Newly Married Questions: Financial Matters

Photo credit: Tax Credits / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: Tax Credits / Foter / CC BY

The more you know about how your mate thinks and feels about a wide variety of issues and the more discussions you have in the honeymoon period of your marriage, the fewer surprises you will encounter later.

Questions uncover assumptions that might otherwise become invisible, emotional “land mines” that will explode unexpectedly and cause major damage to your relationship later. These questions provide a “shovel” which you can use to dig out the hidden mines before you step on them.

We do not want to put unnecessary stress on a relationship, but rather simply bring to light those areas in which there is existing agreement or disagreement.

As you discuss these questions, you may find only three or four that are potentially relationship-threatening disagreements. Work through these potentially explosive areas during the “deeply in love” part of your relationship.

Few areas of married life cause more yelling, pouting, and throwing of things than the financial area.

To the extent that you are making different financial assumptions, it is likely that you will go through your marriage with some severe strains in this area. Discussing your financial assumptions will help reduce the amount of frustration, pressure, and tension you experience in this area throughout your married life.

Make sure your assumptions are compatible in this area today!

1. Who’s going to write the checks to pay our monthly bills in our household?

2. Who’s going to balance the bank statement each month?

3. What are your feelings about joint versus separate checking accounts?

4. How would you honestly describe yourself as a money manager?

5. How much money should we spend on furniture the first year? What about buying good used furniture? What furniture style do you prefer?

6. Do you see both of us working this next year? If so, for how long?

7. How much income would you like us to make (together) this next year?

8. In today’s economy, how expensive a house (in your dreams) do you want to live in? In five years? Ten years? Twenty years?

9. What do you think about credit cards? Which cards should we keep (if any)?

10. Do you see yourself as “good with keeping books” or “bad with keeping books”?

11. Will our income support the standard of living you’ve become accustomed to? If not, what adjustments do we need to make?

12. What are your feelings about a monthly budget?

13. What do we need to do with my car, your car? What kind of car would you ideally like to drive? In five years? Ten years? Twenty years?

14. How much money do you currently spend each month on clothing? How much do we need to plan to spend on clothing during this year? How much would you like to spend per year in five years? Ten years?

15. What are your total financial obligations right now? (In some situations this is a critical question.)

16. What are your feelings about a will? When do you think we should have one made? Why?

17. How much money should we spend a year on luxury items such as jewelry, furs, athletic equipment, trips, etc.?

18. What percentage should we tip a server who does an outstanding job? An average job? A poor job?

19. How do you feel about borrowing money from our parents or relatives?

20. How do you feel about loaning money to our parents or relatives?

21. How much should you have to pay to gave your hair cut? Styled? What is a suitable tip for these services?

22. If we inherited a million dollars, what would you want to do with it?

23. What percent of our income should we give to the place of worship we attend? Why?

24. What percent of our income should we give to charitable organizations? Which ones?

25. How much life insurance should we have? Health insurance? What company? Why?

26. Do you want to invest some of our money? How? When?

27. How much should we spend on a getaway weekend?

28. How would you have the most amount of fun if we only have five dollars spend some evening?

29. How much should we spend on special occasions like:

Birthdays: each other’s, parents, children, friends, others (your name)

Anniversaries: our own; parents, friends, relatives, others

Other special days: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day

Christmas: each other’s gift, parents, children, other relatives, coworkers, friends, decorations?

30. Who should do the gift buying? If it’s usually the same person, how does the other one help?

31. What should be the dollar limit on purchases made without the other’s knowledge? Why?

32. Prioritize the following typical household items as to their importance to you.

___ Athletic equipment

___ Color TV

___ Dishwasher

___ Food processor

___ Hobby items

___ Bedroom furniture

___ DVD Player

___ Washer/Dryer

___ Compact disc player

___ Dining room furniture

___ Food dehydrator

___ Freezer

___ Living room furniture

___ Microwave

___ Stereo system

___ Video camera

___ Other: _____________


The above thoughts and questions come from a small booklet entitled, “Making the Most of Your Honeymoon Year” by Bobb and Cheryl Biehl. Unfortunately this book is no longer in print. Bobb can be reached at bobbbiehl.com (where you could inquire to see if Bobb possibly has any copies of the book to sell) and is a charter member of the Focus on the Family board of directors. Cheryl is an author/speaker and a charter member of Trinity Forum. Bobb and Cheryl have been married since August 1964. They have two adult children and enjoy scuba diving and European travel as hobbies.

— ALSO —

For a related article to read on this subject, please click onto the Baptist Press web site to read:

FINANCIAL TIPS FOR NEWLYWEDS

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Filed under: Finances in Marriage Newlyweds & Beyond

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Comments

6 responses to “Newly Married Questions: Financial Matters

  1. (USA) Hello, I have some issues. I have talked to my husband and he just tells me if something happens to him, to contact his job for insurance information. I don’t know the house payment, bills or anything. He had this house before we got married a little over a year ago in 2007, so who is the beneficiary, me because we are married, or whoever he put down when he bought house?

    I have my own checking account and he has his. So, my concern is that if something were to happen to him, such as a hospital stay, coma or something where he can’t make decisions, what do I do? My name is not on any of his accounts. I would not be able to make the house payment, pay the light bill or or anything. I don’t work, so it’s not like I have the means to take care of business. I don’t even know who the house payment goes to. What do I do?

    I just can’t get him to realise how important this matter is. He is about 11 years younger than me and I guess he thinks nothing can happen to him? I don’t know…..any information you can provide so that i can inform him would be great.
    thanks.

    1. (CANADA)  Bill and Marriage Reply: I think it’s important to have access to his accounts and your name on it because of emergency. I also think it’s vital that know the bills for your house even if you may not pay.

      Money Matters Issue: I am a person that likes to save, but my husband is not. He lives by faith for each day. I make more than him and sometimes it annoys me because the finances are combined. I like the idea of saving and working toward a goal but with a child it seems as if more is required. We both work very hard and pay our tithes. We spend thrifty and believe that God will take us to new seasons very soon. “The wealth of the wicked is laid up for the just.” In Jesus name, we have faith that Jesus will do exceedingly and abundantly.

  2. (USA) D, Hey girl, Be honest with your feelings to him. Let your hubby know that you are interested in learning about the finances of your household and that you’d like to know what to do in the event something horrible did happen? Help him to understand why you’re so concerned. Don’t just make it seem like you don’t trust that he’ll take care of you because that’s most likely why he’s so defensive. But if you ask him to teach you how, because you’re truly wanting to learn from him, then he might not be so defensive. Best advice ever… Pray about it. GOD’s the best teacher, consoler, and confidant. Love ya, LYNNE

  3. (UNITED STATES)  I have some concerns when it comes to the finances in my marriage. My husband is responsible for paying the bills. When we got married, we agreed that he would do that because I am actually tired of doing it and I didn’t want to be responsible for it. I have two checking accounts and my husband has his own account. He has his paycheck going to his account, and my paycheck goes to my account, however he has access to both my accounts and his own account. I asked about having both of our paychecks in one account that way we truly know how much money we have and how to manage it better. There have been times where certain bills were missed because the money was in wrong account.

    Furthermore, I feel like he tries to restrict me with our money. Meaning if I use $20 or more out of my account he approaches me as if it is a problem. He wants me to let him know every time I need to spend money. On the flip side of that, he using money out of his account and my account to make purchases and does not inquire with me at all. I have tried to talk to my husband about how the finances are currently being financed. That we need to establish a savings, and plan a budget. He goes back to, well “I have been working on it”.

    I don’t know how to get him to see that the finances should be a joint effort. I am very frustrated and don’t know what to do. I pray about this to God often, as I am faced with it everyday and it is wearing on me. Sometimes I cannot eat or sleep and I don’t want to be mean, or insensitive towards my husband, but I don’t know what to do. If we don’t come to an agreement on how to handle our finances it is only going to escalate.

    Additionally, I do not have access to my husband’s account and when I asked him about it, he eluded my question. Please help me! I’m hurting and dont know where to turn. I cry out to God about this… Am I too angry to hear his voice? My husband is a strong man of God. However, I think he is too strong sometimes, as it relates to this area in our finances.

  4. (USA)  Wow, keep praying but ask God to lead you to a God fearing, God guided, Christian counselor(s) who will help you sort out and separate emotions from relality!

    Being a Christian does not mean we have to be a door mat or be a strong unresponsive pillar. Marriage is a two way street with one way (God’s way).

    He really needs a wake call! He is missing the point of unity. I, too, face this in a way. I’ve been married for 32 years, and every time I talk to him about finances, oh yeah, we will discuss it, and it is always not conveniently brought up again. So when bill collectors call or notices come, I politely show them to him and say in a non threatening voice tone, these really need addressing, hun!

    He says, oh okay, I forgot or something to that affect. It does hurt, because I feel like he does not trust me enough. Even though I did the bills and like you, I got tired of it and tired of his questioning how I was handling the bills. So now, I just remind him.

    Read the word. In Proverbs it says a man that finds a wife, finds a good thing. Pray that his eyes are opened and seeks godly counsel! Don’t get impatience because that is when the enemy really plays with your thoughts and actions! Blessings!

  5. (USA) I’ve been married now for three months. My husband has two children previous to our marriage, meaning he pays child support. It’s really starting to effect our household due to having trouble making ends meet. Its gotten to the point where I’m paying majority of everything on my own. I don’t know how to talk to him about it because I know he is doing all that he can, however I dont feel like it’s fair to me.

    I’m six months pregnant working full time cooking cleaning and going to school. I love him with all my heart. It’s just frusrating that I can’t lean on my husband for support. I’m worried once our son is born that we will lose everything that we have built due to my maternity leave. I pray everyday that God will give us favor in himself and in man and keep us strong where we are weak. I just feel content every morning I wake up feeling like, is this really my life?