Many parents never discuss subjects like credit with their children, so perhaps it's not too surprising that as those children grow into adulthood it's not a topic that they bring up with their intended as they plan for their married life.
A recent poll posted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 68 percent of respondents held negative attitudes towards discussing money with their fiancés. Of those respondents, 45 percent said that such a talk would be a necessary but awkward conversation; 11 percent said that such talks would reveal financial issues that they weren’t aware of; and five percent said that having such a discussion would cause them to call off the wedding.
Only about one third of those responding—32 percent—felt that talking about money would be an easy and productive conversation to have.
"It is telling that two people who intend to spend the rest of their lives together would see a conversation about money as so disconcerting," said Gail Cunningham, NFCC spokesperson. "The ability to have open and honest discussions is key to a successful marriage. Regardless of how difficult it may be, the conversation about personal finances is one that should neither be ignored nor postponed. As a matter of fact, to increase the odds of making 'happily-ever-after' a reality, the discussion should take place before the 'I do' and not after."
Couples need to decide many issues, such as how and if they’re going to share accounts, whether or not they’ll pay for things separately or from a joint account, and how much money each is going to have to spend at their own discretion.
Here are some suggestions from NFCC for that much-needed financial conversation:
“The fact of the matter is that people bring financial baggage into a relationship, but often don’t deal with it until problems arise. Baggage can come in the form of a poor credit rating, significant debt, or no experience managing money. Regardless of the issue, the time to address money differences is up front, before the financial bottom falls out. Court records show that financial stress is one of the main causes of divorce. Taking action now could prevent a disaster later,” continued Cunningham.