7) Set Goals Together
Setting goals for your marriage is important. Where do you both see yourselves financially 5, 10 or 20 years from now? Does one or both of you need to get more education to increase your earning potential? When would you like to retire? How can you both work together to achieve these financial goals? Have a discussion early in your marriage addressing these critical questions. Work out a plan that you both agree on and can work towards together. Working as a team to achieve your financial goals and dreams is a far more effective strategy than trying to tackle them individually. Discover more on setting marital goals. Check out Top 7 Money Matters You Must Address Before Marriage.
6) Update Your Records
In addition to last name changes on all your legal documents (if you chose to take on your spouse’s last name), you’ll have to change your beneficiaries and next of kin to include your spouse. Your new spouse may not appreciate having another family member or even an ex-spouse of yours as the next of kin. Try to get these updated as soon as you tie the knot to avoid unnecessary strife. If possible, have a lawyer put together an estate plan so you don’t have to keep changing your beneficiaries. Add your spouse to your employer-based health insurance, disability insurance, etc if you have one. In addition to avoiding conflict, updating your records will show signs of trust which will go a long way early in your marriage.
5) Talk About The Money!
Separate versus joint accounts? That is the question! Many marital struggles that end in divorce stem from money arguments; most of which could have been avoided if both parties were proactive about planning their financial blueprint as a couple. Will you have separate accounts? Will you both share an account? Or perhaps you plan to have separate accounts but have a third joint account for joint contributions and bill payments. Whatever the case, have a candid discussion about your financial habits and make a decision that will work best for both. It’ll do your marriage a world of good to adopt a proactive approach to avoid money issues before they truly become an issue.
4) Communicate About Giving
Communication is the bedrock of a happy marriage. Get on the same page on how to disburse family funds. Be open. Agree on how you will give to family members, friends or to charity. This financial tip for newlyweds will foster trust and solidify your marital bond early in your marriage.
3) Who Foots The Bill?
Agree on who pays which bills early on and stick with that. Have a discussion if you need to change that plan. Taking this proactive approach towards bill payment for the home will avoid miscommunication and having to discuss who pays what bill every month which may put a strain on your relationship.You could also have a joint account you both contribute funds into which are earmarked for bill payments.
2) Have A Budget
Proper money planning by having an agreed upon budget cannot be underestimated as a critical key to marital bliss. Create a budget together and stick to it. A budget will help limit unnecessary spending and encourage you both to develop a disciplined approach to money management as a couple that will serve your marriage well in the long run. A budget does not have to be complicated. You can start by placing all your earnings, expenses and savings on a simple excel spreadsheet or just a sheet of paper. The most important thing about a budget is developing the discipline to stick with it. Don’t be critical of your spouse if they struggle with sticking to the budget at first. Learn to forgive and encourage each other. Find a way to be disciplined together.