For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. Conversations about money among newly married couples may be an uncomfortable subject at first, but it’s optimal to tackle the matter head-on. Stay proactive about where your sources of income are best allocated, as money management skills are one key to maintaining a stress-free partnership. Developing a clear budget and establishing your shared goals with your significant other will ultimately keep you both on the same page and encourage those goals to be met. Take a look at these tips to discover how to organize your finances once you say “I do.”
1. Have the conversation early
Don’t put off discussing finances with your partner. It is beneficial for both of you to know up front what the other brings to the relationship on the financial front. Discuss the assets and debts you both have, as well as your approaches to managing them. It is important to determine whether you will have a joint bank account, separate bank accounts, or a combination of the two. Starting this conversation sooner rather than later paves the way for understanding and trust looking toward your financial future.
2. Discuss financial priorities and objectives
Establish your expectations and ideal progressions for down the road. According to Money, people who identify specific goals make faster progress toward their saving and investing targets. Creating a clear plan keeps you motivated and more likely to achieve the goals that you have set out for yourself and your partner. For example, are you both looking to buy a house? Do some internal and external research. Take a look at your respective incomes, an ideal budget for the home, and a realistic timeline to keep you on track.
3. Design a budget
Once you have outlined your goals, draft a budget that inclusively accounts for spending, saving and incomes. Saving for retirement or creating an emergency fund are important topics to bring to the table at this time. You want to allocate space for these in your budget, especially considering the importance of saving for retirement early and also having an emergency fund ready to go. Finally, make time in your schedules to review everything periodically and make any necessary changes along the way.
4. Work as a team and exercise accountability
You’ve just shared your vows and are officially married, which means tackling finances together. Be open and honest with each other, making sure not to hide even frivolous purchases or strains on your wallet. Work together on establishing what you consider worthy of splurging on and which areas you can save. Tackling obstacles and celebrating triumphs as a team is always more rewarding in the end.
This new stage in life is both exciting and nerve-wracking. As you step into a marriage role, have the conversation early about the goals and improvements you want to meet. Build your financial future together and prolong that “honeymoon phase” by maintaining the ultimate partnership through smart money choices and financial transparency.