Congratulations newlyweds! You’re probably still basking in that post-wedding glow, and after the massive costs of your wedding and the honeymoon, money matters are probably the last thing you want to think about. However, they really need to be one of the first important conversations that you have with your new spouse. Starting off a marriage on the wrong financial footing can only lead to struggles later down the line. Here are some tips to get you started:
Build/Reassess Your Budget
Building your budget is the first and most important step to financial security in your marriage. Having a blueprint laid out in front of you for what you need to spend and save is helpful so you can both know exactly which direction your finances are heading. If you were living together for a while before your marriage then hopefully you already have a joint budget. However, the act of marriage brings with it some changes to your finances and especially to your taxes. Take some time to reassess your budget so you can alter the areas that your new certificate has changed.
Decide on a Setup That Works for You
Just because you’re married now there’s no rule that says that you absolutely have to join all of your finances together. If you feel that having separate bank accounts would work best for you then do it. If you want separate accounts but also a joint bank account then that’s okay too. Or if you do want to bundle all of your money together figure out which account would work best for you both. In addition, make a plan for who’s going to remember to pay the bills, and decide between you what amount you can spend without having to discuss it with your partner. The point is that every marriage is different, so how you choose to organize your finances is entirely up to you and your situation.
Be Honest about Your Debt
Begin your marriage by being entirely honest with one another about what debts you carry and what assets you’re bringing with you. If you or your spouse is bringing a lot of student loan debt into the marriage make sure that you’re both okay with treating that debt like another one of your joint bills. Work into the budget how much you can realistically afford to pay off each month while keeping in mind the other expenses you have, such as your bills and building your savings and an emergency fund.
Set Some Goals
Having financial goals is important, especially if you’re hoping to have kids some day or you want to spend your retirement traveling the world. Spend some time together every six months to a year to discuss your goals, how they might have changed, and how you plan to reach them. How much you want to save every year, what ages you hope to retire at, and how much you want to be earning as a household should be regular discussions to promote a healthy financial lifestyle.
Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Jackson Wealth Management, LLC. Jackson Wealth Management, LLC is not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC.