Financial Checklist Before You Get Married
Updated: Mar 13, 2022
Wondering how to manage finances in a marriage? We share what you should discuss prior to getting married.
Splitting up finances in a marriage is something you should discuss BEFORE getting married. It ensures you both are on the same page and have the same goals. It makes the transition to marriage that much easier (finances is the #2 reason why couples end up getting a divorce). If you are married and haven't discussed these topics yet, now is the perfect time to discuss how to manage your finances in a marriage. Here are the 4 recommended areas to align on prior to tying the knot:
This is a big one, especially if one of you has a substantial amount of debt to pay off, while the other person doesn't. Talk to each other about it. How much do you still need to pay off? What is your timeline for paying it off? Is it a priority to pay it off ( the answer should generally always be yes)? Will you both be contributing to pay it off? Not all marriages are the same and there's no right answer. Do what makes you both feel comfortable.
When my husband and I got married, he had a car that he was paying off. It's his car, I never drove it for any reason. We both agreed that he would continue to pay off his car loan and that my contribution would be half of the monthly rent for parking, which would be $100. That paid for any random grocery trips we took and drives to visit our parents. If there were longer trips like a weekend drive up to the Finger Lakes, we would split the gas and tolls evenly.
How will you be combining your accounts, if you choose to at all? It's not at all required to combine your bank accounts, you can continue to keep your accounts separate. A big red flag is if your significant other asks to combine everything. You both are still individuals and there will be things that you want to spend your money on that won't benefit your spouse, so typically it makes sense to keep your existing accounts and open a joint account together.