I took a deep breath, wringing my hands. Looking down, I gathered up what courage I could and I uttered what I had never said to anyone before out loud. My eyes wandered up to meet his, trying to see if I could read either disdain fear or shock. ask these money questions before getting married
We dove into the topic of money, debt and all things nerve wrecking before I had a ring at all – on one of our into the early morning dates at a Perkins restaurant – a wonderfully mediocre little dining establishment we’d frequent. We were at the point where we each said how much debt we were in. What an absolutely nerve wracking moment. Being a millennial, my story was the same as many of you – credit cards basically thrown at me the nano-second I turned 18 and student loan debt that I was assured by my financial aid office would be totally manageable when I got out of school.
Listen, it was not one of my favorite conversations, but it was super necessary to talk about how much debt I was in with the person I was planning to probably marry (he hadn’t proposed at that time but we already knew it was only a matter of time).
Deciding to marry someone is much more than liking the same movies and liking each other. It’s actually saying yes to a lot of things that we don’t always discuss but we should – including, but not limited to, taking on each others previous wins and mistakes and facing them as a team – debt included.
Now, I am not an advocate of the whole “don’t marry someone with debt,” thing, especially for millennials & older Gen Zrs because that’s almost impossible. But there are definitely money things you have to discuss if ya’ll want to have a shot at happy, holy matrimony. Plus, with money being the number one thing couples fight about – you should get used to discussing it in a peaceful manor. Nothing like a little practice.
And it’s not all about what your current bank account looks like. You should also discuss your feelings, fears and failings around finances. Personally, I’m having to confront that spending money at the grocery store makes me anxious – and that has to do with how I grew up, how my parents handled money and the way it has shaped me. It helps me when my husband goes with me – otherwise I’m libale to just throw some nonsense in the cart, hurry up and pay for it or not get as much as we need, simply because being there makes me anxious (I’m better now ya’ll).
These conversations help you plan together and help you support each other in your everyday. So, what should you talk about to get the ball rolling?
- Do you tithe? (Definitely ask this)
- Did your family talk about money growing up?
- Do you think your parents were good with money?Do you have any other debt or financial obligations?
- If you have debt, how do you feel about it?
- If you have debt, how are you handling it?
- What do you want our financial life to look like?
- Would we ever borrow money from our families?
- Would we accept financial support from our families (such as for a downpayment)? Would there be strings attached?
- Will we give money away? To what? How much?
- Do you think we’ll support our parents financially?
This is just the beginning. There are tons more questions you can find here that will aide you in delving into the topics of money. Personally, the only one I’m sayin’ no to is the pre-nump question. If we finna do this we finna do this – no clauses. But the rest seem to be good ground for getting to the nitty-gritty.
Don’t be afraid to dive right in. Is it difficult? Yes. But marriage is full of difficult and vulnerable conversations, so might as well get your feet wet. Discuss that money, honey. It’s the smart thing to do. I suggest, as the author of the above article does, doing this on a full stomach in a neutral space when both parties are well rested. Trust me, it helps. ask these money questions before getting married
What other questions should be on the list?
Wondering what other questions to ask pre “I Do.” I talk about a whole list of them in Quarter Life – grab a copy for yourself &/or your girls and discuss.