14 financial issues to discuss in a serious relationship

Compare views on family budget, separation of duties, and children.

  1. What will be your family budget

A key question that will determine the financial climate in the family. You can keep shared or separate budgets – all of these strategies are effective if your views on the issue coincide.

Much depends on habits and how it was accepted in parental families. Someone considers the split budget to be the partner’s distrust. Someone cannot live without personal money, because otherwise they feel vulnerable. So there is no single correct scenario, everything is decided by negotiations.

If you lean towards a split budget, it can be useful to discuss how things will go when the wage gap is big. For example, will you spend on general needs about the same amount or as a percentage of income.

  1. Is it possible to change the format of the family budget

And under what circumstances. For example, you have a split budget, but you are reset to general expenses. If one of you’s income drops sharply, how will things be? You will start buying less, just to spend equally, or one will take on some of the costs, or you will lend to a partner until his financial condition improves.

  1. How do you make money

You may not need to know exactly how much each of you makes. But understanding how stable this income is and at what standard of living it will be enough will come in handy.

If you are getting into a serious relationship, you need to be prepared for the fact that it can last for a very long time. Different changes can happen to everyone over the years. So questions about each other’s financial condition should not be considered commercialism. For example, any of you can become seriously ill and need the help of a partner.

  1. What are your financial (and not only) goals for the future

It is hardly worth phrasing the question that way, but it reflects well what you have to find out. Perhaps one partner in the future wants to buy a house in the village and breed corgi, earning freelance so that there is only enough for what is needed. And the other marks the Forbes list.

Different financial goals do not necessarily indicate incompatibility. But they will help you understand your partner’s life strategy and understand where you are likely to have disagreements, including financial ones.

  1. What are your plans for buying your own home

Whether you are going to buy or not, whether you will save up or take out a mortgage is an important topic of conversation. Perhaps one is determined to rent a house all his life, so as not to get attached to a place. And the other sheds tears on the bills that go to the owner, thinking that he would have already paid off the mortgage. Different approaches here are an obvious reason for quarrels.

  1. Will you budget

And who will do it. Accounting and planning of expenses and income is an effective way to understand where money is going, start saving and saving. But it requires some organization, time, effort and, most importantly, the desire to do all this.

  1. How do you feel about loans

Anything acquired in marriage is considered common, and debts are no exception. If your potential half is actively using loans with or without reason, you should be wary.

Firstly, in a marriage only one person can take a loan, but both of them will have to give it. The debt will be divided between the spouses after the divorce. It is possible to avoid this, although it is not easy: you need to prove that you knew nothing about the loan, and the debtor spent all the money on himself. If you bought something for your home with credit funds, made repairs or went on a joint trip, problems cannot be avoided.

Secondly, if the partner stops paying on the loan, collectors may attack you as an official companion.

Thirdly, it is simply unpleasant to be in a relationship with a person with whom you have such different views. If you wrinkle your nose at the word loan, and your partner takes a loan even for a toothbrush, it is unlikely that something good will come of such an alliance.

  1. Do you have debts

In case of divorce, prenuptial loans will not be split in half. But they will definitely affect the financial well-being of the family. With a joint budget, you will have to give part of the total money as debt. In case of separate – to postpone large purchases, since one will have significantly less funds.

  1. How do you feel about the marriage contract

This document helps to fairly divide property while you are still on good terms and do not hate each other, as often happens during divorce.

It is important to remember that, under Russian law, an agreement can be easily challenged if it infringes on the rights of one of the spouses. So it should not be an instrument of punishment: the court will not understand if one gets everything, and the other gets nothing.

  1. What material obligations do you have?

This can be child support or monthly parental assistance. Even if you have a completely separate budget, it is better to find out about each other’s financial obligations in advance so that there are no surprises.

  1. How household responsibilities will be distributed

It happens that both partners work all day, but one then pulls on all the homework. Routine work isn’t paid, but that doesn’t mean it’s worthless. If only because these activities take time and energy. And they could be spent on recreation, self-education and other things that help to move up the career ladder and get more.

You can distribute responsibilities so that someone will take over household chores, and the other – providing for the family (and gender does not matter here). But here it is important to discuss the guarantees that a person who sacrifices a career receives. How will he be protected if his partner dies or becomes seriously ill, or you want to divorce? The solution could be death and disability insurance or a prenuptial agreement that partially removes financial vulnerability.

  1. Do you plan to have children and how many

The modern institution of the family implies a lot of variability in this matter. You can do without children at all or give birth to five and adopt three more. Discussing this “on the shore” is important for many reasons. And the financial aspect is not the last one.

  1. Who will go on parental leave

There are no options with maternity leave – this is only allowed for mom. But a dad, grandmother, grandfather or other relative can take care of an infant up to three years old.

Whoever goes on parental leave will have lower income, which will affect the overall financial well-being of the family. This means that the working partner will have to put in more effort to maintain the original standard of living. In addition, in some industries, during long-term vacations, you can lag behind colleagues, which will affect the subsequent increase in wages. So it is important to understand all the consequences before the baby is born.

  1. How will responsibilities for childcare be shared

With a child’s third birthday, caring for him does not end, and this is a full-fledged job that requires involvement, time and effort. This includes sick leave, and the need to attend matinees in kindergarten, which is not always welcome at work.

This needs to be added to the same equation with household responsibilities and work in order to once again count everything fairly. Fairness in the division of household chores is the path to harmony and happiness. Even research confirms this.

By Cindy
October 27, 2020

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