When you get married, you’re not just combining your lives—you’re also combining your finances. This can be tricky to navigate, but with a little planning and communication, you can make it work for both of you. Here are five essential tips for making financial decisions as newlyweds.
Make a Budget and Stick to It
As newlyweds, it’s important to start on the right financial foot. The first step is to sit down and make a budget that works for both of you. This means considering your shared expenses and any individual expenses. And once you have that budget in place, it’s time to stick to it! That may mean compromising and cutting back on certain luxuries or extras. But trust us—the effort is worth it in the long run. Plus, making and sticking to a budget can also bring you closer together as you work toward shared financial goals.
Agree on Financial Goals and Priorities
Sit down with your spouse and list your long-term dreams and aspirations, whether it’s buying a vacation home, starting a family, or saving for retirement. It’s also important to discuss any current debts or expenses so you can create a budget that works for both of you. And don’t be afraid to revisit this conversation often—life throws unexpected curveballs, and it’s helpful to stay on the same page about finances. So grab a glass of wine (or maybe some lemonade if you’re trying to save money!) and start talking about those plans for the future.
Discuss Money Matters Openly and Honestly
As newlyweds, it can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly saying “yes” to things without considering the impact on your joint finances. That’s why it’s important to talk openly and honestly about money matters as a couple. Try setting aside time each month to discuss your income, expenses, and savings goals. It may seem awkward at first, but being on the same page financially can alleviate stress and help prevent future arguments. Plus, you’ll have a better chance of reaching those shared savings goals when both parties are fully invested in the plan. And don’t forget—communication is key! Make sure to check in regularly and make any necessary adjustments to stay on track. Honesty may be difficult in the moment, but it will pay off in the long run for your joint financial well-being as a married couple.
Be Aware of Your Partner’s Spending Habits
For newly married couples, one key thing to be aware of is each other’s spending habits. Are you an impulsive spender, or do you prefer to save for big purchases? Does your partner have any bad financial habits that need to be addressed? Make sure to also establish joint accounts for expenses and discuss any major purchases before making them. By setting clear expectations and understanding each other’s spending patterns, you can avoid financial trouble as a married couple.
Seek Professional Advice When Needed
An experienced financial planner can offer unbiased guidance and help you create a plan for saving, investing, and spending that aligns with your shared goals. And if you’re unsure where to find one, don’t fret—consider asking your accountant for recommendations. Consulting with a pro doesn’t have to break the bank either—many offer free consultations or charge hourly fees instead of commission-based rates. Don’t risk getting in over your heads. Instead, seek expert advice and keep climbing toward those long-term goals together.
Making financial decisions as newlyweds can seem daunting, but when you’re both on the same page, it becomes much easier. These five essential tips will help get you started, and with these guidelines in mind, you’ll be able to navigate your finances and build a strong foundation for your future.