No one's saying you have to tell your future husband all the tawdry details of your past. However, full financial disclosure is an absolute must.
Financial stress is the top cause of divorce and fighting among married couples. To avoid this oh-so-common pitfall, couples should schedule a financial sit-down well before the big day. Take this opportunity to expose all financial demons: loans of any variety (student, car and mortgage), credit card debt, outstanding medical bills and the like. Run credit checks to find any red flags that could prevent or delay future purchases.
Although retirement may seem eons away, it's never too soon to start planning for the future. Discuss your budget and the percentage of all incomes that should be dedicated to retirement, college funds for the kiddos and general savings. Take steps to prevent financial discord by having regular, calm discussions about any concerns, rather than pointing fingers in a he-said, she-said manner.
Couples with modest incomes who are open and honest about their financial expectations are more likely to ride off into the sunset than big-spender counterpart couples.