Financial Advice for Newlyweds
Start your marriage on strong financial footing with these five tips.
It will be one of the most amazing days of your life, full of laughter, joy and plenty of love. Your wedding will launch you and your spouse into a lifetime of marital bliss. But if you want your marriage to remain blissful, you’d better have a game plan for your money. And that starts with listening to some sound financial advice for newlyweds.
Money isn’t everything in a marriage, but it certainly is a big thing. Earning, managing and spending money will consume a great deal of your time as a married couple. Your success at dealing with money will go a long way to determining your success in other areas of life. Financial strains and disagreements about money are one of the leading causes of marital trouble in modern times. So handling your money well can play a key role keeping your marriage healthy.If you want your marriage to remain blissful, you'd better have a game plan for your money. tweet this!
To that end, today we will discuss some helpful financial advice for newlyweds. And even if you’re already married, these ideas can be just as helpful to you too.
1) Start with honesty.
This rule applies as much to money as it does any other area of your marriage. No matter what happens, you must build your financial relationship on honesty. Two of you may come from different backgrounds and different financial situations. But no matter how bleak your financial picture looks, you need to tell your spouse everything about your financial life. Don’t bring any secrets or surprises into the marriage — that’s a sure recipe for mistrust and disaster.
Beginning with honesty puts all your cards on the table. It allows the two of you to plan your budget and financial goals effectively. It also establishes good patterns for the future.
Learn to talk honestly about money now, and it will prepare you to talk honestly about other issues in the future.
2) Share everything.
Some people like the idea of keeping their finances separate after they get married. This affords each spouse a sense of financial independence. But you’re not supposed to be independent in marriage, and keeping your finances separate creates a lot of room for mistakes and mistrust.
At its core, marriage requires sharing. You share your home, your time, your lives, your bodies and your families. Why would you not also share your money?Marriage requires sharing. You share your home, your time, your lives, your bodies and your families. Why would you not also share your money? tweet this!
You wouldn’t withhold your time or your body from your spouse, so why would you withhold your money? Having “his and hers” bank accounts creates more problems than it solves. It can create an atmosphere full of secrets and mistrust.
Working together on you finances also makes you more focused and efficient when paying debt, saving or giving. So skip past “yours and mine” and go directly to “ours.”
3) Communicate constantly.
Many of the top pieces of financial advice for newlyweds are also applicable to other areas of your relationship. As you grow in your marriage, for instance, you’ll discover that clear, constant communication is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship. The same goes for your finances too.
Your income, expenses and financial goals will change throughout your married life. If you don’t communicate consistently about your finances, you may end up at odds about how you handle the changing needs of your family.
Depending on your financial situation, you may need to talk about money management every day. Some couples need to sit down and review their budgets together once a month. Others can look over the numbers less often, getting together on the budget only when income or expenses change.
Don’t wait for a budget planning session to talk to your spouse about money, though. You should communicate with each other about your smaller expenditures and habits until you are both comfortable with your spending patterns. Then you’ll know that you’re moving in unity toward your financial goals.
4) Use budgets to avoid conflict.
Many arguments among newlyweds start with a phrase like “I can’t believe you spent so much on that!” Two people with different habits, different tastes and different financial backgrounds will inevitably have different priorities when it comes to how money should be spent. And if you don’t have a unified plan about where money ought to go, you may find yourselves second-guessing and criticizing each others’ financial decisions.If you and your spouse don't have a unified plan about where money ought to go, you may find yourselves second-guessing and criticizing each others' financial decisions. tweet this!
The solution to this problem is to use budgets to plan your spending, then stick to that budget. If you know you have $500 to spend on clothing this year, it doesn’t matter if you chose to use $200 for a pair of shoes. What does matter is that you keep the total annual clothes spending within your agreed-upon budget.
The same goes for recurring expenses like groceries or restaurant meals. With a weekly or monthly budget in place, your plan tells you what you’re allowed to spend. You don’t have to argue about individual expenses, because you’ve already agreed about where your money should go.
5) Establish good habits early.
Success in any area of life ultimately boils down to choices, habits and discipline. To succeed with money in your marriage, you need to make good choices consistently over time. And the sooner you establish good patterns and habits, the more quickly you’ll move down the right road.
If you want to be honest, transparent and diligent in your finances, start early. To become generous people, begin giving now, even if you can only afford to give a little bit. If you want to model wise financial behavior for your children, start making smart decisions with money before you have kids.Whatever your goals are, figure out what kind of actions are going to bring you success and start doing those things today. tweet this!
Whatever your goals are, figure out what kind of actions are going to bring you success and start doing those things today.
It’s Better Together
Like many aspects of marriage, learning to handle your money together is a journey you take one step at a time. And like any journey, you’ll be much more successful with friends by your side.
To get your marriage off to a great start, join me and a community of other people in our Facebook group, FINANCIAL FREEDOM. Every day, we share insightful articles, encouraging photos and personal stories that will help you and your spouse communicate about your dreams and values and pursue the financial goals that matter most.
If you have questions along the way, this group is a great place to ask them. I’ll offer my suggestions, and other members have lots of stories and experiences to share too. Join us today to accelerate your own journey to freedom.