One of the leading causes of arguments among married couples is finances. That may not sound very romantic to talk about as you plan your wedding but it is important. If you want to minimize arguments, disagreements, and an area of strife that could lead to divorce, discussing financial questions in premarital counseling is essential.
In Matthew, Jesus reminds us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21, NIV) You and your future spouse need to be on the same page when it comes to your treasure, or what you value, including money. The Bible is full of instructions about money. This shows that money is an important topic to talk about and heed God’s instruction.
As you prepare for marriage, a counselor or pastor can guide you and your partner through some questions that will help you learn about one another and develop a plan for handling finances in your marriage.
Financial questions to discuss before you get married
Talk about these questions together in premarital counseling. Be honest and full of grace for one another as you learn and grow together.
Financial questions about the past.
Start by looking back. Talk with your partner about your past finances. Consider things like debt, earnings, spending, and saving habits. The more you share about your past, the less chance there is for something from your past to come between you. Here are questions to talk about regarding your financial past:
- Do you have any debt? What kind and how much?
- Have you ever had debt? How did you handle it?
- What accounts do you have? How much money is in them?
- Do you prefer to save or spend?
- Have you ever used a budget? Why or why not?
- Do you have any credit cards? If so, how do you use them?
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? What happened?
- Have you ever borrowed money from a family member or friend?
Financial questions for the start of your marriage.
As you begin your marriage, you can talk with your partner about how you want to start financially. Agreeing upon these things, or at least having mutual understanding, can help your marriage start on the right foot.
- Will we have joint bank accounts, separate accounts, or a combination?
- What is your current credit score?
- Who will pay the bills?
- When and how will we talk about money?
- How much can we spend independently before we need to discuss the purchase?
- How much money do we want to save each month?
- Will we tithe or donate money? If so, how much?
Financial questions for the future of our marriage.
As you prepare for your marriage, it may seem silly to think far down the road. While your ideas may change over time, discussing these questions now will help you share your ideas and develop open communication about finances.
- How will we make big purchases?
- Are we saving for a house? How?
- Will we have an emergency savings fund? How much and what is it used for?
- Do we want to use credit cards regularly?
- How will we handle money disputes?
- How do we stay on the same page about finances?
- Will both of us work if we start a family? If not, how will that affect our finances?
- Will we save for our children’s education? How?
- How do we feel about lending/gifting money to family or friends?
- Who will we talk to when we disagree about money issues or have questions?
Premarital counseling and your finances
A counselor or pastor can help you and your partner have these conversations. It is helpful to discuss them in this season with an unbiased third party. They can help you handle any disagreements, encourage you to go deeper, and help you consider things you may not otherwise think of.
Connect with a counselor at Newport Beach Christian Counseling to start your marriage on a strong financial footing.
“Show me the Money”, Courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “One Dollar”, Courtesy of Annie Spratt, Unsplash.com, CC0 License