Managing your own money can be overwhelming at times. Moreover, once you get married, you are throwing another person's finances into the mix... Take some time to sit down with your spouse and discuss your finances. Here is some financial advice for married couples:
- Discuss Your Financial Situation on a Regular Basis—Discuss your individual financial situations together as soon as possible... Talk about what different assets you have and any debts you may have... Then, you can discuss how exactly you expect money to be handled as a couple going forward. Keep this dialogue open and revisit regularly to ensure that you and your spouse are on the same page.
- Decide on Your Financial Goals Together—Sit down together and decide on your financial goals... Do you want to retire at a certain age? Save for a house? Take a couple of vacations? Whatever your financial goals may be, determine what they are as a couple. Once you have your financial goals set, it will be easier to be on the same page in regards to finances.
- Determine What Bank Accounts Fit Your Needs as a Couple—What works for one couple may not necessarily work for you and your spouse... Study different personal banking options and determine what best fits your collective needs.
- Create an Emergency Fund—It's important as a couple to have an emergency fund... An emergency fund can help carry your family through things like the loss of a job, illnesses, natural disasters, or any unexpected home repairs you may need to make... Look for a savings account and consider saving 10% of your income to contribute to your emergency fund. You can even set up recurring transfers in Internet Banking to make saving money easy.
- Create a Budget Together—You already know how important having a budget is... It is just as important to have a budget for you and your spouse to follow as it is for your own, personal budget. Sit down with your spouse and create a budget... Go a step further by continuously tracking your budget and making adjustments, as needed.
- Be Patient with Each Other—Approach each money conversation with love, patience and understanding. Try not to point fingers or get angry about anything. Remember that you are a team and have the same end goals in mind. Work together to try to accomplish those goals.
- Always Practice Honesty—You've heard the phrase, "Honesty is the best policy." This couldn't be more true when it comes to finances and your marriage. If you mess up, be sure to tell your spouse. Likewise, be patient and slow to anger if your spouse opens up to you about messing up financially.