In order to make sure you’re on the same page, you should be having regular, sit-down conversations with your spouse to ensure that your finances are on the right track. Here are some questions and topics that you and your spouse should cover during these conversations.
WHAT ARE OUR GOALS?
Prioritizing what is important to you will help determine where money is going when you create your budget. For example, if you both you and your spouse want to buy a home in the future, saving for a down payment will be high on your list.
ARE WE ON TRACK FOR THOSE GOALS?
It’s not enough to just have goals, you need to make sure you have a plan to get there. Check your progress towards bigger ticket items such as savings, paying down debt, college funds, retirement, etc. If you aren’t on track, you may need to move some things around to make sure you are where you need to be.
WHAT MISTAKES HAVE WE MADE?
If you’re having these conversations regularly, it should be easy to look back on your budget and see where you as a couple made mistakes. Maybe you spent more than you had planned or an unexpected expense that you weren’t prepared for happened. Come up with a plan to help avoid these issues in the future. Remember that a budget should always be evolving depending on what you need at the moment.
HOW IS OUR DEBT?
Whether it’s student loans, credit cards, etc. you should always have a plan on how to eliminate your debt. Instead of just paying off things here and there, it’s best come up with a debt elimination plan so you can ensure that you’re saving the most money while dealing with your debt.
WHAT ARE OUR CREDIT SCORES?
Credit scores are the baseline which decides whether or not you will receive a loan. While you don’t have a joint score once you’re married, your spouse’s score can have the potential to impact your credit and vice versa. You can request a free detailed copy of your credit from each of the three credit bureaus every year and several financial institutions provide free access to your score all the time. Make sure that everything is correct so you don’t run into an issue down the line.