Getting married is one of those major stages in life. You find that special person to live with, share your life with, and maybe even start a family with. It's a partnership in every aspect of life, including finances and money management.
Too often you hear people utter that infamous phrase, "If I only knew then what I know now." We don't want that to happen to you. That's why we have created a list of financial tips just for newlyweds.
Get Your Finances Organized
Getting organized and continuing to be organized can mean the difference between financial success and lots of frustration. When you first get married, sit down with your spouse to work on how you want to organize.
Get a clear idea of your financial situation. Then decide how you are going to organize your money management and finances.
- How will bills be paid?
- Who will handle which tasks?
- Where will things be filed?
- When and where will you sit down to talk about finances?
- Where will you keep important documents?
Talk about it all and come to an agreement that will work well for both of you.
Financial Plans, Goals, and Budgets
As newlyweds, it's an exciting time. It's also the perfect time to set goals. Having financial goals is key to achieving those things you want in life. Having financial goals with your spouse also gives you a vision and bond that helps you work together.
As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. It's held up over time because there's truth in it. It's important to make financial plans based on your goals and the kind of life you want. Have a financial plan.
Have questions about making a financial plan? Seek a financial planner that can help.
Making a Budget (and Sticking to It)
Budgets are incredibly helpful. They say money is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Budgets help ensure money is your faithful servant.
Budgeting is simply the process of telling your money where to go. Some may find budgets to be confining or intimidating. However, making and keeping a budget is an opportunity for you and your spouse to live deliberately and see progress toward those financial goals.
Many who consistently live within a budget say this habit provides many benefits, including reduced stress.
Combine Your Accounts
When you get married, it's a good idea to combine accounts. Since you and your spouse will be working on your finances together, having your accounts combined can make your money management easier and more effective. Plus, it helps create better communication with each other.
Communicate with Your Spouse
In order to stay on track and avoid financial pitfalls and traps, make sure to communicate well with your spouse. Discuss financial matters regularly and be clear, open, honest, and respectful. Doing this often makes a big difference in money management. It also makes money management more enjoyable.
Manage Costs and Live within Your Means
This is just common sense. Everyone knows that they should spend less than they earn. In real life, however, this can get tricky.
Sometimes people make that impulse purchase. Sometimes life happens and unforeseen expenses pop up.
Living within your means is a must for financial health. It's that simple. To live within your means, live on a budget and don't try to keep up with your peers.
Be Prepared for Those Important Life Stages
One of the best parts of marriage is knowing you will be experiencing all life has to offer with your spouse. That includes all the big stages in life like buying your first home together, getting the big family vehicle, saving for your children's education, or saving for retirement. It also could include those things you know are going to happen like home repairs and improvements.
Know what stages of life lie ahead and be prepared. Think of them when you are planning and budgeting.
Save Money for Rainy Days
Part of being prepared is saving money. When you get your paycheck, pay yourself first.
Put aside money for an emergency fund. Strive to have three to six months' worth of expenses set aside to help in the case of job loss, major home or auto repairs, and other large expenses. Get in the habit of saving money and you'll be glad you did when those rainy days come around.
Make Investing a Priority
Like saving money, investing is crucial to your future financial well-being. Take advantage of your company 401k or other retirement plans.
However, there are other ways to invest and make the money you set aside grow, like a money market account. It's good if you educate yourself in the area of investment, but don't feel like you have to take everything on yourself.
It might be wise to seek experts in financial planning and investing for guidance and recommendations that are right for you.
Create a Will
It may not be a subject people like to talk about much, but you should create a will. It's wise to think about your loved ones. It's just the responsible thing to do.
Think Long Term
Money management and personal finance in marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. Play to win for the long haul. Don't let short-term thinking undermine your long-term goals and dreams.
Understand your financial position well and make informed decisions that will work for you over the course of your life.
Work Together as Partners
This may be the most important advice. Marriage is a partnership. Work together as partners.
Not only will this make what you do together more meaningful, you are also far more likely to be successful and happy in managing your money and achieving your financial goals. Plus, working together is a habit that may just help in other areas of your life. And, after all, the purpose of money management is to improve your life together.