4 Financial Questions You Should Ask Before (Or Early Into) Marriage

You've covered all the details of the wedding. But what about your money matters?

  • 1. How was money handled in your home when you grew up
  • This question is designed to find out what deeply-rooted money beliefs your partner learned in early childhood.A question like this, says Jane Honeck, a CPA and Personal Financial Specialist, “starts the conversation in a non judgmental way.”
  • By exploring follow-up questions like: “Did your parents fight about money? Who made all the money decisions? And did your mom or dad have all the power?” Honeck says you’ll better understand–and perhaps empathize with–why your mate acts a certain way with money or makes various financial choices.
  • “If your parents had a lot of debt and really could care less if they saved money, then you might handle your finances the same way,” says Honeck. Alternatively, she adds: “you might do everything exactly the opposite,” to avoid following in your parents’ footsteps.
  • Either way, it’s important to discuss your earliest money lessons with your future spouse, notes Honeck, who is also the author of the new book The Problem With Money? It’s Not About the Money!
  • It’s not uncommon, however, for couples to shrink away from talking about finances – often because both parties want to avoid the same money arguments they heard their parents having. But for the sake of financial intimacy, an honest, candid “money talk” is one of the best ways to get your marriage off on the right foot.
  • Ultimately, says Honeck, “if you can hear where the person is coming from, you can have a little bit of compassion for them, and then you can negotiate from there.”
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