Q: What is the most important step a couple can take when it comes to money?
A: Having a difference of opinion on money issues is a main reason couples end up divorcing. So honestly, the most important step a couple can take is to start talking about money before you even get married. You need to be on that same page about your savings goals, paying off any debt either one of you may be bringing to the marriage, retirement, and acceptable spending habits.
Q: That’s a lot to talk about, where should the conversation start?
A: It’s important to have an honest conversation about where you both stand financially. Ask yourselves questions like: Is there student loan or credit card debt? How much savings do either of you have? Do you plan to have a joint account? Should one of you manage the finances or will you do it together every month? Whose income will pay which bills? The more you communicate about money, the better of you will be.
Q: What about having a joint account? Is that really the best option when you’re married?
A: By combining your accounts, you can simplify your finances and develop trust in your marriage. However, having some independence may be preferred by the both of you. There is no right or wrong answer here. Some couples will open a joint account to pay bills from and keep individual accounts for personal spending or savings. It all depends on both of your financial situations at the time and what you have mutually agreed upon for budgeting, spending, and saving.