Finances can be a tough conversation whether you are married or not, as that is actually one of the primary reasons that marriage can fail. Before walking down that aisle or sharing the finances, it is better to have the conversation now before you find out later. It is a good idea to see where each of you stand with assets and liabilities, so that you can accurately plan for the future. Although it can be embarrassing if you have had trouble in the past, it is best to get it all out in the open now.
If you ever decide to purchase a home together, or even have a joint credit card to take advantage of rewards dollars, if you are combining finances, what better way to start with one of the most important, if not the most, which affects every credit decision; credit score. While it is a good idea to go over your full credit report every year to be sure everything is accurate, you can now see your score on monthly credit card statements, so you can review and compare to see where each of you are at.
Compare and Contract Insurance Coverage
Having adequate insurance is extremely important to financial security. Whether it be life, auto, or home insurance, you should make a check list and ensure that you actually have combined policies for each instance. You might even want to compare the difference between motorcycle and car insurance to see which mode of transportation better suits your individuals needs and wallet. Regardless of the policy and coverage that works best for you and your family, you simply need to keep in mind that A POLICY of some sort is what you should be focused on.
Compare Health Care Plans
Healthcare is expensive, but a necessity, so it is a good idea to compare health plans, so that if you do decide to take the relationship to the next level, it may make more sense to both be on one plan over another. Take a look at co-pay’s, deductibles, and per paycheck costs associated with each plan. If you decide to start a family, finding out the best plan now could definitely benefit you long term as far as costs, coverage, and care.
Debt Payoff Plans
If you can have the awkward conversation of comparing debts you can have a good idea of then figuring out how to rid them. Whether it is credit card, student loan, or even auto loans, lay all out on the table and you can then figure out a payoff plan, even if you need to pool your money together in order to pay off. If you are combining finances, the other’s debt should be a priority because it means that you may be lacking funds in other areas such as saving for the future, so it is a good idea to get out of debt as soon as you can so you don’t sacrifice your financial future.
Present and Future Goals
Speaking of the future, you don’t need to plan out your entire life, but it is a good idea to have short and long-term goals as far as spending and savings plans. Do you plan on purchase a home? If so, when you plan on having enough for a down payment? When are you looking to retire so you know if you can reach your target? Also, do you plan on having kids, and how do you plan on paying for that and saving for college? All questions that are important to ask each other so that you can start to devise a solid plan for now and later.