We all know that Marriage vows include the promise to stick together “For richer or for poorer.” But when couples stand at the altar, they don’t promise to be completely open and honest about all their financial information from this day forward. Maybe they should. If spouses aren’t honest with each other about their entire financial situation, it can lead to big problems. Although money isn’t everything, it is involved in everything. To start the marriage off on the right foot, we recommend money conversations start well before the wedding day. Here are four money conversations you should have with your fiancé before the Sacrament of Marriage.
- Discuss your debts, assets and expenses.
- Discuss how your families of origin impacted your money mindset.
- Discuss how your financial situations may change over time.
- Decide how often you will meet together to discuss your finances.
You both need to know what you’re getting into here. This may not be the most fun conversation to have but it needs to happen. Together, you should share all your forms of income including earned income, income from a trust, investment income, etc. You also need to tell your fiancé about all your debts. This includes anything from credit cards to student loans to money you borrowed from your mom to buy an engagement ring. Finally, both of you should share the fine details of your regular expenses.
The money behaviors we witnessed growing up are very impactful on how we interact with money. Have an open discussion about how your parents handled money. This includes what you think they did well and how you think they could have done better. Give some thought as to how this has influenced your financial lens. Did your family make saving a priority? What was your family’s generosity mindset? How did your parents interact with each other when discussing money? And how did you feel about witnessing those interactions? You will probably learn something about yourself while explaining your answers to your fiancé.
It’s impossible to predict what the future will look like but here are some things to consider-Do you plan to take care of aging loved ones? Or do you want to pay for your children’s college education? Do you want to stick to traditional investment vehicles, or do you want to go “all in” on dogecoin? You don’t need to make decisions now, but you need to start the dialogue. Remember to not be judgmental of your fiancé during this conversation–unless he’s “all in” on dogecoin.
Will you meet weekly on Mondays, or maybe every first Saturday of the month? Be specific so you actually follow through. One person will probably take the role managing the day-to-day finances. But both of you should be involved in the financial decision making. At a minimum, monthly meetings are a must.
Compass Catholic is excited to announce the launch of its new online course, God, Marriage & Money! This online course is designed for engaged couples to start money conversations that are rooted in our Catholic faith. This is a great addition to any Catholic marriage preparation program. The online class takes between 1-1.5 hours for the engaged couples to complete together. Once they are finished, a certificate is generated verifying course completion. learn more about this exciting offering, visit Compass Catholic.org!