My best friend is getting married soon and it prompted me to have the discussion with them about their individual finances. It wasn’t an in-depth conversation on my part simply because they already know each other so well, financially and otherwise. However, it makes for a great post, so here we go.
Number of credit cards
My friend’s conversation went like this. Note: I’ve edited the names and mushy stuff so as not to make you sick…too late for me, though! ;)
“Hey Edward, how many credit cards do you have that I’m not on?”
“I need to know before we get married. Kristy says it will help us not get a divorce.”
He looked at me and rolled his eyes. I just grinned as we took notes.
Balance and Interest Rate
Now, keep in mind Edward was trying to play a video game and wasn’t really in the mood to play 20 questions.
“Um, what’s the interest rate and balance on that one card?”
“I already told you.”
“Tell Kristy to mind her own business.”
I laughed and explained I didn’t want to know for my own personal information; it was merely a discussion they needed to have. He snorted and went about playing his game.
“Are you going to answer me?”
“Look it up. The statement is in the desk drawer.”
She did, wrote it down, and moved on.
When are the bills paid?
“Um, you pay your bills the day they’re due, right?”
“For crying out loud, do you see me playing this game? Let’s talk about this later!”
“No, I think we should talk about it now. Just pause the game.”
More grumbling ensued as he paused the game and walked into the room where we were sitting. He gave me a dirty look before he tossing himself into a chair and pouting.
“I pay it the day it’s due.”
“I like to pay early.”
“Fine, pay it early.”
“What’s your credit history like?”
“About average…it would be better if you hadn’t decided you wanted this house right now!”
“Don’t get snippy. I’m just asking questions.”
She writes it down and moves on.
“What’s your credit score?”
“Same as it was the last time you asked me.”
“You’re being difficult.”
“So, how can we have a successful marriage if we can’t communicate?”
Note: My two friends here are a little strange, if you haven’t noticed.
“Can I see your credit report?”
At this point he noticed she was reading from a list. Naturally, I gave it to her.
“Are you reading from a freaking (not the word he used) list?”
He looks at me.
“Have I pissed you off lately? Is that why you have her torturing me?”
We laughed at his pained expression and waited for his answer. Although this one was really a moot point as I’ve already sat down with both of them and gone over their reports together. It’s just a formality…and we like to irritate Edward.
“Do you have any money vices I should be aware of?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know, things that you can’t help but spend money on?”
“You’re a lying, son-of-a- “
The volume of my friend’s voice caused me and Edward to look at her a little askance. She rolled her eyes, wrote it down, and moved on to the next question.
“What are our financial goals for later in life?”
“I don’t know.”
“Yeah, me neither.”
They tried to skip this one, but I wouldn’t let them. I asked instead where they saw themselves in five years. Edward said he wanted to have his business degree and have my friend stay home with the kids. She said that was fine with her.
Once that was decided I asked what kind of salary he wanted to make. He looked at me with a deer in the headlights look and rambled off $100k. She wrote it down and we moved on – he was clearly uncomfortable.
“What are our assets?”
“The house and the life insurance policies. If I die, you’ll be set for life, but don’t get any funny ideas!”
She laughed, writing everything down.
“Do you want kids?”
Mumbling, “Not that it matters…we’ll have them anyway.”
“See how she is. She’s making me answer all these stupid questions and I don’t see her answering them.”
“But you already know my answers.”
“And you know mine.”
“No, I didn’t know some of this.”
Lest you think Edward is really mad at me, he’s not. He’s just a contrary person and doesn’t like to do what he’s supposed to do. And I only mentioned these questions to her, she decided to ask them right then and there just for fun – though I don’t think Edward would agree…hehe.
Debt from previous relationships
“Do you have debt from any other relationships?”
“You better not.”
“What if I did? What would you do about it?”
“We wouldn’t get married until you paid it off.”
“We’re not getting married now until we pay off our debt, what’s the difference?”
“Don’t be a jerk!”
“I’m just asking a question. What I’m not allowed?”
She ignored him and moved on to the last question. He growled in frustration.
Kids from a previous relationship
She doesn’t even ask, she just writes “Hell no!”
But, this question was supposed to ask how a couple plans to financially support kids from a previous relationship.
The exchange was actually quite funny because I know they were only doing it since I brought it up. I don’t know if they’ve seriously sat down and talked about it, but I’m sure they have since they’re both responsible people. However, people as a general rule don’t always share this information – and that’s the why the number one reason for divorce in the US is money.
Have you, or did you, have the talk with your fiancee/fiance?