Being a newlywed is an amazing feeling. With all the hard work of the big day behind you, it’s finally time to relax, take in all the love, and most importantly, begin the rest of your lives together. Unfortunately, one of life’s most common problems can quickly spoil the post wedding bliss, especially with related credit card balances, housing needs, and honeymoon costs hitting the books- Debt. Hopefully, your wedding gifts will help set you on the proper financial path towards building a substantial nest egg for either a home or family, but sadly that isn’t always the case.
If newlyweds don’t start their marriage off with a clear cut plan of both how they see their financial future together and who will handle which duties regarding bills, they are setting themselves up for failure. It is in this light that we offer these three helpful tips to our recently married friends in hopes that they will start things off on the right foot, while enjoying a lifetime full of health, happiness, and…..prosperity!
- Choose How Many and Which Kinds of Bank Accounts You Need
Depending on your living situation prior to marriage, this may have already been decided, but you and your partner should immediately discuss which type of bank account structure will work best for you moving forward. Do you want to just have one larger joint account together, or do you want to have a combination of personal accounts and one joint account for family purchases. The biggest cause of fights in most relationships is money and for some couples, it may be a good idea to allot each other some flexibility with a small personal account. If you opt for this route, however, make sure you both agree upon a percentage of your paychecks that will go into your joint account for emergencies and bigger purchases. Being fair and keeping things equal will go a long way in not only stabilizing your bank account, but your marriage too.
- Get a Schedule Made and Assign Roles Early
One of life’s inevitable facts of marriage is that living together, having a family and raising kids, all brings along a ton of bills. Map out the due dates of each of your payments and create an easily accessible calendar that highlights your plan of action for each month. Next, assign roles in not only paying the bills, but managing the incoming pertinent mail and keeping filed records on each vendor too. Some couples work best splitting the duties up, while others will ultimately decide to choose one person to fully handle the responsibility. The important thing is to help each other and at the very least understand your obligations/payment methods, regardless of your involvement.
- Sit Down and Come to a Mutual Agreement on Spending
Let’s face it, you’re not going to always be together every step along the way during your lives, so you should come together as a couple and define what spending means to each of you. Make sure you both talk about important subjects like weekly allowances, what percentage of each check should go to savings, and of course, lending friends and family money. Additionally, set a finite cost that requires your partner to contact you to discuss the purchase before it is completed; this one alone is guaranteed to save a few fights. If you begin to view and buy life’s necessities in the same manner as each other, it will only lead to a more predictable spending habit that enables an easier created budget overall.