So you think you’re in love.  You think – you hope – you’re going to spend the rest of your life with him.  You love everything about her, and nothing, nothing, could make you love her any less, especially not something as trivial as money.  *sheesh*

STOP STOP STOP!  This is me reaching through the computer giving you a proverbial slapping around – snap out of it!

The first thing that your minister will say when you stand before him (and God) will go something along the lines of, “Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly; but reverently, soberly, and in the fear of God.”  It’s time to sober up, friend!  Get out of that love-drunk stupor, and start thinking clearly about how money could affect your relationship.

Money fights and money problems are the #1 reason for divorce in North America.  A lack (or surplus) of money can compound any underlying relational issues.  What we believe about money and how we relate to money is a very important part of who we are, because it reveals our character!

In light of this, I submit to you, 12 financial questions to discuss before you get engaged, or at least before you get married.  Don’t drop all these on your gf or bf on the first date, or even on the tenth date.  Discuss these, over time, getting more and more personal and detailed with your mutual understanding, so that there are no surprises by the time you get to the altar.

12 financial questions to discuss before getting married:

1) What was your life like growing up?  Were your parents wealthy?  How did they handle their money?

2) When did you get your first job?  What jobs have you held since then?

3) How much debt do you have?  How much savings do you have?  How much in investments?

4) Did your parents have a joint bank account or separate accounts?  What do you think is the best way for a couple to handle their money?

5) Have you ever declared bankruptcy or had your home foreclosed on?

6) Have you ever had your identity stolen?  If so, how was that resolved?

7) Do you live on a budget?  Have you ever lived on a budget?

8) What are some causes that are close to your heart?  Do you support them financially, or have you in the past?

9) Would you consider yourself a spender or a saver?  How would you rate your personal contentment?

10) Do you have any fear or anxiety as it relates to money?  (i.e. not having enough, too much money creating problems in relationships, losing money, etc.)

11) How much do you make?

12) If you had an extra $500 this month, what would you spend it on?  If you couldn’t spend any money on yourself this month, what would you do?

Please, take time to discuss these questions, in depth if necessary.  None of them, alone, are make-or-break questions, but what is a deal-breaker is defensiveness and an unwillingness to change or consider other viewpoints.  If you run headlong into marriage, ignoring that warning sign, I’ve done all I can for you.

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Question: What other financial questions are important to discuss?  Have you ever had a fight with your significant other over some of these questions?