Preparing for your big day? Make sure to have these financial conversations with your partner before getting married

Couples' Finances
Your wedding day is around the corner and you have a zillion things to plan and handle. You have had all types of conversations with your future husband about the life ahead. But when it comes to financial matters you may not feel the need for any discussion. But money is an aspect you should talk about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Here are six conversations you should have before getting married:
1. What’s the credit situation?
The past and current credit situation of your partner will affect your future spending. You should be aware of any past debts, assets, and liabilities each of you might have before you get hitched. You might want to get rid of your existing debts and begin on a clean slate as a new couple. You may wish to buy a new car or a house for both of you. It will be great if there are no uncomfortable secrets and you are clear about the matter.
2. One or two bank accounts?
It is important to decide whether the two of you will have two separate bank accounts or a joint account after marriage. You may also consider merging your incomes in one bank account. Or you may decide to keep your accounts separate and transfer a specific amount periodically to a joint account. It is best you thrash out these matters in advance.
3. What about my family?
As a woman, you may be expected to leave all the responsibilities of your family when you are married. But you can choose otherwise. Talk it over with your husband-to-be. After all, you cannot ignore your parents and their needs. In fact, you could be the one who managed their finances. So you may rightly wish to send some of your income back home. This is a sensitive but important issue that should be addressed without fail.
4. Are our financial goals aligned?
It is not wrong to have different financial goals after marriage. But your spouse should be comfortable with it too. For instance, you may choose to freelance, and be happy with a small income that pays for your everyday needs. Likewise, you may indulge in some leisure shopping or go on a trip every year. On the other hand, your spouse may be ambitious. He might want to save every penny to achieve a bigger goal, such as purchasing a villa or a dream car. There may be some discord due to this. Discuss your financial goals before marriage and at least agree to disagree so there’s clarity on the matter.
Couple Finances


5. Who will handle the finances?
In India, the household finances are usually handled by the woman. But in many cases, the husband too takes on that responsibility. Talk about this before you get married. There is a possibility that your future husband may want to decide the budget for household expenses and give you the money that's needed. Or he might take care of all the expenses himself without involving you. Either way, it would be good to have a chat about it.
6. Spend or save?
You may be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, so you might be a lavish spender. On the other hand, your spouse may come from a different background where thrift is encouraged. Arguments may arise if this issue is not firmly addressed. Every person has a different way of managing money. But when you decide to spend your life together, it is necessary that both of you are more-or-less on the same page as far as spending habits go.
Money isn’t everything, especially when it comes to relationships. However, having a heart-to-heart conversation about finances before you get married is important. You may have the same views or you may not, but discussions are necessary. Sharing your opinions about your finances will only help you bond better – and if they do not match, you will nevertheless have an early start in ironing out those differences as soon as possible. To understand the nuances of financial planning for couples, refer to our e-book Love and Money.

How I did it

Rahila Khan

I am a single mother of one. I lost my husband just 5 years into my marriage. Life has been a struggle for me, but I have managed it and today I have no complaints. 

I was a young widow with a 3 year old son when my husband passed away due to a heart attack. My parents were my rock… Read more

Piya Sharma
Chartered Accountant

I am a CA by profession. As my training has taught me, investing is a big part of my financial strategy. I am slightly risk-averse and invest heavily in mutual funds, FDs and ULIPs. I stay away from the stock market. 

As the household expenses are taken care of by my husband, I use most… Read more

Rajesh Singh
Corporate Executive

Growing up I did not have much other than the bare necessities. Though my mom tried her best, she could not fulfil our wishes. I always knew I had to study and improve my life. Today, I own a bike, a car and my own humble house. This has only been possible because of my prudent wife.

We… Read more

Suraj Chandwani
Gas Station Owner

I like to work hard and live a good life. I want to give the best to my wife and son, as well as my parents who live with us. I own a gas station in the suburbs of Mumbai. I had taken a loan to set up my business. So a major chunk of my earnings goes in repaying the loan. I also have a car loan… Read more