Congratulations on tying the knot! When you’re ready to talk about budgeting with a spouse, Alltru is ready with the answers. Here are a few budgeting tips for newlyweds.
Talk about money early and often.
Hopefully, you’ve had some serious conversations about money long before your wedding day. If not, don’t wait any longer — knowing your new spouse’s money history, hang-ups, and hopes will help you create a realistic budget. Discuss what money was like for you growing up, how you’ve managed your money up to now and what your financial goals are. This will help you get a better understanding of each other.
Combine your finances or at least some of them.
Deciding whether or not to combine finances in marriage is a personal decision, if you choose to do so, there are several ways to merge your money. However, even if you and your new spouse decide to keep individual accounts, it makes sense to have one shared account for recurring shared household expenses such as your mortgage or rent, utilities, and shared vehicle payments. Regardless of your decision, be flexible. As with most aspects of budgeting, you’ll learn which specific money management approaches work best for your marriage over time.
Know your priorities.
I come from a finance background, but that doesn’t mean that I’m perfect at budgeting. I understand the importance of saving for retirement, paying off debt, and having an emergency fund, but this was the first time that my husband had to set financial priorities. We started with the basics: saving for retirement, the double-edged sword of needing debt, but keeping it in check and building up an emergency savings account.
Commit to responsible budgeting.
If you make saving and investing a habit, it will be easier to live without the money you’re setting aside. Chances are, you won’t even miss it. Budgeting takes time and effort – and a lot of willpower. Talk with your spouse, make a plan, put it in writing and make it happen. You’ve already made the commitment to each other, now commit to building a strong financial future together.