How to Have the Money Talk

Bride and groom dance in open field

Before marriage you may feel like his/her money is his/her business. And you’re right to a degree. But, if you’re talking about marriage, it’s important to talk openly and honestly to avoid unrealistic expectations.

One of you may be ready financially for marriage, but that doesn’t mean you both are. Or, as you near the altar, you may decide you want to make big purchases together. To be able to do this successfully, you need to know each other’s financial situation.

Transparency is key when developing a budget and maintaining trust between you and your partner.

You may know you need to talk about these things, but it can be difficult to get the conversation rolling. You know the best way to talk with your partner, so hopefully these conversation starters will help give you the courage to have the “money talk.”

  • What are your dreams for our future? How do you see us achieving those dreams together?
  • So, I know we’ve thrown around the word marriage a lot lately, but can we talk about it practically for a second? I’m wondering, financially, what that would look like.
  • Can we talk about our wedding budget for a few minutes? I think we may need to make some tough decisions.
  • Before we get married, I think it’s important for us to talk about our views on lots of different topics. We’ve talked about religion, family, work/life balance, but we’ve never really discussed finances. Can you tell me your philosophy when it comes to spending/saving?
  • Practically speaking, how prepared financially do you think you are? Do you think I am? I’m just thinking we may need to talk about creating a budget before we get married so we’ll be ready for that transition.
  • So, now that we’re talking about marriage, I feel that I should disclose some of my financial situation to you.
  • So, now that we’re talking about marriage, can we talk about our finances? I think it is important that we talk about our dreams, financial worries, and debts now, rather than after our honeymoon.

This is a time for you and your future spouse to be 100 percent honest with one another about what your financial situation looks like. You might discover that you’re able to buy a home in your first year, or you may find that you need to hold off on the wedding to save a little more money.

It can be hard to bring up debt, past money mistakes or even talk about your successes, because money is just a touchy subject for everyone. But, in becoming partners in life, this is just another topic you need to become comfortable speaking about regularly.

The key thing to remember here, is that the “money talk” is not just one conversation. It’s a conversation you will have continually throughout your engagement and marriage. As incomes and expenses change, so will your budget.

So, find a quiet night alone and start dreaming together. Learn how each of you views money and your spending habits. Then, after all financial cards are laid out, begin planning realistically for your future.