Friday, April 14, 2006

Pre-Marital Financial Information

In less than 5 months, I will be a married woman. I've read all sort of articles on what you should know about your partner's financial condition before tying the knot. It's really hard to get information from my fiance since he doesn't know the information and he doesn't really see a need to get it.

His mom takes care of the finances in his family. Since he's been a student for the past several years, my fiance told me that she's contributed to his Roth IRA. I know she looked up his credit score when it became free for us Californians to do so. She mentioned that he had the highest score of his family (mom, dad, sister, and him) since he had the least number of credit cards I think the main issue is he's too lazy to find the information himself and he trusts his mom to make good decisions.

I know about how much my fiance has in taxable accounts (this is our house fund). I know how much he makes since he doesn't have a job. =) I will know how much he makes when he gets a job.

I do not know his credit score nor the balance of Roth IRA (no 401K). He carries no credit card debt, but tends to be more of a spender rather than a saver. I'm not sure if I need to know more or if I should be content with the knowledge I have.


Mike said...

Sounds to me like you need to know a lot more. Once you are married it will become "our" finances, not "his" and "mine." Perhaps you should set up a meeting with his mother and get all of the information. If you are going to be buying a house, a credit score is extremly important. Money is one of the biggest reasons for divorce, which you shouldn't be thinking about before you are married so nip it in the bud before it comes to that.

Miserly Bastard said...

In most relationships, one party tends to manage the household finances. It sounds like this will be you.

You should have a conversation with your fiancee, to discuss how he feels about letting you take the lead in setting budgets & goals.

The next question, of course, is whether he will abide by a mutually agreed-upon budget. However, take this one step at a time.

Tschepsit said...

It sounds like you may want to sit down and have a money discussion with him, just to be sure your spending habits and goals are in sync after you are married. It's much easier to talk about now than afterwards. It doesn't sound like he's dug himself a big financial hole or anything though, so as far as "spenders" go, maybe he's fairly restrained.

Tiredbuthappy said...

If he's content to let somebody else manage his finances, it should be his wife and not his mother. Good luck getting the necessary info out of him. I do think you need more info, and you need to talk about how he feels about letting you drive the family finances. I do think you need to know all his numbers, and he needs to know yours, before you get married. If one of you doesn't like the numbers or what the numbers indicate about possible future money behaviors, maybe you should think about getting a prenup.

My spouse isn't a spender, but he's also not real interested in thinking/talking about money. It can be challenging sometimes.

Chitown said...

This sounds a little sticky with his mom being a middle person between you and your fiancé. Independence is important and it may be a good thing for you to discuss the transfer of the responsibility from his mom to your fiancé himself or to you before the wedding. By establishing your independence as a future married couple, this will help to insure that you and your fiancé are the only influences in your financial relationship. I would definitely recommend that you get a complete picture of each other’s finances and decide how you will handle the financial responsibilities in the house, determining a household budget, and set goals to make sure you both are on the same page. The sooner you have these conversations the more you will be able to enjoy yourself in the months and weeks leading up to your wedding and future. Good luck!!!

mOOm said...

I started to discuss money with my girlfriend who hadn't really thought much about it before because she neither had any money problems nor enough money for long-term saving and she is currently a grad student. She already decided that I will be the money manager when we get married - this is an easy one as I have a lot of knowledge and interest in this area (I'm an economics professor). But she has now gotten quite interested in the subject - bought a book on personal finance etc. I would want to discuss major decisions with her in the future and she has to know the implications of these. Probably your fiance is in a similar situation, though maybe less interested in learning.

calgirlfinance said...

Thanks to everyone who commented! Everyone had such good suggestions and feedback. My fiance and I have agreed that I will be managing the household finances. He is willing to share the info he has, but I need to press him to get more info from his mom to pass onto me. I've already told him that I'm going to set a budget for us and he's agreed to follow it. I've seen him cut back on expenses at times when he's had to, so I think he'll be able to work with the monthly budget. My fiance actually has more money saved up than I do since he's a couple of year older than I am and his mom has set him up for success. I'm hoping that our pre-marital counseling will include sharing about our finances.