DEAR HARRY: My boyfriend and I have decided to get married next May. We have been dating for almost two years, and have never even talked about money. We have seen a number of our friends get into trouble about who spends for what, and we don't want to get hurt. Can you give us some pointers on what we should resolve ahead of time?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: Most ofcoursely! First, lay out your credit histories. This is important in learning how you each deal with money.
Is only one of you a saver? What does your saving consist of? What are your goals regarding retirement? Will you have children? Will you have some separate accounts or will they all be joint? Consider changing the beneficiaries of your retirement accounts and insurance plans. Review all your life, health and insurance policies to see that coverage is adequate. If you are considering a name change, be sure to notify your banks and the Department of Transportation. Hash out any differences on the amounts you need to set for weekly personal "allowances." Set up a tentative budget. This incorporates many of the items noted above. Make adjustments as you compare it with what you're actually doing.
Be sure to keep your cool as you do all this planning. Get professional help if you hit any tough snags.