Do You Have Financial Secrets?
Most of us have heard the statistics; about 50% of marriages end in divorce. Equally unsurprising is that many of the divorces are a result of financial troubles. Financial troubles can hit any family at anytime; just like a natural disaster or an accident they creep into your life and wreak havoc. You can work together as a couple to learn how to overcome financial troubles, by being proactive and that means communicating about money in the “dating” stage.
Since money is the number one reason for fights in many relationships, why don't couples take more time to talk about it both before and after the wedding? The fact is money can be tough to talk about. Suppose you are the one in the relationship with mounting credit card debt and student loans?
Have “The Talk”
How do you tell your significant other about your money troubles without making them run for the hills? How can you start a life with someone with this big secret? Eventually they will find out and it could be a deal breaker. Take the time to discuss your finances, your current debt situation, as well as any future goals you may have. Here are some topics to get you started;
· What is your current financial situation? Ideally this is something you should discuss prior to tying the knot. Understanding where your partner is financially will ensure their finances don't become an issue later on. If you haven't already assessed each others financial situation take the time to ask! This is one of those situations where honesty is the best policy and you should be completely candid about your situations. Make sure to disclose any debts, savings, and income. Finding the answer to this question will help you develop a plan for your finances together.
· What are your financial goals? This is fun! You can certainly dream big about your future together just be realistic and make sure it fits with your earning potential and other goals. Decide together, and think about the big picture. Do you want to have children? Buy a house? Dabble in investments? Retire early? Pay off your current debt?
· What do you know about handling finances? This is an important question! One or both of you will need to manage your finances. Being in charge of household finances is not always easy and is a big responsibility. Decide who will take the lead or agree to do this together. There are some of us who have never balanced a checkbook, paid a bill, had a credit card, or even thought about creating a budget. So if this is you take some time to get involved and understand the process. If your partner has some knowledge let them guide you. If you both are new to this ask for help! There are tons of resources available to make managing your finances easier.
Resources to Get You on Track
Here are just a few resources located on the CareOne site to help you learn about managing your finances, plan a budget, and various calculators to help you determine where you stand. Try out some of these resources and learn how to communicate about finances with your significant other, so you can live happily ever after!
The bottom-line is, communicate, communicate, communicate. If you are serious and thinking about sharing your life with someone, have the talk, develop a plan and commit to fixing the problem together with both parties in the loop.
Have you ever been blindsided by someone you were seriously dating when it came to money?
Suzanne is a certified credit counselor and a Social Media Specialist for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Suzanne writes for Divorce, Debt and Finances and A Straight Talk on Debt. Follow Suzanne on Twitter @SuzanneCramer1 and @AskCareOne where she shares her insights on divorce and managing your finances.