According to Wikipedia, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”, is a game in which young children compare…. Well you know what I am talking about. “It is driven by curiosity and the thrill of breaking the taboo.”
Just the title of the article either made you giggle or be slightly outraged. That really doesn’t matter to me, yet I do want you to show me yours!
YOUR CREDIT REPORT.
Why do I want you to show me yours? In a society where credit decisions impact our ability to buy nearly everything, I don’t want to acquire your bad credit, past due loans, or unpaid taxes. I have spent years working on mine, and since we are about to join together I want to know all about yours.
RELATIONSHIPS & MONEY
Arguing about money is the top predictor of divorce, according to Sonya Britt, a Kansas State University researcher.
Her research, found that couples who argued about money early in their relationships — regardless of their income, debt or net worth — were at a greater risk for divorce.
“Arguments about money [are] by far the top predictor of divorce,” she said. “It’s not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It’s money — for both men and women.”
Adding to this research is a forthcoming report by Federal Reserve Economists on the role of credit scores in divorce.
According to John Ulzheimer, credit expert at CreditSesame.com, “A credit score has value in determining whether or not you should get into a long-term relationship with someone. If your credit score is significantly different, higher or lower, than your soon-to-be spouse, then you two have very different credit experiences and likely have different credit management attitudes, which does not bode well for a harmonious relationship.”
Furthermore, Ulzheimer said, “poor credit can not only can doom a marriage, but it can also bleed on for many years after a divorce if you had chosen to apply jointly with a now ex-spouse for credit cards or loans.”
SHOW ME YOURS
As unromantic as it may seem, before anyone plans to marry and spend the rest of their lives with someone, couples must discuss money matters. In fact, even before the engagement, there should be mandatory pre-financial counseling with a professional specifically trained in this area.
My advice is to do it in the beginning before the ring is bought. I strongly believe money is one of the top reasons for divorce. Arguments within the marriage can be avoided if the couple is completely honest about his/her money habits and reveals it to the other person.
This is especially true for couples entering into a second marriage where lingering issues with a former spouse may cloud the financial picture.
A 10 STEP PLAN FOR SHOWING ME YOURS
If you haven’t already, here are ten steps you should do as a couple financially:
1. Take a look at each other’s credit reports and credit scores.
2. Know each other’s current annual salaries and your hopes for future income.
3. Determine who is a spender and who is a saver.
4. Talk about how you plan to pay any outstanding debts.
5. Specifically discuss how old debts will be handled. Does one spouse expect the other to pay, to help pay, or is there a bankruptcy lurking in your future?
6. Now is the time to come clean about any past bankruptcies or other major events in your financial past.
7. Discuss spending and budgeting. If one of you doesn’t know what a budget is, I suggest you get one.
8. Disclose if you have co-signed a loan for anyone.
9. Develop financial goals for the next five years.
10. Decide what your long-term financial goals are and how you will fund them.
As uncomfortable as the subject may be, talk this out before you get married. You may have differences, but is the gap too wide to overcome?
I would enjoy hearing back from you about your experiences in joining together and the discussions you had about money.
If you know of someone who might enjoy or benefit from our weekly WE:Connect, then please forward this to them or email me and I will make sure they receive the weekly email.