‘Til Debt Do Us Part
Reasons to Talk Money Before Saying “I Do”
People say there are three things you should never discuss with others: religion, politics and money. While this rule may apply at work or family gatherings, when you’re in a serious relationship or newly engaged, it’s important to discuss your financial situation before saying “I Do.” Many couples site issues with money as their number one problem. In fact, one in five Americans have spent $500 or more on a purchase without telling their partner and 7.2 million Americans have hidden a bank or credit card account from their partner or spouse.
Finances are a huge part of a relationship and starting off with financial infidelity is not promising for your future. Here are some financial topics of discussion worth having with your partner before taking the next step in your relationship:
- How much debt do you have? Knowing your partner’s “debt number” is important for future planning, whether you plan to buy a house, a car, or pay off your student loans. Discuss your debt openly and in a judgement-free zone so that each party is able to be more vulnerable regarding their situation. Once you’ve figured out how much debt you’re dealing with, create a financial plan or budget to pay it off.
- What is your credit score? Your credit score says a lot about you and your financial habits. Similarly, knowing your partner’s credit score will give you great insight into how well they manage their money. This is crucial when it comes to big purchases like buying a home, especially if you hope to qualify for the mortgage together. So don’t be afraid to discuss your credit history and score, even if it’s below average. Once you know where you stand, you can work together on ways to improve!
- Have you started saving for retirement? It’s always good to start looking to the future and planning for tomorrow. Talk with your partner about retirement to help understand their financial goals. Discuss what kind of lifestyle you want after you retire; you may find that you and your partner have very different ideas of what life looks like in your later years and how you plan to pay for it.
- Are you a saver or a spender? Disagreements about your spending style can cause anxiety and arguments in your relationship. If one of you likes to spend while the other is better at saving, discuss ways you can find financial balance without judgement. Download budgeting apps or create your own spending plan to keep your finances in check.
- Do you have any current financial obligations? It’s important to discuss if any of your partner’s money is wrapped up in current financial obligations. Are they paying or receiving child support or alimony? Do they have aging parents to care for? Accounting for these monthly expenses is important, so be sure to include them in your budget plan.
For more information on how Telhio Credit Union can help create a solid financial plan for you and your partner, visit telhio.org.
This is a mutli-part sponsored series presented with paid support by Telhio Credit Union.
Telhio Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union, Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Preble counties. Founded in 1934, originally as the credit union for the Columbus Telephone Co., Telhio is a not-for-profit financial cooperative where its members are also its owners. Driven by its philosophy that members come first, Telhio is committed to the highest standards of responsibility and conduct. Telhio offers a variety of innovative programs, services and products to support its members’ financial needs. Telhio offers nine branching offices throughout Central and Southwestern Ohio and nearly 4,000 shared branching locations nationwide. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. All loans subject to underwriting approval and guidelines. NMLS #251831