Top 8 financial tips for married couples
Getting married can be an exciting and rewarding transition, opening up the next chapter in your life and your partner’s. Spending a lifetime with your chosen loved one is a dream come true for many. However, it is also a time to think seriously about an aspect of all our lives which many of us often don’t want to talk about. Being part of a married couple means thinking about your finances and how to manage them together capably. It is an understatement that it is essential to discuss these new responsibilities with your loved one, and the first thing to focus on, is developing a plan.
Establish financial goals
Now that you are a couple, you should try and establish financial goals for yourselves and your family. Being married doesn’t mean an end to your independence or your power to make some decisions for yourself but the main focus has to be your marriage and how you both manage your new fiscal responsibilities. Start by calculating your monthly income, how much you need to spend on shopping, food, bills and other monthly expenses and so on. Then budget accordingly for how much money you want to put aside each month - not spending your hard-earned cash is also part of a budget! All these little things matter, and they show that you are actively interested in your future together - something which your partner will greatly appreciate.
Discuss expensive purchases with each other
We’ve all been there. Impulsive buys and desires can strike us at any time. Instead of giving in to that temptation, try first having a chat with your partner. A gentle reminder from your spouse of upcoming responsibilities may be the wiser choice than that new TV. On the other hand, you could be missing out on an even better deal that your partner knows about. Hasty decisions when buying new things can lead to arguments about what is really important for you both to be focusing on. Having an honest and open discussion about expensive purchases can save you a lot of hassle. It also imbues a sense of trust in your loved one, and that will help make your relationship stronger.
Track everything you are spending together
Once you’re a part of a couple, the most important aspects are certainly the financial priority of your family as well as every member’s wellbeing. One of the best ways to avoid financial issues is to track your expenses and ensure that nothing is spent without reasoning. That’s especially true in the beginning. Decorating your home, buying new items and so on, means it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the expenses and challenges that arise. Take a look at these apps which can help you monitor your spending. Ideally you can design a budget and allocate for the major expenses every month, as well as the less important expenses. Of course, there will be some unexpected costs but that’s normal. A sensible budget should have a rainy day fund for emergencies. Managing your budget properly allows you and your loved one to focus more on just having fun and enjoying life rather than worrying about finding ways to pay everything back.
Trust each other
This is less of a financial tip and more of a couple’s tip. If you’re focused on achieving a financial goal, then you need to trust one another. Open a joint bank account to meet the demands of bills, mortgage, shopping etc and leave a separate one for yourselves. As long as you’re both contributing equally, you can enjoy that independence. Having those tough discussions in the beginning about how everything will be paid for will reap its own reward and save any fallout that might happen down the line.
Put some money aside for retirement
Sure, retirement seems far off at this point. Yet one of the things you will notice as you get older is that years tend to pass by faster and faster. So the best thing that you can do is to actively try and improve the way you prepare for your eventual retirement. Making sure that you have a pension is one of the surest ways. On top of that, if you have the spare cash, it’s a good idea to set money aside in an investment account. Keep in mind that compounding interest can bring in an extraordinary return on investment with the right accountant. Plus, it’s the safe thing to do, as you want to take care of your family and yourself when you retire.
Review your family income and adjust it as needed every year
Let’s face it, the family income is always changing and that’s why you need to assess it ever so often. The best thing you can do is to study your income every year and then see what can be improved. Studying family spending patterns is important since you will notice any potential spending problems or areas where you could be saving more. Looking around for new energy providers each year is a great way to save money. There are almost always savings to be made when you switch providers.
Try to receive financial education from each other
Learn from each other. You both have some financial knowledge, and it’s important to share it with one another when you are a couple. Not only will it help you make better decisions, but you will find it a lot easier to avoid financial issues this way. The way we grow up can drastically alter your perception of money. Be aware that your partner may have a way of looking at expenditure different from you. People growing up in modest settings may perhaps be more reluctant to make frivolous purchases but conversely they may be overly skeptical of credit cards something which perhaps another person may have always had and used to their advantage. You will both have something to bring to the table so open up the dialogue and help each other out.
There are always challenging moments when it comes to handling finances as a couple. But as long as you focus on trusting each other, telling the the truth and planning your future together, this will become something natural and very rewarding. That doesn’t mean financial planning for couples is easy. In fact, it can be very difficult and messy - it means doing a lot of growing up, especially if you both have very different spending patterns. Only by working together, establishing goals and trying to understand each other’s financial aspirations will you be able to reach success!
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