The four money questions you need to ask your partner before you marry them.

Congratulations – you’re getting married (or at least thinking about it).

And while we’re sure your mind is busy with dress fittings and seating arrangements, we’d like to draw your attention to one detail you might not have thought about. Your money.

No, not the dosh you’re spending on your big day. The money currently sitting in your bank account, and your partner’s bank account, which will soon likely become known as “our money”.

It’s worth starting a conversation about your finances before you exchange vows and legally bind yourself to each other, lest there be any surprises.

Experienced financial planner Catherine Robson tells Mamamia there are four questions to ask your partner before you wed which will reveal their financial habits and start a conversation about money.

1. Do you have more than one credit card?

What you’re going to find out asking this one, is what your partner’s normal style of money management is. Something very important to know once it’s also your money.

“If you’ve got a partner who is really on top of things, most often they’ll be the type of person who only has one credit card, they know exactly how much their limit is and they make sure they don’t have too much availability of credit,” Robson, who is the founder of Melbourne financial advising firm Affinity Private.

“You get yourself into trouble when you don’t really know how much money you’ve got to spend and you keep spending until you run into trouble.

“It’s a good barometer for how your partner manages their spending.”

Start the conversation before your big day. (Image via Getty.)

2. Do you pay the minimum payment on your credit card each month or the full balance?

Robson says this will give you further insight into what kind of financial discipline they have and what their attitude to debt is.

"If you've got really strong financial discipline you'll use your card as a way to facilitate transactions, not to expand your spending capability," Robson, who is also a supporter of Super Woman Money, says.

"If there's going to be issues and conflict around money, often it's about how much you spend, and what you spend, and how you spend.


"The way you use credit cards is often a good insight into that."

This is also the casual way you can start a conversation with your spouse about how many debts they may have, which you'll obviously want to know about.

3. Do you save part of what you earn every month?

Making sure your spending expectations and savings goals are aligned is important in avoiding fights about money, says Robson.

"This relates back to the question, 'do you think it's good to save money for a rainy day?'."

"Where there's often tension in a relationship is where you have one person who wants to be putting money away for that sense of security and you've got one who is happy to live for the moment and use all the resources they have available."

Robson says when it comes to a relationship one approach isn't necessarily better than the other, but you want to understand from the outset what your partner's attitude is.

4. What was the most important lesson your parents taught you about money?

Sounds sweet and nostalgic, right? Well, this question will save you lots of heartache and arguments later on, says Robson. It gives you an insight into what your partner was taught about money and where their attitude to money came from.

"You hopefully can avoid stepping on some of those emotional landmines of making your partner feel bad about money because you have different beliefs about how you use money."

Because the last thing you want to do is have a calm conversation about money lead to a war of words about who had the better upbringing.


Listen: Mia spoke to the Barefoot Investor Scott Pape on No Filter. 

You might feel like there are some questions missing here, like: "how much do you earn?" but Robson says there's a reason for this.

"The discussions you have about money at the outset of the long-term relationship is less about 'how much money do you have?' and 'how much money do I have?' and 'how much money are you going to earn in the future?'."

She says it's "more about attitudes towards money and beliefs about money" and making sure those are aligned - or at the very least you have a plan to align your goals so you're on the same page going into the future.

"In my experience, this is one of the best ways to avoid conflict around money – that is making sure that you have similar, and more importantly, complementary beliefs, values and goals about money with your partner," she says.

Robson adds that you should also chat about how you plan to combine your finances once you're married and make sure you both have a clear idea of what your combined budget is going to look like.

And if you're the type of couple who likes taking quizzes and wants further insight into your partner or your financial literacy and personality, these are two helpful questionnaires Robson recommends: financial personality quiz and three-question financial literacy quiz.

Best of luck with your money chat - and deciding who should sit next to Uncle Rob.