Beginning a life with someone is about intertwining every important aspect of your lives, and that includes your finances. Ensuring you’re on the same page when it comes to money is an important piece of your relationship’s foundation. It gives you the peace of mind that you have the same financial values and goals for your future together. Healthy finances are a key ingredient to a healthy marriage.
With the right tools and resources at your disposal, you and your significant other can confidently enter this new phase of your lives knowing your financial future is secure.
Set Up a Joint Budget
Combining finances is likely going to take some getting used to, but having one concise budget — that takes into account both of your incomes and combined household expenses — will only benefit you over the years. Some couples choose to combine finances, while others will set up a joint account for all their expenses and keep the rest of the funds separate.
Understanding why creating a budget is important as a newly married couple sets the foundation for their financial future. Additionally, you’ll want to keep consistent monthly meetings to go over any potential changes in finances or to adjust your budget as needed. Keeping both parties accountable will help maintain a healthy partnership and secure financial standings.
Discuss Your Priorities
You may have experience with your personal budget, but it’s important you and your spouse are equally familiar with the benefits of budgeting and investing. Communicating openly about your financial priorities should be one of the earliest steps in your relationship.
Do you have debt that needs to be paid down? Will you need to seek out alternative lending options to relieve any short-term cash flow shortages, such as payday loans? Borrow your cash online and don’t wait — it’s easy to do with the right payday loan company, but you should also set up a careful payback strategy so you don’t fall into arrears.
Combine Your Benefits
If both parties are working, it’s worth comparing your respective benefits plans. If one spouse’s workplace offers better coverage, the other has the option to drop theirs and save your household money every month. Your HR department can advise you on any potential changes to your policy if you plan to add your spouse.
You’ll want to comb over your medical expenses over the past few years to determine if this option makes sense for your family. When it comes to filing yearly taxes, you may be entitled to additional discounts or adjusted claims — why not maximize your returns, so you can put those extra funds into your investments or towards outstanding payments?
Build Spending into Your Budget
After you’ve laid out all of your expenses and created your budget, it’s important to ensure you’ve allotted some extra spending money — provided it’s feasible — to avoid either spouse sneaking purchases or hiding their credit card statements. Creating a realistic monthly spending cap will help keep yourselves accountable and the lines of communication open.
Build an Emergency Fund
Once you’ve prepared your everyday expenses, you should turn your attention to your emergency fund. As a married couple, you’re going to have to weather a financial storm or two together. Creating this separate account is going to provide you with a nest egg that you can tap into should any surprise expenses come to light.
The general rule of thumb is three-to-six months of expenses set aside for emergencies. These funds are there to protect both parties should you find yourself dealing with unemployment or repairing damage to your car or home. The emergency fund helps you round out your finances with your partner, so you can begin your lives together with mutual trust and financial security.