Finances play a critical and fundamental role in predicting how happy and successful your marriage will be. Lack of financial resources is one of the leading causes of stress in relationships. On the other hand, married couples who trust their spouse with financial issues most often feel more secure with less arguments and more fulfilling intimacy.
However, such level of trust and confidence is usually rare among newly married couples. Although you may know a lot about your spouse-to-be, there may still be huge gaps in your conception about his/her finances. Here are nine money tips you must utilize in order to live a happy and financially stable married life.
1. Have Open Conversation Related to Monetary Matters
Remember intimacy and confidence regarding financial matters begins with better communication. Therefore, you must begin conversations with your spouse on your personal and financial goals. Be fair and open when sharing your current resources as soon as you are married or, better yet, share them with your better half before getting married.
2. Define Shared Goals
Talk about your mutually shared goals with your spouse such as buying a home, having children, seeing them graduating from a renowned school or college, family health and life insurance, and retirement plans. Although financial planning may not be as romantic as other topics may be, you will have peace of mind in the long run if you share mutual financial goals.
3. Create a Budget
Budgeting is essential to achieve your personal and family goals, just as bookkeeping is crucial to managing your book of accounts. Most money tips explained so far revolve around budgeting. It helps us achieve financial balance between our expenditures and our savings within our means, preventing us from getting into a debt burden. A newly married couple’s family budget expenditure categories include Groceries, Entertainment, Dining Out, Shopping, Traveling, and more.
4. Track Your Budget
Making a budget is easy but that is not enough. Married couples needs to maintain their lifestyles strictly on their pre-calculated budget. They must track their expenditure and saving patterns, changes in their earnings and other financial matters and see where adjustments are needed to improve their budget. There are many great smartphone apps designed to manage personal finances such as Mint, an app that can automatically generate a personalized budget based on your income, expenses and other relevant financial activities. It also ensures easy budget tracking and improves your financial outlook by providing money tips and essential acumen.
5. Build an Emergency Fund
If you are not a couple who keeps an emergency fund set aside for rainy days, wait no longer and start to build an emergency fund for use on a urgent basis. It is one of the most important money tips for married couples which should be your top priority if you want a stable monetary life. An emergency fund is typically money that is proactively set aside and helps you when an unexpected costly event strikes. Such events include and are not limited to loss of a job, a major home repair, family illness, or any natural disaster. Consequently, it aims to save about six month’s worth of your family expenses as an emergency fund.
6. Have Weekly Money Meetings
Having weekly money meetings with your spouse is one of the most powerful money tips to stay on track with your budget as well as achieving financial goals. This ultimately strengthens the level of mutual trust and communication in your marriage. During meetings, newly married couples should discuss what their budget looks like in the current month, how they are doing with their financial goals, if they have any upcoming bills, and anything else regarding money. Also, setting aside some time to communicate financial matters helps the married couple stop worrying about money as they know their matters will be dealt with promptly.
7. Share Expenses
From household purchases like food and groceries to home buying, married couples can qualify for lower charges on bank transactions and retirement accounts and avail mortgages with easy terms upon combining their earnings and savings. In fact, account management fees fall below one percent annually for couples with combined accounts of $250K-$500K and can be a maximum of two percent for smaller accounts.
8. Save For Retirement
Even if you are not married, you must make sure that you are financially secure for the long haul. Consequently, you should start saving for retirement right away. If your employer offers a 401k plan, then put in the maximum amount possible to benefit from any company matching. The compounding interest will grow your retirement fund. Thus, avoid being delayed.
9. Pay off Debt as soon as possible
Debt can render damaging impacts on any person. It can affect married couples more significantly as the two individuals rely on each other and are responsible for paying for their expenditures. Thus, start eradicating your debt as soon as possible.
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