Post # 1
I just got engaged last Sunday and am seeing the Fiance this weekend. We haven’t set a date yet and are planning to tell my parents this weekend in person.
I know that my Fiance doesn’t have any debt. Neither do I, except for my home mortgage. This is my first ever engagement and I have never gotten so far with someone that I actually told them how much money I had in the bank, and I have never asked anyone that question.
How do I ask? I want to know, but I don’t want to seem crass. He was laid off last July and has been looking for a job, but has been supporting himself with unemployment payments and options trading. I do see that he is responsible with money and is cost conscious. It concerns me that he was laid off but I haven’t seen him do anything with money that would raise a red flag in my mind. Is it necessary to know every penny your Fiance has in the bank. I don’t have a problem telling him how much I have, but he hasn’t asked me.
How have other folks handled this ? I am leaning towards a very simple ceremony, even an elopement, not because of money, but it is just my preference. So this is not about covering wedding cost
Post # 3
When Fiance & I first moved in together, we sat down with a spreadsheet so we could talk openly about our budget, how much money was coming in, how much is going out, and where it’s going. I don’t know his current balance exactly, and he doesn’t know mine exactly, but as long as we keep an open line of nonjudgemental communication, we are ok.
We talk a lot, and quite openly, about what our future goals are: We both recently got raises so we have discussed what we plan to do with the extra money. We are still planning and paying for our wedding, but I don’t geel guilty about going out and buying that cute pair of shoes, and I don’t judge him for buying comic books and stuff.
Just tell him you want to evaluate where you guys are financially, where you want to be, and what you can do to get there!
Post # 4
Yes, but only because Fiance has been very open with me. I don’t think I would feel comfortable asking. Fiance knows roughly what I have because of our shared expenses. I pay most of our household expenses since he is away a lot so if there is something too big for my student sized bank account I have to tell him!
Post # 5
Well, I asked. It wasn’t entirely easy but I framed it as “now we’re engaged, I think we should start making a budget, so let’s make a list of all our assets and any debts, so we can work out what we can afford.” Full financial disclosure is very important in a marriage but you don’t need to just ask outright if you aren’t comfortable with that. Be prepared for any surprises, though!
Post # 6
We have been together 6 years. We’re not engaGed yet but we own a place together and known eachothersfinances and income since we were dating seriously 8 months in. We share an account as well and our “debt”is combined
Post # 7
We just talk openly about money. And we’re both jobs with fairly low incomes and both have student loan debt, so we’re scraping by and have to make some very hard decisions about money, and we talk about money pretty frequently. Every purchase larger than groceries warrants a discussion, so we know a lot about our shared finances and each others’.
Post # 8
i didnt ask & he didnt tell when we were first engaged & not living together. it was when i moved in with him and brought our stuff together as one that he started to tell me. i was working two jobs so i didnt really care how much he had. he has a great job so money was never really a big thing. we plan on joining accounts soon either before or after the wedding. good luck !
Post # 9
Thank you everyone for all of your helpful replies. I have been floating on a cloud since I got engaged on Sunday, but yesterday the cloud started wearing off as I began to realize we have a TON of things to talk about!
Post # 10
Fiance was really honest about where he was financially. Before we even started looking at rings, he made it clear that he was just pulling himself out of a massive amount of debt. We are still recovering from some of it, and I know exactly how much is paid out to his debt every month because I’m in charge of our finances. We have a joint account that gets the majority of our pay, and I use that account to pay out our bills every month.
I’ve thought the whole time that as soon as we moved in together, his debt became my debt and vice-versa. If he goes down, I go down with him and so I have to know what exactly is going on with his financial situation. Although I felt bad asking, it’s one of those things that I feel you need full disclosure on.
Post # 11
When Fiance and I moved in together, we also started sharing money, so yes I know haha…He didnt want me to worry about paying the bills while I was in school so it just worked for us…
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Since finances are one of the top marriage issues, you’re very wise to want to have this conversation with him. I just recommended reading a Suze Orman book to another bee yesterday- Courage to be Rich has a couple of really good sections on love/combining finances- def. worth a read!
Post # 13
Thank you–I will go to Barnes & Noble today and have a look! 🙂
Post # 14
I think it’s important to have this discussion sooner rather than later. You don’t so much need a number IMO as you need to both sit down and talk about your overall financial picture as well as your goals andeach persons “money philosophy”. Does he have a 401K, what’s his thought on savings and credit cards, how will you save for children,vacation, and retirement etc… You may not need to hash every detail out now but you definitely want to be open about your goals. As far as how to a approach it, I’d just say hey, I think it would be a good idea to sit down together and talk about goals and our financial future. But also, don’t feel like you have to do it THIS WEEK, you just got engaged! You have time 🙂 just don’t put it off too long. And congratulations!
Post # 15
There’s another great book called The Millionaire Next Door that has a lot of info on hanging onto and growing your money once you earn it. I highly recommend it!
Each couple has to find their own financial style; there’s no one right way to do things.
We have a joint checking and a joint savings account, and we each put a pre-set amount into that from every paycheck. We earn roughly the same amount so we contribute equally, but when he earned substantially less, he contributed less. We also have two joint credit cards. Then each of us has our own savings, checking and credit card, we each have a 401(k), and I have a stock portfolio that I started way before I met him. We manage household money separate from personal money; if the house needs a repair or a big purchase, it usually comes from household money unless one of us wants to treat. When we have a big expense looming, we save up for it equally. We’re planning to open another joint savings account just because we’re going to be out of debt in about a year and we know if we don’t have a plan for our money, we’ll spend it wastefully!
As to knowing how much he’s got in the bank— I can give a ballpark guess but honestly as long as the household contributions keep coming in, I don’t much care about his account. It’s his money and if he wants to buy an xbox or fly a friend up from Florida to visit, that’s his business. I don’t need to scrutinize that any more than he needs to question my new iPad purchase.
We do talk about our finances every 6 months and adjust things as needed. This whole setup works really well for us, and while we’ve had some uncomfortable conversations about money (we ran up a lot of debt last year and while it was stuff like a new roof that needed to be done, the bills are scary anyway), we’ve never fought about money.
Post # 16
We actually had the money talks before we were engaged. After all how do you know if you are financially compatible with someone you’d like to spend your life with if you don’t have these talks prior? I’m a little surprised that some wait until after. Just a personal summation, not a scolding.
Maybe it’s because I was married before to someone who was my financial opposite, so I want to know stuff like this in people that I’m dating!
But after we were engaegd (and then moved in together) we had even more talks about money, now they were geared at retirement goals, the wedding, house expenditures, would we support elderly parents, etc. BIG stuff!
We discuss money every week – I’m more like the daily budgeter, and Fiance is the long term budgeter. We want to retire early. I just commented to him over breakfast how we haven’t had one money fight and we’ve been engaged one year.
I don’t think it’s more of a “what does he have in his account” – it’s what are all of his accounts, retirement plans, goals, etc.
“overall financial picture as well as your goals andeach persons “money philosophy”. “