Just got married? Congratulations! You think nothing can go wrong now? Think again! Unfortunately, the honeymoon period has to end. And when it does, most couples get through major fights and misunderstandings owing to a lack of dialogue around how to manage their finances.
Most of the couples do not discuss the uncomfortable topic of money, supposing it would dent their romance or courtship period. Eventually, due to social norms, the responsibility goes to one of the spouses or to the two individuals who have separate incomes, continue to spend in the way they always did. Seemingly independent ways become wayward eventually, and end up causing problems in the married life.
The Root Causes
The problems in matrimony do not only stem form the money that each earns, but much more from the way it is spent. No matter how long you’ve known each other or might have lived together, marriage changes the way you spend and the marriage-money duo has always been known for not getting along too well. The way out is to pick up a few tips on financial management to maintain your marital bliss. The idea is not to achieve perfect money management in one day, but to at least set a pace for the decisions that you take together. Here’s what to do:
Have An Early Talk
Seemingly the simplest and most obvious thing to do, communication is what lacks between partners when it comes to matters of money. You should start early, earlier than the onset of problems. It is advisable to discuss your post-wedding finances even before the wedding., along with any other plans you undertake. If not before, then sit down to talk with your partner as soon as possible. the first step towards financial planning is getting familiar with the way each of you spends your money. Which one of you is a saver and which one’s the spendthrift? Do you live paycheck to paycheck? What percent of your salary goes to which expense?
You have planned to spend your life together. Besides the other things in your life, you now share your money habits, past and present. Open up about your money, savings, bank accounts, investments and even your loans, debts and mortgages. Get it all off your chest.
Plan, Create A Budget
On the basis of what comes out of the above mentioned discussion, you can start dividing and sharing roles and responsibilities. The one who is easy on his/her pocket can save, while the other can do what they’re best at- SPEND! Set a list of expenditure you do every month, and then share the responsibility to provide for this expenditure.
Set Up Accounts
Do you want new investments? New joint accounts? Since your lives, house and expenditures merge, it’s a good idea to start seeing your money in both individualistic and collective manners. You might have to open some new accounts which should be both, individual and joint accounts.
Joint accounts help ease the financial transactions. It builds a sense of togetherness and trust in the relationship, especially if one of the spouse decides to tale on full-time household duties. However, also continue to have individual accounts and investments for the sake of space, independence and security.
It’s a little early in your married life to set up financial goals. Nevertheless, do it! Set your immediate, five years and long term goals. Family and financial planning are not separate but co-dependent entities. Therefore, start planning for the money required for your childrens’ education.
Save for difficult times. They would come more often, now that you are one plus one. Save for the good times, too. You might find added responsibilities on yourself now, and you won’t get time to control your life. Get to know about investment options and invest in those that are best for you.
Be Debt Free
You must have just finished with a lavish wedding and honeymoon recently which would certainly have caused an imbalance to your accounts and savings. Since it is the most recent of all expenditures, just get over with any debt that you have, and start a fresh inning.
Discuss How You Lend/Borrow
Yes, you are a married couple now but you haven’t set for Mars yet. You both have separate and a new family now. You have got your friends as well. It is important that you lay down rules or directions to the ways you deal in money with these people now, so that you avoid ugly fights later.
To be practical, it is quite difficult to achieve a good management this early in your married life on your own. Do not shy away from taking some professional help. Meet a professional adviser and pour out all your money management history and all your future expectations.