Congratulations! Now Get to Your Finances
If you are newly married, then there is no doubt that you have a million things on your agenda when it comes to your future life. When will you have children? Will you buy a home? When will you go on vacation? How often will you see your family? There are so many things that you are going to need to discuss as a married couple, but there is an important aspect of marriage that needs to be talked about early on: how will you manage your finances? Money problems and disagreements are one of the main causes of arguments in marriage, so start your marriage outright by following the following five tips.
Have an Affordable Wedding
This is really a tip that you should have followed before you got married. Do not have a wedding that you cannot afford. So many couples get into debt before they even get married, and you do not have to be one of them. Instead of putting your wedding on credit cards, save up for your wedding. Only have a wedding that you can pay for. Everyone’s budget is different, so get together with the people in your life who are going to help pay for your wedding, and do things right.
Affordable weddings are more and more popular, particularly during the pandemic with social distancing rules in place. A wedding is meant to be an intimate ceremony, changing your frame of mind may allow you to shorten your guest list and save on smaller venues. Planning an affordable wedding is also a great opportunity for you and your fiance to work on some DIY wedding projects like decorations. You can also help pay for the wedding by asking your guests to gift you money instead of things from a registry which is a trend more and more newlyweds are doing as young couples often need financial support more than new toasters.
Your wedding can be as beautiful as you dream without having to break your bank. Save, create, ask for support, and consider downsizing.
Make a Budget
If you do not know where your money is going, there is no way that you are going to be able to get control of your money. A budget gives all of your money a destination. A budget does not have to be complicated. You can sit down with your spouse and write out your budget on paper, or you can put your budget on a fancy spreadsheet if you would like. Make sure that every single one of your dollars is accounted for.
Creating a budget is an exercise in trust and communication between you and your partner. A budget allows both of you to be honest and direct about your finances including your debts and credit. When you decide to marry someone, you are also agreeing to take on their financial burdens. This can be really difficult to deal with, particularly for younger newlyweds, but making a budget together is your first step on the road to financial stability as a couple. Be sure to keep in mind what it will mean to merge your accounts and consider consulting an accountant to understand the effect this merger will have on your credit scores and taxes. When you have a budget, you control your money and your money does not control you.
Get Out of Debt
If you and your spouse are in debt, do your best to get out of debt as soon as possible. Remember that your partner’s debt is now your debt; there are no “I”s in marriage, there are only “we”s. Since that is the case, get a plan together with your partner in order to pay off debt quickly. Talk about things like a debt snowball plan. You should also go over debt settlement pros and cons. In this way, you can work as a team to get your family’s finances on track.
Debt is always a scary thing but can be particularly stressful for newlyweds who may not be familiar with their partner’s debts. You must remember when talking about finances with your partner, to be honest, open to suggestions, and try to stay positive even though it can be very stressful to deal with. You and your partner are on your way to financial freedom as a family now and being able to keep calm and cool while dealing with debt bit by bit will only make your marriage stronger.
Start Saving For Retirement
Within your financial plan, you have to have retirement savings. So many couples are living in the here and now, but retirement can sneak up on you. Since that is the case, you do well to start saving for retirement. The simplest way to save for retirement is to contribute to a 401k plan at work and make sure to contribute to the maximum amount that your employer matches in order to get the best benefits. Apart from that, you do well to look into investing in index funds. The sooner that you start investing, the more money that you and your partner will have when you retire.
It’s not only retirement you will have to save for if you and your spouse are planning on having children or traveling or moving together, but you also need to make sure you are both financially ready for such life events. Even the events you can’t plan for. Whether it to start a family, retire in style, or just take a romantic vacation once in a while, saving money is always a good idea.
Have a Monthly Finance Meeting
Since your family’s financial situation is so important to your long term happiness, you do well to have a monthly family finance meeting with your spouse. In this meeting, you and your spouse should discuss the family’s finances for the previous and upcoming months. When you review your monthly budget regularly, you will both be on the same page when it comes to spending and saving. Also, by having a monthly family finance meeting, you and your partner will develop healthy financial habits that will last a lifetime.
Having monthly finance meetings with your spouse can become a fun activity to do together as well. Once you finish the money talk and make a budget for the month, you can have a date night or maybe spend a little extra on dinner to reward yourselves for taking care of your fiscal responsibilities. Talking about money doesn’t have to be a chore or a burden or even a stressor, as long as both of you stay supportive, honest, and most importantly-stick to your budget. Make an agreement about spending and stick to it, financial infidelity is a thing that many marriages struggle with. Being honest about your spending can make finances an easy factor in your marital life.
Set Your Marriage Up for Financial Success
Since you just got married, you are in the best position to set the tone for your marriage, these financial tips will help prepare you for your new life together. You and your spouse are going to have a wide range of experience over the course of your lifetime together. The lessons you learn and the decisions you make will make your marriage even stronger. The habits that you create when your marriage begins are the same habits that you will keep over the course of your marriage, so you do well to create and practice financial fitness in your marriage from the start.