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30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage

30 Money Questions to Ask Your Fiance BEFORE Marriage
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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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Catherine Alford

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

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Last Updated on November 18, 2020

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)
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It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

  1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
  2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
  3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
  4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
  5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
  6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
  7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
  8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
  9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
  10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
  11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
  12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
  13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
  14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
  15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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