Unwed Couples Need Full Financial Disclosure

February 12, 2014
by Michelle Perry Higgins

Start Shopping for Long-Term-Care Insurance at 45What’s one financial tip you’d give to young couples who live together, but aren’t married?

Two words: Disclose everything. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to have the “financial talk” with your loved one, even if it means airing dirty laundry or admitting humiliating mistakes; they will all come out eventually.  Most importantly, don’t hide your spending habits or that pile of debt. Lay it all on the line and re-visit the topic of personal finance at least once a week for a good half hour or so.  Otherwise, this could become a sore subject (or even a deal-breaker) in your relationship very quickly.

Here are a few topics to get your conversations started:

*  Talk through your spending and saving patterns to ensure you are both on the same page. If you aren’t, determine the challenges you may face.

*  Ask each other if you have control issues with your money.

*  Disclose whether you are a saver or spender.

*  Talk about your expectations for merging funds once you get married.

*  Discuss how the two of you will handle the finances and if it will be a team effort.

*  Many of us learned about money from our parents.  Communicate with each other what your family values were surrounding money.