Getting married is one of the most exciting of life’s milestones.
However, it can be easy for some of the important details about married life to get lost in the rush of the getting married. This is especially true of the financial considerations of getting married.
There are many financial aspects that you must consider when you get married. To help you out, here are some financial tips for newlyweds that will make your life easier.
Sit Down and Have a Frank Financial Discussion
Ideally, this should be done before you tie the knot, but it is never too late to sit down with your spouse to have a frank discussion about your finances.
This should be a no-holds-barred discussion where you are completely honest about every aspect of your financial situation.
Talk about your debts. Talk about whether you are a paycheck-to-paycheck type of individual or a saver. Talk about how you would handle a sudden windfall of cash.
The key is to learn all you can about how each of you approach your finances. This will allow you to avoid surprises later on, and it will also help you plan how to be a financially successful couple.
Set Financial Goals
One of the most important parts of being a financial success is setting goals. When you are a couple, setting financial goals together will help to bring your closer.
There are all sorts of things that couples need for their lives together, and you can set savings goals for all of them. Think about saving for things like a down payment on a home, a vacation and furniture.
You should both be saving at least 10 percent of your paychecks towards your savings goals, but setting a higher goal of 20 percent savings is ideal.
Create a Budget
Setting aside your 10 to 20 percent savings is the first part of creating a monthly budget.
To create your budget, you first need to tally up your remaining income after you have set aside your monthly savings. You then need to subtract all of your regular monthly expenses like groceries, utilities, rent, car payments and student loan payments.
The remainder of your money should be split unto categories of discretionary spending like entertainment, eating out and shopping.
It is very important to stick to the budget. If for some reason you need to go over your budget, it is important that you discuss it with your spouse before you spend money to go over. That way, you can decide together if you really should go over your budget.
Creating and sticking to a budget is the best way to avoid financial problems and arguments when you are married.
Decide How to Set up Your Bank Accounts
When you are married, it is best to have multiple checking and savings accounts.
You should have a joint-savings account that you use for your savings goals. You should also have a joint-checking account that you can both access to pay for bills and things that are a part of your budget.
You also may want to each have separate checking accounts if you so desire.
One of the things you may not have considered is that getting married can affect your tax situation.
You can either file jointly as a married couple or file individually under the category of married filing separately.
Most couples choose to file a joint tax return because of the tax benefits. It is also simpler to file jointly.
However, you if your finances are complicated, you may wish to sit down with an accountant or tax attorney to decide which filing status will benefit you the most.
Photo: Sean Davis / CC 2.0