The ring has been purchased with the diamond she has always wanted since she was a little girl. You plan the most romantic way to pop the question. She says yes. Before we arrive to this juncture, there should be some questions that are asked and answered by both parties. Financial questions. One way to initiate the cracking of the foundation of growing old together is our behavior with money. You work together as a team emotionally and support each other through the good times and the bad. The financial team needs to be just as efficient, cohesive and supportive as the emotional team.
Below are some questions you should ask your fiancé before the wedding.
- What are your debts? You are marrying your soul mate and you’re also marrying their debts and financial obligations that they have.
- Do you use credit cards for every day expenses? If your using credit cards for day to day expenditures and that bill isn’t paid at the end of the month, you’re probably going to get slammed with interest fees at some point.
- Are you saving in your 401K at work? Not a big deal that a match isn’t offered. There are other ways to save for retirement on your own. Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA can be opened at the bank or with a financial advisor and both offer an individual a way to save for the future
- How many credit cards do you have? We all like to finally cash in on those airline points for a free trip but that free trip doesn’t need to be with South West, Jet Blue, and United. A lot of credit cards could mean an out of control spender. While there is not an exact answer to how many credit cards are too many, ideally credit utilization should not be higher than 30%
- What mistakes have you made with money in the past? Mistakes happen. But when it happens again and it involves more than one person, the consequences could be catastrophic.
- Do you do research before making a major purchase? Homework doesn’t end after graduation. Is your partner looking to find not only the best product, but the best deal?
- Did you ever require a cosigner for a loan? The ideal answer for this question is no. Should you hear yes, work together with your partner to rebuild your or your partners credit.
- Do you have a budget? The answer to this should show how organized and in tune your partner is to their day to day cash flow needs. And if they are short on cash flow does that mean they are running up credit card balances?
- Household bills. Who will pay for the cable, groceries, utilities, and mortgage when married? Will they be split 50/50?
- When we have a family will the household be dual income or does one person stay home with the family?
- Do you have any tax and or other liens pending? A tax lien could end up costing you your home, other property and additional money with penalties and interest to pay off.
- Has a creditor put you into collection? This shows a lack of financial awareness, but if your partner defaulted on a loan ask why? Was the balance paid? If not offer encouragement and work together to get the balance paid off.