The Newlywed Game Show

Have you ever heard of the Newlywed Game Show? It’s probably not what you’re thinking. There is no game show set from the 70’s, no flashing lights or buzzers to signal a wrong answer, but best of all there is no cheesy host with perfectly done hair.

How to Play

The Newlywed Game Show is a game I learned many years ago at summer camp – think very low tech – and is played in tandem with a new friend. As a camper. and again as a camp counselor, I loved playing this “get to know you game” with a new group of people. The game is set up in a way that allowed the players to learn a lot about each other in a short period of time. To win the game, you and your partner as “couple” had to know more about each other than the other “couples” in the game.

This post isn’t about my days at camp – those would be fun stories to share – its about how well do you know your significant other? This is a question that is examined over and over again as newly engage or married couple. From my recent personal experience, this question was asked in fun and creative ways using games at my bridal and bachelorette parties. Not to brag, but I did pretty well in being able to correctly identify and answer questions about my now husband!!

While its fun to check in with your partner to make sure know the other person’s favorite food, there are other more pressing areas of focus that you should be talking about to make sure there is compatibility and are on the same page. From our experience in pre-marital counseling, there was a focus on our compatibility on topics like raising a family and resolving conflict. I was surprised with how little time was spent on discussing financial matters. It is equally important to make sure you and your spouse see eye-to-eye when it comes to your future household finances.

Every couple will approach the financial discussion differently. For me and my husband, are both in finance so this conversation came natural to us. We talked openly about our financial situations early on in our relationship. For other couples, they choose to reserve the financial discussion until they feel it’s a “serious” relationship and see a future with the other person.

Start the Conversation

Regardless of when and how the conversation begins, it’s important to have the financial conversation. If you are struggling with how to start the conversation with your significant other and don’t know what to ask, i’ve included a list of questions below to help start and guide the conversation:

Questions to Ask

  • What does money mean to you?
  • What are your money values?
  • How do you approach financial decisions?
  • Do you keep a budget?
  • How much do you make in your job? Are you paid a salary, commission, a mix of both?
  • How do you approach making purchases, cash, debit cards, credit cards?
  • Do you carry a credit card balance or pay off in full each month?
  • Do you have any savings? Where do you bank?
  • Do you have an liabilities (debts)? What caused them and do you have a plan to pay them off?
  • How are we going to pay for the wedding?
  • Are we going to combine financial accounts?

Keep The Conversation Going

I recently recorded a podcast with one of my co-workers on this exact topic. Our conversation went beyond the financial discussion with your significant other before marriage. We dove into strategies on how to co-mingle (or not) accounts, budgeting and continuing these money discussion after marriage. I’ve linked the recording here if you want to take a listen.

Photography by Meg Dunn Photography