How important is 'money talk' before marriage?

By Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Nov 10 2012 03:02 PM | Updated as of Nov 10 2012 11:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Couples looking to tie the knot should never put aside discussing money, as each other's assets and debts become shared once they wed.

"Do they view money the same way? How about borrowing and spending? These are the things that couples should discuss," Maricris San Diego, vice president and personal banking head at BPI, told ANC's "On The Money".

"They don't necessarily need to be engaged before they discuss money because you start noticing things when you start dating. This (discussing money) is important because in marriage, everything becomes conjugal," she added.

Engaged couples should ask each other "what they own and what they owe" or basically one's assets and liabilities.

Disclosing one's credit history is also very important, as debts will eventually be shared by partners after marriage.

San Diego said couples should also talk about the kind of lifestyle they want to live so they can plan their expenses beforehand, such as purchasing a car, an apartment or a house.

"They should also discuss expectations from each other: who's going to handle the financials, who's going to pay for what, etc.," San Diego said.

The number of children and when the couple plans to have them should also be planned ahead of time as any addition to the family means more expenses.

Moreover, one should also disclose if he or she is expected to continue financially supporting his or her parents or siblings even after marriage.

"They have to discuss the obligations of each of them to parents and siblings. At the same time, they should discuss what kinds of support they are expecting to get or may get from family members," San Diego said.

For married couples, San Diego said, "It is never too late to discuss money matters because marriage is a lifetime commitment."

Basic questions are the same: couples should start recalling what they own and what they owe, and draft a daily, monthly or annual budget.

"A lot of people live without a plan, without a budget. But married couples should really sit down and talk seriously about money," San Diego said.