25 Financial Topics To Discuss Before Marriage

Entering into a union means blending unique personalities, backgrounds, lifestyles, wants, needs, and desires. Amidst the shared similarities that bond you, navigating the differences can be like maneuvering through a crazy maze. One particularly impactful aspect is managing finances in a marriage, a topic that has the potential to either unite or set two individuals apart. It’s crucial to engage in deep discussions about your marriage and money before conflicts arise.

Ideally, these significant money conversations should take place early in any serious relationship and definitely before marriage. In relationships where finances intertwine, your partner’s actions and decisions will inevitably affect you. Issues over money ruin relationships and are also one of the top 5 contributing factors to divorce when partners can’t come together in harmony.

But fear not, even if these conversations were overlooked before, there’s still an opportunity for a heart-to-heart. Money problems within a marriage can be addressed by fostering honesty, setting joint goals, and working collaboratively as a team.

Married couple statue balancing on ball with money. Title: Marriage and money

In my own marriage, we grapple with different spending personalities— I’m a saver, while my husband tends to be more of a spender. To mitigate potential issues, we established a savings goal and crafted a budget that includes a specific allowance for “fun money.” An essential rule is that I refrain from passing judgment on how he chooses to spend that money, though the occasional mean side-eye might still make an appearance!

Handling Money In A Marriage

Understanding how your partner manages finances is crucial for a successful marriage. Here are key financial topics to discuss, shedding light on your future spouse’s spending habits and financial goals.

  • Income/ Debt
  • Money Personalities
  • Budgeting
  • Financial Goals
  • Investments
  • Retirement/ Estate Planning

Being at different financial points in your journey doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. However, both partners must be willing to come together, learn, and grow. Divergent money personalities can actually contribute to a balanced relationship. In my case, I tend to be frugal, while my spouse is more willing to spend. Despite the differences, we influenced each other positively and helped each other grow.

To kickstart this important discussion, consider these questions:

Income/ Debt:

  1. How much do you make per month? It’s often considered a touchy subject, but this discussion kickstarts our journey toward transparent financial conversations.
  2. Do you currently have any debts? How much? This encompasses credit cards, school loans, car loans, medical bills, IRS obligations, borrowed funds from friends, child support, and more. Unresolved debts could potentially lead to wage garnishment.

Expenses and Savings:

  1. What are your typical monthly expenses? Ensuring that your expenditures align allows you to live comfortably without the strain of paycheck-to-paycheck living.
  2. Do you have money saved? Establishing a safety net and having an emergency fund is pivotal in preventing the plunge into debt or deepening existing financial challenges.
  3. How many vehicles do we need? Is there a desire for multiple vehicles, project cars, or motorcycles? Aligning our transportation needs helps streamline budgeting.
  4. Are you conscious of your average monthly spending? How aware is your partner of their finances and the risk of accumulating debt?
  5. What do you like to spend money on? Do you have expensive tastes? While indulging in personal preferences is absolutely fine, it’s crucial to ensure that these choices align with our budgetary allowances.


  1. Are you willing to live on a budget? A willingness to embrace budgeting is the cornerstone of effective financial management. When circumstances require it, are you both ready to make the necessary life changes?
  2. Should we establish a set allowance or limit for discretionary spending? Defining a specific amount for individual “fun money” within our budget can preemptively ward off potential disagreements. My spouse and I, for instance, have incorporated this practice into our monthly financial plan.
  3. Do you allocate a portion of your income for tithing or charity? Recognizing and respecting your partner’s values, especially regarding financial contributions to tithing or charitable causes, fosters understanding and unity within the relationship.

Finances in Marriage:

  1. What are your thoughts on combining or splitting our finances? Personally, I’m an advocate for fully merging finances; we prefer living on one income and saving the other. Some couples opt for splitting finances, dividing expenses 50/50, allocating a percentage of their salary to a joint account, or using other preferred methods. It’s crucial to discuss contingency plans, especially in the event of job loss or a salary reduction.
  2. Who will be responsible for handling the bills? While designating one person to ensure timely payments is practical, both partners should be well-informed about all expenses and their due dates. This shared awareness becomes especially crucial in unforeseen circumstances.

Credit Score:

  1. What is your credit score? It’s important to note that a partner’s less-than-stellar credit won’t directly impact your post-marriage, but it can influence the opportunities you both qualify for. The good news is there are numerous strategies to increase your credit score.
  2. How much of your available credit do you typically use? Monitoring credit utilization is crucial for maintaining a healthy credit score.
  3. Do you have specific goals or plans for improving your credit score? Sharing credit improvement goals promotes mutual support and understanding between partners.
  4. When was the last time you reviewed your credit report? Regularly monitoring your credit reports helps identify and address inaccuracies.

Financial Goals:

  1. What are your financial goals, and what steps are you taking to realize them? Discuss your goals together and work as a team to achieve them.
  2. Do you want to rent or buy? If the dream is homeownership, recognizing the importance of a solid credit score and saving for a down payment is crucial. Beyond the mortgage, it’s essential to consider various homeowner expenses.

Family Planning:

  1. Do you want children? How many? Consider the associated costs, encompassing childcare, and schooling, as well as ensuring a suitable home and vehicle for your growing family.
  2. Are you open to investing in fertility treatments or adoption if needed? Recognize that these options may come with significant financial commitments.
  3. Will one of us be a stay-at-home parent? Understand each other’s desires and expectations regarding contributions to the marriage, especially in the context of parenting roles.
  4. Would you want to enroll the children in public or private schools? Recognize the substantial price gap between public and private education. Drawing from my husband’s experience attending both, he noticed significant differences in the educational environment. Private school teachers were notably more engaged and committed to ensuring each student grasped the subject matter.


  1. Do you want pets? Recognize that being responsible pet owners requires a commitment of both money and time.
  2. How do you feel about loaning money to family and friends? Recognize that this practice, which may or may not result in repayment, often becomes a source of tension within marriages. Establishing a clear loaning policy with your partner and adhering to it is a prudent approach.
  3. For certain jobs or chores, do you prefer DIY (Doing It Yourself) or paying someone else to handle it? Discuss your partner’s plans regarding hiring help, whether it be a maid, gardener, or other services.
  4. What kind of gift-giver are you? In my marriage, we had to confront this aspect to avoid accumulating unwanted items. Agreeing on a limit for surprise gifts, unless specified otherwise, can foster a more enjoyable gift-giving experience.


  1. How familiar are you with different investment options (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc.)? Shared knowledge encourages collaborative decision-making.
  2. Do you believe in diversifying your investment portfolio?
  3. How comfortable are you with taking risks in your investments? Ensuring that your comfort level aligns with your partner’s risk tolerance ensures a harmonious investment strategy.

Future Planning:

  1. Are you investing in a retirement plan? When are you planning on retiring? Crafting plans for your retirement ensures a solid foundation for a financially secure future.
  2. Do you have life insurance? Do you have a will? These crucial plans are essential for taking care of your loved ones, particularly if children are involved.


These conversations about money may reveal aspects of your partner’s perspectives and financial habits that are eye-opening! Discussions such as this serve as a powerful tool, offering a clear glimpse into each other’s desires and expectations.

Remember, the answers to these money questions are not just about numbers; they’re about shared values, priorities, and aspirations. The insights gained will not only empower you both to make informed decisions but build a solid foundation for a future that can handle whatever curveballs come your way. Through mutual understanding and collaborative planning, you pave the way for a stronger, more secure financial partnership.

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