MINNEAPOLIS — Financial experts say one of the most important things a couple can do before saying ”I Do," is talk about finances.
Money is one of the biggest reasons couples fight or divorce.
“Learning one another’s spending and saving habits before you get married might prevent future disagreements. No matter if you are a spender or saver, create a budget. Discuss how much each of you make, look at your monthly bills and come to an agreement on what is considered ‘our’ expenses,” said Nick Foulks, lead adviser at Great Waters Financial.
A lot of the disagreements can be avoided if couples just sit down and have open and honest conversations about money. Foulks said, “Couples need to talk about what kind of debt they are bringing into the relationship and how they plan on handling debt throughout the marriage.”
Credit card and student loan debt can make it difficult to reach certain milestones, like buying a house.
“I recommend organizing your credit card debt to determine which card has the lowest balance. Make the minimum payment on your other cards and work to pay off your smallest debt, then your next smallest debt until your credit cards are paid in full. You can use a debt worksheet to help you get organized," explained Foulks.
You can find one on his website by clicking here.
"And, if you decide to start a family, you need to prioritize saving for retirement over saving for your child’s education. Your child can take out loans for college, but there are no loans for retirement. Also, talk about your goals and lifestyle expectations in retirement. The more you can visualize your retirement together, the less elusive it will seem. Then take responsibility and make it happen."
"Saving for retirement should be part of your monthly budget. I recommend at least 10% of your earnings go toward a retirement savings account. I also suggest using direct deposit and automatic transfers, so you won’t be tempted to spend it," said Foulks.
If you are planning to walk down the aisle soon, ask your groom-to-be or bride-to-be these four very important questions.
MONEY QUESTIONS FOR COUPLES
ARE YOU A SPENDER OR SAVER?
HOW MUCH DEBT DO YOU HAVE?
HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT?
HOW WILL WE SAVE FOR RETIREMENT?