38+ Hard Money Questions To Ask Before He Puts A Ring On It

 

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The search for love is a real one. And the destination for many of us is down the aisle to that altar. When my husband and I were dating and he hinted about long term commitment and all that good stuff without  the mention of marriage, I was like, “You gotta put five on it” meaning ” I needs me a ring and a title.”

When we really started talking about marriage, I asked that we put our cards on the table with respect to our finances. You ladies already know:  I wasn’t tryin’ to get back into nobody’s debt nor did I feel comfortable bearing someone else’s financial liabilities– no matter how much I loved them.

I am very happy that we had conversations about money before we made it official. And let me tell you, I am a couple of months in as a wife, and I am still learning more about my husband’s financial outlook and he, mine.

So before you start prancing around town showing off the bling or if you are at the stage where you are envisioning your perfect mate and making a list of all the things that you want him to be (am I the only one that did that? FYI– I had 67 qualities that I was looking for; maybe I will share the list in another post :),) make sure you look at and answer the following questions to ensure that you are planning for your financial future because marriage is NOT a wedding.

These questions are not only about him, they are a great self-assessment to gauge where you are in your financial journey.

Childhood Money Memories

  1. How was money handled throughout your childhood?
  2. Who handled money?
  3.  What role did you play in the family with respect to borrowing and lending?
  4. What was your most vivid memory around money when growing up?
  5. How was the topic of money discussed?

Financial Systems and Structures

  1. Do you want joint or separate accounts or a combination?
  2.  Will there be a prenup?
  3. If there is a disparity in income, how will expenses be shared? Equally? Based on percentage of income?
  4. What systems will you have in place for a layoff?
  5. How much is sufficient for an “emergency fund?”
  6. How often should we have money meetings?
  7.  Have you started saving for retirement? How much? What percentage of your income goes into your 401(K) or Tax Deferred Annuity?
  8.  Are you eligible for a pension?

Financial History

  1.  How will obligations from previous relationship play into your current financial commitments? (spousal spouse, child support)
  2.  Have you had to file for bankruptcy? If so, what were the events surrounding that choice?
  3.  What are your credit scores?
  4.  How much do each of you earn and how much you have in assets?
  5. How much debt do the both of you have?
  6.  What was your biggest financial failure?
  7. What was your biggest financial success?
  8.  Do you gamble? Recreationally? Or have a history of chronic gambling issues?
  9. Any other addictions?

Financial Identity and Goals

  1.  If you had to classify yourself, would you identity as a “saver” or a “spender?”
  2.  What kind of lifestyle do you both want to live (jet setting, minimalist, nomadic, suburban) and how much money will that cost?
  3.  Do either or both of you not want to work full-time or at all once married?
  4. What does “wealth” mean to you?
  5. At what age do you want to retire?
  6. Do you want children? If yes, how will we play for college? Are you considering sending them to private school K-12? How will you pay for that?
  7.  What role does gender play in dividing financial responsibilities?
  8. Do you keep a budget?
  9.  What are your stress triggers when it comes to money?
  10.  Are you a spender or a saver?
  11. What is your investment style? Conservative, moderate, or risk-taking?
  12.  Do you want to own or rent?
  13. Do you have any desire to be self-employed?
  14.  How will we handle family members that want to live with you or borrow money?
  15.  What are our beliefs around tithing and/or charitable contributions?
  16.  Should we invest in a financial counselor or financial adviser?

This list of questions, are by no means, exhaustive. Since you know your relationship better than anyone else, it is important that you use your observations and concerns to create questions that will allay your anxiety or misgivings and bring about more financial intimacy and transparency with your spouse.

If after answering these questions, you find that you and your soon-to-be-bethrowed or lifelong partner appear financially incompability, it is important that respect prevail and you open yourself to third party intervention from your religious institutions, your financial institutions, or from couples whose financial acumen you respect.

I know it is not easy to ask these questions, but do know that they are essential.

Frugalistas: What questions will you ask and answer before he puts a ring on it?

120 Comments

  1. This is great advice, so many people do not like to talk about money before marriage but so many divorce because of money.

  2. Thank you Ladyl, I know. That is the crazy thing. I think we watch too much Disney growing up :). But marriage is beautiful but it is not a fairytale, especially when finances are strained.

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