Getting married is an exciting adventure for couples to embark on together. It’s easy to get lost in wedding planning or looking for the perfect honeymoon destination. When the initial celebrations are over, it’s essential to know where you stand financially together. Before you begin a life together, you’ll want to ensure you’re on the same page where it truly matters — your finances and financial goals.
Hopefully, before you entered into marriage, you had multiple conversations surrounding your finances — including any pre-existing debts, savings accounts, and retirement goals. As a married couple, money talks are going to become increasingly common. You’re no longer responsible for your own future. You’re building a life with another individual.
Here’s what you need to remember to navigate the world of newlywed finances.
1. Opening a Joint Bank Account
When you get married, you’re combining several aspects of your life, and finances are no exception. Some couples prefer to merge their accounts, but a growing number of newlyweds are opening a separate joint account for their household expenses.
In addition to your individual accounts, establishing joint checking and savings accounts is an efficient way to streamline your finances and ensure both sides are fairly contributing. Once you’ve sat down and laid out your expenses and individual income, you can budget accordingly into your joint accounts.
These accounts allow each person the freedom to use the remainder of their income however they see fit — with the peace of mind knowing household expenses, emergency savings, and long-term financial goals are taken care of.
2. Paying off Debts Together
Most couples enter marriage with some form of debt — whether it’s student loans or credit card bills. Getting through those financial storms is a crucial component of your new lives together. If you know how to handle present debts, you’ll know what to do when urgent expenses arise in the future and compromise your budget.
If you have high-interest debts, you may need to look at getting a short-term loan from GoDay to avoid falling deeper into debt. Once you’re able to sort out your high-interest payments, you can begin to pay down loans with lower rates.
3. Family Healthcare and Insurance Plans
One of the simplest ways for couples to save money is to switch over to family healthcare or insurance plans. When you’re both covered under the same policy, you can avoid paying separate premiums and negotiating an independent rate.
If your employers offer benefit plans, it’s worth researching their pros and cons before deciding to add on a beneficiary. If you can save money on these essential expenses, you’re putting your family in a solid financial position — and you can decide where best to allocate any extra money.
4. Think About Your Retirement
While retirement may be decades away, it’s important to start thinking about your goals in the present day. As newlyweds, you have many financial decisions to make together, and your retirement plans will often dictate how you spend your money in everyday life.
Are you both on the same page when it comes to the age you want to retire? Do you have the same goals once you’ve stopped working — like vacations or property purchases? These details will impact how you choose to save and spend in the years leading up to retirement.
Once you’ve established your long-term goals, you’ll want to comb over your finances and decide how much money you can contribute each month to your respective retirement savings accounts. If your employers offer to match your contributions, take advantage of this opportunity. The more money you can set aside now, the more you’ll be able to enjoy retirement down the road.
5. Communicate Openly and Honestly
At the end of the day, communication is the foundation of any lasting relationship. When it comes to finances, it’s especially crucial that you’re always open and honest with your partner. Money problems are a common detriment to new relationships, but with a shared understanding and the same long-term goals, you can avoid money management issues in your marriage.
Some couples prefer to schedule monthly sit-downs to go over their budget, address any debts, and track long-term saving goals. As you navigate the right method for you and your spouse, it’s essential to keep a non-judgemental and open dialogue to avoid hiding purchases or lying about your debts.
Marriage is built on communication, compromise, and a deep understanding of one another. When it comes to handling finances as a married couple, it’s important to always remain honest with one another — so as the years go on, you can continue to build a solid financial foundation and achieve your long-term goals together.