! The ring should reflect your partner’s style and budget. Consider the color, cut, clarity, and cost. You don’t have to break the bank—it’s about finding a ring that speaks volumes about your love.
Talking through these details early on will also help you decide on the wedding size and timeline. Establishing expectations now can make planning a lot easier in the future! Talking about finances, the ring, and pre-nups before proposing can help ensure that you are on the same page.
Getting on the same page, before getting engaged
Getting engaged is an exciting time, but it’s important to remember that part of being a couple is ensuring you’re both on the same financial page. By having an open and honest dialogue about money matters, you can ensure that your future together begins on solid financial footing.
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