While many couples undergo marital counselling before they marry to discuss values, it can be just as important to have a joint financial planning session to make sure you have joint financial goals. Here are some of the issues that can be useful to cover.
These days many couples start married life with a variety of debts that they have accumulated before marriage, including credit cards, car loans, personal loans and other forms of debt. These need to be paid off and can affect the amount of money available for the joint budget as well as the amount available for lending for future ventures such as buying a house together. Before getting married, it's good to have a discussion about whether debts accumulated before marriage will be paid out of joint funds or will remain the responsibility of the party that incurred them.
Housing and ongoing budgets
Housing can take a lot of money in a couple's budget, particularly with the rising cost of housing in Australia. It can be useful to discuss where the couple wants to live and how much they would like to spend on housing, as well as whether they prefer to rent or by a home. This can naturally lead on to conversation about other lifestyle issues such as planning a household budget and discussing how much money should be spent on household expenses vs discretionary spending such as entertainment and holidays or savings and investments.
Finally, another important issue to discuss is who will inherit your estate if you pass away, and if you are happy for your spouse to take control of your financial matters if you are incapacitated but not yet dead. This can be a complicated issue if one party has more money than the other, or if one or both of you has dependent children from previous relationships. For example, you may wish that a shared house passes to your spouse, whilst financial assets pass to your children for their future upbringing. You may also want to leave money to charitable causes that you are passionate about or to other relatives.
Before you get married, it's a good idea to do some financial planning and ensure that your financial goals and planning are aligned. This can prevent many later arguments about money and help ensure that you have many happy married years together with the same goals.Share
20 June 2016
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