35 Money Questions All Newlyweds Should Ask Each Other

No newlywed enjoying that blissful honeymoon period wants to think about divorce, but one way to keep your “happily ever after” on track is to get ahead of any issues that could cause marital discontent. That’s why it’s time to talk about money with your new spouse. 

A 2018 survey by Ramsey Solutions found that money fights are the second leading cause of divorce (infidelity being the first). One easy way to avoid fighting about money is to get on the same page about all areas of your financial life. Even if you don’t always agree, being aware of how the other person feels about a financial issue can help avoid feelings of secrecy and mistrust. 

To get these money conversations rolling, we’re sharing 35 money questions you should ask and discuss with your spouse and breaking down why they’re so important to talk about. 

 

Debt

For many, debt is a hard pill to swallow and an even harder conversation to bring up with a significant other. Debt is stressful and can lead to feelings of guilt, fear, and regret. As hard as it is to talk about, it’s important that both spouses know exactly where each other stands in regards to how much debt they have and what the plan is to repay that debt. Debt is not a burden you need to bear alone.

Questions to ask

  • Do you have any debt?
  • If so, how much and where does it come from?
  • How do you feel about credit card debt?
  • Are you OK carrying a balance month to month or do you pay your bill off in full each month?
  • Do you have student loans, and if so, what is your plan for repaying them?
  • Are you looking to pay your student loans off ASAP or over the course of many years?
  • How much do you spend each month in total on minimum debt payments?

 

 

Saving and Spending

Your spending and saving habits can greatly impact the financial progress you make as a couple. Not being on the same page about how much you are comfortable spending and how much you want to save to meet future goals can lead to unnecessary fights. Get ahead of money squabbles by knowing what each other’s comfort levels and goals are.

Questions to ask

  • What do you consider to be a “large” purchase?
  • Is there a set number we can both spend without asking the other person first?
  • Will we join our finances or manage them separately?
  • Will we create a budget together or separately?
  • What are our savings goals?
  • How do we plan to work toward our savings goals?
  • How much do we need to save for retirement and what year do we hope to retire?
  • How much will we save for retirement each month individually and jointly?
  • Do we want to rent or buy a home?
  • If we plan to buy, how will we work together to save for a down payment?
  • What purchases are important to you (like travel or hobbies) and what purchases do you think are a huge waste of money (like dining out or luxury cars)?

 

Family and friends

Your friends and family members can provide a lot of love and support as you build your new life with your spouse, but they can also bring some stressful money situations into your life. Before tricky money issues arise with loved ones, make sure you and your spouse are ready to set boundaries and act as a united front. 

Questions to ask

  • Are we ever OK with lending money to friends or family members?
  • Are we OK with accepting financial gifts from family members, such as a down payment from our parents?
  • Will we contribute to our parents’ expenses as they get older?
  • Can we talk about our finances with friends and family members, and if so, to what extent?
  • How much money do we want to save before starting a family?
  • Will one of us stop working or shift to part-time work once we have a child?

 

 

Education

If you already tackled talking about student loan debt, it’s time to look at future education expenses that may be coming your way. Education expenses can be major ones, so it’s smart to plan ahead for them, even if the potential expenses won’t hit you for a few decades. 

Questions to ask

  • Are we paying for our kids’ colleges? If so, are we paying for all or some of it?
  • Will we contribute to the education expenses for another family member, such as a sibling or a niece or nephew?
  • Do we want to send our kids to private school?
  • Do either of us want to go back to school at some point in the future?

 

Money Management

It’s important that both spouses are actively involved in the management of their household finances, but it’s understandable if one partner is going to take the lead on money chores. Get clear on who will take on what responsibilities so nothing important slips through the cracks. 

Questions to ask

  • Who will handle managing our money?
  • How often do we want to come together to talk about money?
  • What financial decisions can we make independently (such as paying off the credit card bill early) and which do we need to consult each other on first (such as increasing monthly retirement contributions)?
  • Who will be in charge of paying bills?
  • Do we want to invest our money?
  • If so, how much are we comfortable investing?
  • Will we hire anyone to help us manage our finances or investments?

 

These money conversations may not be fun ones to have, but having them sooner rather than later will help you avoid money conflicts. That way, you can enjoy that newlywed glow without having to worry about financial fights with your new spouse. Congratulations!

 

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