Updated: Jul 16
Negociate Credit Solutions - Author Lauren Heekes
In Part 1 we discussed important issues that you and your partner should address before and during marriage. Part 2 will help you figure out what questions should be asked to understand each others goals and money habits.
If you’re considering marriage or co-habitation, it’s important to discuss where you and your partner stand financially before making it official. Money matters are responsible for 22% of all divorces and so diving head on into marriage without a clear combined financial picture can set you up for disaster.
It’s no secret that fighting about money puts a huge strain on a relationship. Take steps to avoid letting money matters get the best of your marriage.
Here are some questions you should ask:
1. Do you have any money currently saved? What goal is your partner putting this money aside for. Wedding, emergency fund, holiday etc.
2. How much debt do you have? This is very important. There is no point in taking out additional credit or accessing savings for a wedding if there is still a lot of outstanding debt. Focus on getting as much of the debt settled before planning your wedding.
3. Who will be in charge of paying the bills? This is really important. Our tip is that the more organized partner pays the day to day bills. The less organised partner can perhaps set reminders to support their partner.
4. Do parents pay for any of the current bills? If so, will this continue after marriage? If no, what contingencies need to be put in place to ensure that the bills still get paid.
5. Would you help your family financially if they needed it? Would they be required to pay the money back or not? How much are you prepared to assist them with?
6. If we are in a financial jam, do you have an issue with asking your parents for help? This question is essential. If the spouse will not ask for assistance then you need to be particularly vigilant with spending or an emergency fund investment must form part of your budget.
7. Do you buy with cash or credit? If you pay for things with a credit card, do you settle the full balance at the end of the month or just the installment? If only the installment, consider switching to cash and settling the card as soon as possible.
8. Do you currently owe money to any friends? It’s important to get rid of debt as soon as possible before planning a wedding.
9. Who will be in charge of investing in the future? You should both be involved in this decision, but it is best left to the experts as to where your money should be invested. Research and referrals for a good financial adviser is important when making investment decisions.
10. What does a vacation mean to you? If it’s international travel then a clear savings amount must be budgeted for each month until you have enough for that holiday. You should definitely not use credit for vacations.
11. What is my spending limit before I have to consult with you? This will help prevent arguments about overspending in the future.
12. What do you like to splurge money on? Clothing, gadgets, entertainment etc. It is important to know this and can also be a clue to why there may be financial issues currently.
13. Do you want children. If so what will you be willing to spend on fertility treatments if you are unable to conceive naturally. Would you consider adoption?
14. How many children are you planning to have. Consider the following before making this decision.
Public or Private School
College or University
Student Loan or cash from investments
Expensive Gifts. Achievements or Birthdays.
Brand or no-name brands.
15. Are you currently taking part in your company pension/RA fund? If not then you must start contributing to one as soon as possible.
16. Emergency fund Savings. You should have 6 months of living expenses covered by an
emergency fund. How do you intend to start saving for this?
About the Author - Lauren Heekes
Lauren is a registered member of the National Credit Regulator. Prior to that, she worked as a Financial and Technical consultant for McGregor-BFA (Now INET-BFA). McGregor-BFA provided Trading and Market related data as well as Investment management software to Asset Managers, University Business Schools and Investment entities. Thereafter experience was advanced to the Property Market working as a Project Manager for Propertyi. But it was her career at the IEB in Adult Education that inspired a passion of hers to educate consumers about responsible ways of managing their financial lives and the long term advantages of doing so. It is her belief that financial education should be taught from an early age. By doing so we can create a country that is truly economically stable, driven not only by work ethics, but by becoming Financially Independent too.
Negociate Credit Solutions - Your Money Better Terms
www.negociate.co.za / Contact: +27 (861) 555 554