Did you know couples argue about money more than anything else? When you first get married, it’s easy to make mistakes with your budgeting and money management. Fights about finances aren’t inevitable, though. With great communication and a solid plan, couples can create a strong financial future. We’ve got some great tips here for newlyweds who are working out the financial side of marriage.
Be Open and Honest
If you didn’t talk about money before you got married, now is the time to lay everything on the table. Discuss your accounts, debt, savings, and also how each of you handle money. Decide whether you want a joint bank account now or whether you’ll maintain individual accounts. It is important that there are no secrets lurking and you begin your marriage on the same financial page. If you have a joint checking account with Herring Bank, you can both access your account information online or from your phone to ensure that each of you are always in the know about how much money you have and how it is being spent.
Design a Budget
When designing a budget, this is the time to sort out your wants and needs. Review your joint expenses in all categories over the last three or four months, and then decide if you are over-spending in any of those areas. After you determine your exact combined monthly income, you can budget in the proper amounts for all the categories in your life. The first priority is to make sure basic expenses are covered without going into debt. The second priority is creating an emergency fund to account for unexpected events like a car accident. The third is saving money in an interest bearing account or retirement account available with Herring Bank. Last but not least, look at what will be left over for entertainment and other fun purchases.
Work as a Team
Yes, we know how much you want that Star Wars box set or this season’s Coach purse. When you’re married, you need to take into consideration how your spouse is going to feel about that. When you make the decision to work as a team, you put your joint needs ahead of your individual needs for the financial security of you both. Working as a team also means that it is understood that sometimes there might be income inequality in the relationship, such as when one parent starts to put more time into raising children than into a career.
Set Goals and Save
When couples are working together, it’s easier to stay on the right financial track. With mutual financial goals in mind, one member of a couple is less likely to stray off on a spending spree or make frivolous purchases. When a couple is looking at the big picture, things stay more harmonious. Saving for your future retirement is an important step to take, no matter how old you are. Take advantage of your company’s 401K plan and put as much as you can into it. You can also open a Roth IRA to easily put money into an account every month that will grow significantly over time.
When you make the vows “for richer or for poorer,” it means you are going to stand by your spouse, even in tough financial times. With planning, honesty, and lots of love, newlyweds can avoid conflicts about money and stay on the right financial path.
If you’re thinking about combining your accounts or have any other questions, please call (855) 352-3772. A Herring Bank representative would be happy to help you!