When couples decide to marry, there are a slew of decisions that need to be made. Combining finances can be a stressful experience for many newlyweds, especially if money was never the topic of discussion. It may be a bit confusing wondering what to do and where to start—not to mention learning to communicate on the matters of money in a meaningful way.
The following tips can help ease the transition from single money management to joint money management:
Long-Term Financial Plan
Every newlywed couple should create a long-term financial plan—this means setting up a joint savings account, having an emergency fund, determining beneficiaries and setting up insurance plans. Even married couples who decide to keep their finances separate should plan ahead and set these things up for the future.
Whether one or both parties have outstanding debt, pay it off as soon as possible. Student loan debt and credit cards can carry high interest rates, which makes paying them off seem nearly impossible. If there is too much debt, it’s time to cut back on spending and concentrate on saving. Debt can pile up rather quickly, so be sure to get hot on the horn to find a way to tackle it one step at a time.
Couples that have too much outstanding debt are going to have a world of problems. For example, having crippling debt can make it extremely difficult to secure a place to live. Lenders will be less likely to give you a loan. It’s crucial to pay off any outstanding debt before getting married because it’ll be easier on both of you in the future.
Budgeting may not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s certainly not as difficult as some people make it out to be. In fact, with two separate incomes, newlywed couples have it easy. All it takes is for them to sit down, go over each bill separately and see what’s left to spare. Maintaining a proper budget opens the door to many opportunities for the future, such as purchasing a house or saving for retirement.
Couples who spend and squander money without a plan are going to have a lot of issues down the road. It may prove to be difficult at first, but once the finances are in order, every newlywed couple has the tools to prosper.
Christopher Jacob is a Registered Representative with Saxony Securities, Inc. Securities offered through Saxony Securities Inc. (SSI). Member FINRA, SIPC. Non-security products and services or tax services are not offered through SSI. Cadeau is not affiliated with SSI.