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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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