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5 Tips to Get Your Finances in Order Before Popping the Question

A grounded and healthy relationship is one that is built on open communication and teamwork. If you’re getting ready to finally tie the knot, be sure you’re both exercising these fundamental practices well before your trip to the altar. It’ll help prepare you both for what lies ahead, because your finances play a huge role in the future you’ll build together and it’s something you should be talking about on a regular basis. Here’s some things you must discuss with your significant other before popping the question.

Income

It’s more than likely that between the two of you, one makes more than the other. With that being said, it’s best to find a way to fairly split the bills based on how much each of you make. For example, if one of you is pulling in $20,000 more a year than the other, it should be that person’s responsibility to see that a larger portion of the bills are getting paid. This is a simple principle that, believe it or not, many couples get wrong and it can cause a lot of trouble down the road if it’s not sorted out before marriage.

Credit

Aside from your income, your credit should be a point of discussion when popping the question is on the horizon. Your credit score is how banks perceive your track record of paying your debts on time. It’s one of the key benchmarks of how they decide whether or not they can trust you with their money and what interest rate you qualify for. So, if you’re planning to buy a new car or even a house, you’ll want to make sure that both your credit scores are in the green. You can check your credit score for free from a variety of online tools including Mint and Credit Karma.

Credit Cards

If you both have credit cards, you should discuss how you two will plan to use them going forward. Credit cards, like anything else, can be a blessing or a curse. It’s all about how you use them. You can use a credit card to rack up all kinds of benefits like air miles, cash back and rewards points. But if you’re leaving behind a hefty balance, you could end paying more in interest than the rewards are worth. Talk about the credit cards you have and what you use them for. If there’s credit card debt, discuss how you both plan to pay that debt off while tackling your fixed bills such as rent and other monthly household bills.

Debt

Chances are, you both carry some form of debt, whether it’s from student loans, an auto loan or from credit cards. Talk to each other about how much each of you owes and what your plans are to eliminate that debt in the coming years. If your debt load is considerable, now might be a good time to meet with a financial counselor to get a workable plan in place. It may not be the most comfortable conversation, but discussing debt is essential if you’re planning to pop the question in the near future.

Savings and Retirement

Saving for retirement is crucial if you want to have a bright future to look forward to. Discuss how you plan to build up your savings over the next few decades and what that amount should look like by the time you’re both ready to retire. Ask your partner if they have a 401 (k) or an IRA set up for retirement. Talk about how you two are going to budget your remaining income (your money left over after your fixed bills are paid) to ensure your retirement and savings are consistently growing. A solid savings plan is key to your future financial freedom.

These are the main finances issues you should be discussing with your partner before marriage. Once you’ve covered all these bases, you should be ready to pop the question By making sure you two have a firm financial plan in place, you can both avoid searching for “title loans near me” when an unexpected financial emergency comes up. You’ll be ready to take on whatever life throws your way and you will have a much happier marriage that will stand solid for years to come.