We asked a handful of couples financial questions to see who was on the same page about their money habits. While no couple got every question correct, it became clear that there are a few important issues everyone should talk about with their partner before they start sharing expenses.
From the somewhat superficial to the definitely necessary, we have you covered.
1. What monthly bills are you both paying?
Lots of streaming sites and entertainment portals allow multiple people to create profiles under the same account, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify and Google Play. Even though the monthly costs for each service may seem low, you could save hundreds a year by taking an hour to consolidate accounts with your partner.
Fitness centers like the YMCA will also give you a deal on a family membership, so you don't each have to pay separately for the gym.
Do you each need to keep your car?
Go through your various subscriptions and monthly payments. If you figure out how you can streamline, you can save big.
2. Are you planning on any big life changes in the next few years?
Thinking idly about switching careers? Going back to school? Having kids and staying home with them? Clue your partner in. However obvious you think your plans are, they may be assuming you want something completely different.
If you don't tell them you want more, they may assume you'll stay in your lucrative but unfulfilling job forever. They may even be banking on it.
Whether or not you rely on each other financially, it's useful to make sure you're on the same page about your personal and shared goals. Otherwise you may find your dreams of retiring to Costa Rica at 60 dashed by a partner who figures they'll never retire so why bother even trying to save.