The first time I saw her, I knew! I knew I wanted to marry Bev and spend the rest of my life with the most beautiful, captivating woman I’d ever seen. The last thing to enter my mind: is she out of debt and using a budget?
When couples first fall in love they have a hard time believing they will ever have arguments over money. But it’s one of the leading causes of fractured marriages. We’ve learned in working with thousands of newly married couples that before you tie the knot, it’s super important for you and your fiancé to talk about some money issues.
So, for the long term health of your marriage and your checkbook, here are some simple steps to take and questions to answer:
- Be completely transparent and honest about your finances. Trade credit reports and financial statements with each other. Think no financial surprises. Nothing damages the trust relationship with your new spouse more than discovering a hidden financial problem.
- Talk about your philosophy of giving, spending, saving, and debt. Disclose to your fiancé whether you are a saver or a spender.
- What are your financial goals?
- Which one of us is going to do the bookkeeping and pay the bills?
- Decide if you both are going to work. What happens when you have children – will the wife want to be a stay at home mom?
- How are the two of you going to combine your assets and income? If one of you has the view that the money they earn is their money, and not our money, this is a red flag.
The best advice we gave our children when they became engaged, was to encourage them to participate in a Navigating Your Finances God’s Way or a Money and Marriage God’s Way small group study. Nothing is healthier than both the husband and wife understanding God’s way of handling money.