10 Money Questions You Should Ask Before Getting Married

Marriage is a beautiful thing. It is when two people make commitment to share their lives under a holy matrimony. There is no harm in discussing the future that will be shared together before one enters this uncharted territory.

If you are getting married in near future, try to make it a priority to discuss financial management matters with your partner. Choose a relaxing and fun environment so that you can see his most honest answers and responses to these questions:

1. “How much will we set aside to save each month?”

Although it may sound negligible, each person has different saving habit. Knowing your total combined income and fund allocated to spend on daily needs and saving, both of you can plan on how to maximize the use of the fund you have. You can either put it in time deposit account or invest it in form of gold, mutual funds, stock, etc.

Based on your partner’s answer, you can also find out if he or she is a spender or saver, and if he or she a risk-taker or likes to play safe when it comes to managing his investment.

2. “How much will we give our parents each month?”

This is a quite sensitive subject and may cause friction anytime and, therefore, needs to be discussed well before the D date. For most Asians, it is like an obligatory for children to give to their parents from the time they earn regular income. This is certainly okay, as long as it does not trigger a fight. It is better to agree on an amount or limit of money you’d like to give to each of your parents.

The last thing you want is to have your husband’s objection when you use your combined income to pay for your parents’ pilgrimage or family vacation, for example.

3. “What’s your biggest money mistake?”

Being married, we love our partners for whoever they are – good and bad. In a healthy relationship, both parties should not try to hide their past lives or mistakes to keep their good image.

Share your experience in managing money to your partner. That way, you would also know if he used to have a debt problem, or had undergone bankruptcy, or got involved in money-related problems. The purpose is not to judge each other, but to find a solution and make sure that no one makes the same mistake.

One of the characteristics that should warn you about your partner’s money habits is being continuously in debt or lying about money. If your partner shows any of these habits, try and find a third party help, such as a financial planner or a mentor who knows both of you well.

[Read: How to Deal with Partner’s Bad Money Habits]

4. “What’s your financial goal after marriage? What if you can’t reach it?”

Before you met him, you might have a plan of your own, things you want to realize once you are married or things you want in your retirement years with your special someone. Share these dreams with your partner, and ask him the same thing.

You can then draw a line on where you both are willing to compromise for each other. A financial goal that is not achieved may cause frustration if two people have different expectations. You surely do not want to live a life hanging on false dreams, do you?

5. “When are we having kids? How important it is for you to have kids?”

For some, children are the biggest source of happiness. Couples with children tend to encourage other married couples to have kids, since it is the commonly accepted norm.

In fact, not all couples are ready or even want to have kids. One may want to have kids, while the other is not ready to face all the consequences. You can talk about this with your partner when you are undergoing premarital check-up. Good pregnancy planning would also make it easier for you to manage your finance, for example if you want to add maternity and complication rider to your insurance.

6. “How are we going to divide our works once we have children?”

Today, being a woman does not necessarily mean that one should be a stay-at-home mother. Decades of fight for equality and today’s reality have earned women a place as breadwinners, just like men. This means it is okay for men to take on some responsibility related to domestic activities.

Do not hesitate to discuss uncomfortable things such as who will be taking care of the kids when you and your husband are at work, or how would you divide the household responsibilities after work.

[Read: Avoiding Conflict When Wife Earns More]

7. “Are we satisfied with our current life quality? If not, how are going to improve it?”

Find out if your partner has the same goal concerning your welfare together. If he is currently living by himself and often misses his bills or does not take care of himself, ask him what causes that. If he is currently working as an employee, ask him about his career goal. If he is currently living with his parents, ask him why and what is his expectation after getting married.

Many people are met with disappointment when demanding changes from their partners after they get married. The reality shows that changes can only occur if there is strong motivation from within oneself. A marriage between two people who share the same vision and goals in life would have a higher possibility to last longer.

8. “Will you keep pursuing you dreams and goals once we’re married?”

Have you ever met your old schoolmates and noticed a lot of changes in them? Without even realizing it, we all go through changes from time to time. Our experiences, tragedies, successes and failures would shape our characters as we adapt with our surroundings.

Marriage is not the end of two different personalities; there is always a part of us that will stay the same – and that is what makes us “alive”. Make sure your partner would keep trying to pursue his or her dreams after marriage and encourage you to do the same. At the end of the day, those personalities are what made you fall in love with each other.

9. “Will our parents live with us in their old age?”

Once again about your parents; although they are all still healthy and financially independent, it is good to think ahead about these things. As time goes by, one’s health and vitality decline. Ask yourself, what you and your partner would do in the future, if one of the parents gets sick or needs an extra care in their old age?

10. “What is our plan for retirement?”

In Indonesia, the awareness to plan one’s retirement is quite low compared to other more developed neighboring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. A number of researches done by insurance companies, for example, revealed that the general public still has a low understanding of healthcare cost. Majority of people tend to be consumptive and are hesitant to think about their future.

Talk about retirement plan as early as possible with your partner. This way, you will be able to enjoy your old age without having to rely on your children or grandchildren.

[See: 10 Hip Cities to Retire in Indonesia]

We know that nobody is perfect, and therefore you or your partner may not be able to keep all those promises you make. However, as long as you and your spouse keep the promise to do the best to be an amazing life partner for each other, it will be one of the strong foundations for your marriage.

Answer this quiz: Are You Financially Compatible as a Couple?

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