How to manage money after getting married?
Couples should remember that when they made their vows, they promised that they would stay together, “for richer or for poorer”. However, most wedded couples nowadays cannot seem to survive their marriage when it comes to financial problems. Financial problems are due to poor money management skills. Most couples who fight over money usually stick with their own individual way of managing money. Others do not even talk about their finances. They just earn on their own and spend on their own. Due to these, some spouses end up divorcing one another. To avoid this tragedy from happening, listed below are some tips that will teach newlywed couples how to manage money better.
1. Start talking about finances even before you get married. However, if you have not done this, make sure that you talk about it with your spouse as soon as possible. Go over your accounts, how much money you both have, how much debt you need to pay off and how much money you both earn from your jobs. Set your expectations with your spouse straight. For example, if you expect your spouse to discuss purchases over $100 with you first, tell him or her right away. Telling them beforehand will avoid fights and misunderstandings.
2. Set your goals together with your spouse, so that both of you will work with the same discipline. Plan your retirement age and the amount of money you are hoping to save.
3. Discuss your bank accounts with your spouse. The pros of having a joint bank account are, you get to manage finances much easier and you get to breed trust in your marriage. Moreover, you need to tell your spouse before using the bank account, thus, allowing each other keep track of your finances.
4. Always build an emergency fund. Make sure that you have 6 months’ worth of your income so that you have money to cover your household expenses in case one spouse loses their job or something unexpected happens. This will avoid the both of you having to stress over the littlest things that may result to long conflicts and fights.
5. Set a budget that the both of you will adhere to. Of course this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t spend on dining out and entertaining. You could totally still do those things but you should limit how much you are allowed to spend.
6. Setting a budget is not enough. You need to track your expenses and make sure that you aren’t losing money. One way to do this to make use of a spreadsheet where you can write down all of your expenses. Make sure that you include credit and debit card expenses.
7. Another tip that could help couples with their finances is to do weekly money meetings. Weekly money meetings would be the perfect time to get credit scores and to discuss how much budget you have left, upcoming bills that need to be paid off and other financial goals. Meetings such as these will give the couples the chance to plan wisely and adjust accordingly.
8. Whether you are married or still single, you need to make sure that you are set financially for the long haul. Start saving for retirement as soon as possible. If you are working for a company which offers a 401k plan, take advantage of it.
9. If you have debt, discuss it with your spouse as soon as possible so that he or she is informed about also being responsible for paying the money back. Work out a plan with your spouse on how to pay off your debt and how the both of you could remain out of debt.
Stop asking yourself, “What is my credit score?” every time you are making purchases or creating a budget. Make it a regular habit of you and your spouse to get a hold of your credit reports so that you are well aware of your scores as well as your expenses. Discuss the points mentioned above as soon as possible to effectively help you and your spouse manage your finances.
Joy Mali Joy is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance management tips to encourage people to manage their personal finances. More specifically, she advocates that people should check free credit score regularly. Follow Joy and discover top finance mistakes newlywed couples should avoid.