Wedding season is almost here, and as a person who has been married for forever and a day (18 years this November) I know that money issues can be a touchy subject for married couples to discuss. However because marital financial stress is one of the top causes for divorce, rather than getting a nasty surprise after saying, “I do,”I have come up with a list of 50 Money Questions to Consider Before Marriage. Going over these questions before you get married can help you go into your new marriage with your eyes wide open, often times alleviating any future disagreements about money that you might have.
The Money Basics
1. How much money does each future spouse make annually?
2. What are each of your assets?
3. What are each of your credit scores?
4. Discuss debt. Do either of you have college debt? Car debt? Housing debt? Credit Card Debt?
5. Do either of you have health insurance?
On the Job Front
6. Do either of you like to work for people or do you wish to be self-employed?
7. Do either of you change jobs frequently?
8. Have either of you ever been fired? Why?
9. Have either of you ever been called a workaholic?
10. Will both of you work outside of the home?
11. If both of you work outside of the home will you live on two incomes or one?
Future Financial Planning Philosophies
12. Where do you see yourselves financially in 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?
13. What are each of your retirement plans? What do you plan to do in your retirement? Do those plans work for the both of you?
14. Have either of you started saving for retirement?
15. How much money do either of you save regularly outside of retirement? How do you save it?
16. What type of investors are either of you? Do you like to take risks? Or are you more conservative with your investments?
17. Do either of you pay your taxes on time? Do you believe in full disclosure when it comes to your taxes?
Money and Kids
18. Do either of you pay alimony or child support?
19. Have either of you ever failed to pay alimony or child support or have you ever been arrested for not paying alimony or child support?
20. Do both of you want kids?
21. If you have kids will both of you continue to work?
22. How many kids do you both want?
23. If you as a couple have difficulty getting pregnant will you pay for fertility treatments? Adoption?
24. If you have kids will you together pay for college? Cars? Other expenses? How?
Managing Your Money Together
25. After you are married will you have joint or separate bank accounts? Savings accounts? Credit Cards? Mortgages?
26. Do you believe that bills should be divided based on a percentage of each person’s salary?
27. How will your will be set up (especially if there are children from previous marriages)?
28. Who will manage your money or pay your bills?
29. Who will manage your investments?
30. Will you have a prenuptial agreement?
31. Do you believe in having a family budget? Do either of you live with a budget now?
32. How do either of you spend most of your money?
33. What items do either of you view as necessities vs. nice to have?
34. Do either of you like to travel? Do either of you see having vacations as a necessity or a nice to have expense?
35. Is it important to either of you to have a certain standard of living including a certain level of car, living in a certain part of town, being able to socialize with a certain group of people?
36. Have either of you ever been called cheap or stingy?
37. Does your religion affect the way you see money? Will it affect the way you spend money?
38. Do either of you like to gamble?
39. Do either of you like to cook or do you usually eat out?
40. Where would either of you like to live? In a house? On a boat? In what cities?
41. Do either of you enjoying doing work around your home yourself? Do you prefer to have someone do the work around the house for you?
42. Would either of you want to pay someone to do the work for you?
43. How important is your appearance to either of you? Do either of you worry about the physical affects? Are both of you willing to spend money on cosmetic procedures?
44. Do either of you want pets? How many?
45. Do either of you give to charity on a regular basis? How much do you give to charity on a regular basis? How important is it for you to give to charity?
46. Is either one of you a widower?
47. Have either of you ever had a breakup because of money?
48. Has anyone ever tried to control either of you with money?
49. Have either of you ever had a serious illness?
50. Have either of you ever smoked or taken drugs recreationally?
Have you had the money discussion with your future spouse? And for the old married couples out there were there any questions that I might have missed?