10 Money Questions Every Couple Should Ask One Another

couple holding hands dockWe live in the age of oversharing. We know all the details of celebrity sex lives and divorces. We tweet and Instagram and Facebook all the details of our lives, intimate and mundane. In the information age, it seems like there is only one taboo left: talking about money.

Advertisement

Married or unmarried, if you have a partner, you've got to cast the money taboo aside and engage in some real financial talk with your partner or risk falling into the too large category of people who say financial issues were a main cause of their divorce.

It is true that talking about money can be tough, but the following questions can be great conversation starters and ways to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, fiscally speaking:

1. What is the purpose of money? This might sound like kind of an abstract question, but it gets at the heart of our values. Is the purpose of money to have a secure nest egg and to leave a legacy for your kids? Or is it to live simply and spend more on experiences than things? There is no right answer to this question, but it is important to know if you and your partner have very different answers.

2. How much money do you make? A recent study found that a shocking 43 percent of people didn't know what their partners made per year. Without this information, it is hard to imagine how you can have an effective budget or realistic retirement plans. 

3. What is your credit score? This three-digit number makes a huge difference when it comes to your ability to get decent interest rates when the time to buy a new car or home comes around. If you are married, both scores matter for joint credit purchases.

4. What do you need to feel secure? Every family needs a financial safety net, but how big a net do you need? Many experts suggest a liquid savings account of six months or more of expenses, but some people, especially those who work in unstable jobs or on commission, might not breathe easy until they are closer to 8-12 months. Where does your partner stand?

5. How much debt do we have? Between student loans, car loans, mortgages, and credit cards, most American families have some debt. Most of us would probably like to have less debt, but you can't make a plan to pay it off if you don't know how much debt you have.

More from The Stir: 13 Women Reveal the Biggest Fights They've Had With Their Partners Over Money

6. What about college expenses? If you have children, you and your partner need to have a conversation about each other's expectations when it comes to helping them pay for higher education. Do you want to foot the bill? Have them take out loans? Split the cost with them? For many of us, we need to find a balance between paying off our student loans, saving for retirement, and helping our kids with college. You need to agree on the right balance for your family.

7. What do you hope retirement will look like? Even though retirement feels far off for many of us, it takes years of planning and savings. It is important to make sure you are saving enough for the retirement lifestyle you both want.

8. What are your short-term and long-term financial goals? Money is a tool to get the life you want, so what are you aiming for?

9. What is our spending limit? Couples should have an agreement about how much money either one can spend without clearing it with the other one. For our family, there are no surprise purchases over $100, but every family should set their own limit.

10. How often should we talk about money? Set a standing money date, so you can make sure you stay on track to meeting your financial goals.

See, those aren't such difficult questions, right?

 

Image via Thomas Zsebok/shutterstock

 

Read More >