1, Money issues,
3, In-Laws (outlaws!),
Some people are not comfortable talking about money or sex. Hence, why the right questions are not asked before they say I do.
No wonder after you’re married, you discover that you have been lied to. Could it be that you did not ask the right questions?
Men do not talk much; as we all know, men are very different from women (thank God!). A man may not offer to tell you some personal information that a woman would consider relevant. Therefore, what is relevant to a woman is not necessarily so to a man.
Asking the right questions will eliminate some of the confusion that will surely arise later after the wedlock.
In this part, let us talk about Money, Money, and Money!
In a marriage, there is no such thing as my money and your money. It is our money; it cannot be separated.
Salary – How much do you earn? It sounds so simple, yet you won’t believe that some women do not know how much their spouse earns? The main salary before overtime, do not estimate for income that is not guaranteed.
Savings – How crucial is savings to you? As one who loves to save, you really need to find out if you are marrying a spender or a saver. Just in case he’s a spender, that is not the ground not to marry him. Know whom you are marrying; that is the whole point.
FICO score: Find out what the FICO score is now. If you do not ask now, you will pay the price later. Why not at least know what price you are willing to pay. If you do not know what a FICO score is (USA), maybe you are not ready to get married just yet.
Credit Cards – How much debt do they have on their credit cards? You may be surprised to find out that all that eating out he’s been paying for with his credit card, you will help him pay it back with interest afterward.
How many credit cards does he have? How many is too much?
Car Note – How much car note is outstanding and at what rate of interest. How long does he intend to pay it off for?
Does he own his car, or is he leasing? If leasing, why? This may not apply if he owns his business.
Is he/she financially responsible for any family members? Ok, let me make this clearer. This may not apply to everyone, but if you marry anyone of African descent, you’d better ask quickly! Usually, we are our parents’ social security, pension, and healthcare plan. We also have uncle, aunties, nieces, and nephews on our payroll. I really cannot get into that right now. It is a whole enchilada!
How much has he already committed to helping families and friends before you arrived on the scene? It is very vital to find out; these are commitments he made in the past.
You need to discuss and find out if he is open to renegotiating or forgoing some of those commitments. You both must consider that a single lifestyle and marriage are very different, especially in cost terms.
Lending Money – an essential topic to hash or thrash out now before you say I do. Your man/woman could be a very generous person who thinks it’s ok to lend money to everyone. Some will even co-sign without discussing with their spouse. Lending money and co-signing for friends and families are very sensitive topics; tread very carefully.
Buying or Renting – Your first home – where are you going to live? Do you rent or buy? Do we move into your current home or rented accommodation?
Joint or separate accounts?
Whose money is it anyway?
Wedding cost – Who is paying for what? How big, how small. I know it is customary for the groom and bride’s parents to take on different parts of the bill. What if none of your parents are alive or could afford it? Dish traditions and plan a wedding you can both afford. Do not assume your partner wants a big wedding, and that is your motivation for one. You might end up footing a wedding neither of you wanted.
Divorced and Single Parent Issues – How much is the Alimony, how much is the child maintenance? Does he/she owe any back payment, and how will this affect the income? What kind of agreement do they have in place right now? Child visitation rights etc.
Identify the best person for handling money and let them be in charge of paying bills. The other partner must show interest and know how much the monthly expenses are. It is not just one person’s job. If the other partner does not get involved, you open yourself for abuse to occur.
Financial Goals. What are your financial goals? What big project do you have in mind for the future? Now that two are becoming one, there has to be some compromise. Except if you are a millionaire, you cannot have it all.
Financial secrets – After you have discussed all the questions. Ask them if they want to own up to any financial secrets or shame. Such as a Foreclosure or Bankruptcy. Allow them to talk freely.
These are just guidelines to start the discussion. There are many more questions you can think of.
(This is Part 1 of 5 series of Before “I Do”)