Advertising
Advertising

30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage

30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage

You’ve booked the reception, you’ve tasted the cake, you bought the killer dress, but there’s one thing you may not have done yet: talk about money!

Don’t worry—it’s not too late, and you won’t have to call the band and cancel. With this ultimate guide full of important money questions, you and your fiance can talk about every financial detail so you’re cool, confident, and financially prepared for your big day.

1. How much debt do you have? This is probably the most important question you can ask a future spouse.

2. What is the max I can spend before I have to consult the other person? This will help prevent arguments about overspending in the future.

3. How much are we willing to spend on our parents if they get sick? It’s hard to quantify this amount, so this question is just more about acknowledging that this type of issue might come up.

4. How much will we spend to get fertility treatments or adopt if we have trouble conceiving? Take this time to look up the costs for both of those things just so you are aware in the future.

5. Who will be in charge of paying the bills? This is really important. My tip is to have one person handle day to day finances and the other person handle long term investments.

Advertising

6. Who will be in charge of investing in our future? Really, both of you should be involved in investing in your future, but have one person be in charge of planning family meetings to talk about it.

7. How will we choose stocks if we want to buy some? Have you ever purchased stocks or mutual funds? Take some time to learn about them now while you are young.

8. How much do you think vacations should cost? Even if you have been dating for a long time, sometimes people have different visions of what they hope vacations will be like after they get married.

9. Did you take out student loans? This one is self explanatory.

10. If so, how much? This one is more important. If one of you is currently in school and you don’t know how much you have borrowed, go to your financial aid office or your credit report and find out today.

11. Have you ever declared bankruptcy? Hopefully you would have told your fiance this by now, but if you haven’t, they deserve to know.

12. Would you want to declare bankruptcy if we found ourselves in a tough spot? I hope you never have to face this tough decision, but talk about what might happen if you get to that point or even better, talk about how to prevent this.

Advertising

13. Do you want to pay for more education in the future? It’s good to know if your future spouse has always wanted to go back to school, so you know it might be a potential cost in the future.

14. Do your parents pay for any of your current bills? If they do, will they be continuing to help you in the future?

15. Would you accept money from parents as help after we get married? Some spouses don’t like receiving outside help, so be sure to address this.

16. Do you currently owe money to any friends? If so, try to pay them back as soon as possible.

17. Do you prefer generic or name brand goods? This will help you learn about each other’s spending habits.

18. Do you like paying for things with cash or credit? If you pay with credit, do you always pay it off at the end of the month?

19. Do you have any money currently saved? I know the wedding is expensive, but if not, try to put aside just $50-$100 a month to get the savings account started.

Advertising

20. Do you save money at the beginning or the end of the month? Try to save at the beginning. If you wait to save what is left over, there is often nothing left.

21. Do you participate in your company’s 401k match? If your company does not offer one, are you saving for retirement in another way, like in an IRA?

22. Do you max out your retirement accounts every year? If not, try to decide how you will be able to start doing so this year or next year.

23. How do you like to spend your “fun money”? On cars, shoes, purses, or pitchers of beer?

24. How much do you want to save for an emergency? Most experts recommend starting with a $1,000 buffer and then adding to it until you can cover 6 months of expenses.

25. How many kids do you want to have? You might have discussed about this already, but look up the financial costs of having children and talk about it.

26. Do you plan on paying for our children’s college education? If so, try to start saving when they are born.

Advertising

27. Do you want our kids to go to public or private school? This is important to know, since it will affect your cash flow in the future.

28. Would you help your siblings financially if they needed it? And, would you expect them to pay you back?

29. Would you rather invest in a house, or invest in experiences, like traveling? This is a really good question to help determine your priorities.

30. Would you seek financial counseling if we decide we need it? It’s always good to know that your spouse is willing to get help if money issues come up in the future.

If you and your fiance can sit down and go through the questions above, you will already be light years ahead of many couples who are about to tie the knot. Remember that finances are the number one thing that couples argue about, so if you can combat many of these issues ahead of time, you are doing a great service to your marriage.

More by this author

Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams How to Make Money Right Now How to Have a Successful Garage Sale 30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage 42 Amazingly Free Things That Will Make You Smile

Trending in Featured

1 How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques 2 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 3 How to Master the Art of Prioritization 4 How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life 5 What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 18, 2019

How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Almost everyone assumes either that taking good notes comes naturally or, that someone else must have already taught about how to take notes. Then, we sit around and complain that our colleagues don’t know how to take notes.

I figure it’s about time to do something about that. Whether you’re a student or a mid-level professional, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not only do good notes help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writing things down helps many of us to remember them better in the first place.

One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that they’re not really sure what notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attempt to capture a complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes — to create, in effect, minutes. This is a recipe for failure.

Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leaves no room for thinking about what you’re writing and how it fits together. If you have a personal assistant, by all means, ask him or her to write minutes; if you’re on your own, though, your notes have a different purpose to fulfill.

The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you work better and more quickly. This means your notes don’t have to contain everything, they have to contain the most important things.

And if you’re focused on capturing everything, you won’t have the spare mental “cycles” to recognize what’s truly important. Which means that later, when you’re studying for a big test or preparing a term paper, you’ll have to wade through all that extra garbage to uncover the few nuggets of important information?

What to Write Down

Your focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, what’s new to you? There’s no point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know, you can leave out of your notes.

Second, what’s relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds of information to pay special attention to are:

Advertising

Dates of Events

Dates allow you to create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and understand the context of an event.

For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century.

Names of People

Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

Theories or Frameworks

Any statement of a theory or frameworks should be recorded — they are the main points most of the time.

Definitions

Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, should be written down.

Keep in mind that many fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us.

Arguments and Debates

Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate or your reading should be recorded.

This is the stuff that advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development of the matter of subject.

Advertising

Images

Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, a few words are in order to record the experience.

Obviously it’s overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement about what the class, session or meeting did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience.

Other Stuff

Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (it’s often useful for research papers, for example). Pay attention to other’s comments, too — try to capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding.

Your Own Questions

Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.

3 Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

You don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few techniques that seem to work best for most people.

1. Outlining

Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. For example, in a history class, you might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on.

Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes.

Advertising

For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in), or risk losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before.

2. Mind-Mapping

For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of mind-mapping, but it might just fit the bill.

Here’s the idea:

In the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the center. And so on.

The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches.

If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up using a program like FreeMind, a free mind-mapping program (some wikis even have plug-ins for FreeMind mind-maps, in case you’re using a wiki to keep track of your notes).

You can learn more about mind-mapping here: How to Mind Map: Visualize Your Cluttered Thoughts in 3 Simple Steps

3. The Cornell System

The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes.

Advertising

About a quarter of the way from the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet.

You’ve divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally — you can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of “cues” into the skinny column on the right, questions about the material you’ve just taken notes on. This will help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the questions.

In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of the material you’ve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when you’re trying to find something in your notes later.

You can download instructions and templates from American Digest, though the beauty of the system is you can dash off a template “on the fly”.

The Bottom Line

I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategies people have come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters or colored pens; others a baroque system of post-it notes.

I’ve tried to keep it simple and general, but the bottom line is that your system has to reflect the way you think. The problem is, most haven’t given much thought to the way they think, leaving them scattered and at loose ends — and their notes reflect this.

More About Note-Taking

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

Read Next