SUSIE GHARIB: Moving along here, in case you didn’t notice, it’s leap year,
and that has got Karen Gibbs thinking about marriage. In tonight’s “Money
File,” she says couples need to do a lot of getting to know you when it
comes to joining their finances.
KAREN GIBBS, FOUNDER, THE GIBBS PERSPECTIVE: This year is leap year,
a time when women can turn the tables on men and propose marriage. But no
matter who pops the question, vow to discuss these issues before saying “I
do.” How much do you earn? How much do you owe? Are you a saver or a
spender? What’s your credit score? How will you split financial
responsibilities– 50/50 or some other ratio? Will you have joint or
separate checking and savings accounts? Do you want children? Are there
children outside of the marriage?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a middle-income,
two-parent household will spend nearly $227,000 just to raise a child to
age 18. Add another $100,000 if you’re planning on paying for four years
of college, and you can see the need for a frank discussion about finances.
Are your financial goals aligned? Where do you want to be five, ten, 20
years from now? Disagreement over money is one of the top reasons
marriages end in divorce, but talking about money and setting joint
financial goals will go a long way toward easing the stress and achieving
peace of mind. Give yourself the advantage. Start the conversation now.
I’m Karen Gibbs.