Who wouldn’t be? You’re starting a new adventure together with your life partner and will be building your future as a family.
As newlyweds, there will surely be a lot of adjustments. One of which is that the things that you once did on your own before, moving forward you now have to consider your partner as well. This goes with finances as well.
If you can splurge on items before that you like and shop whenever you want, now you have to consider your spending, especially if you have agreed to combine your finances.
For newlyweds or even those who have been married for some time, it can be challenging to work together on finances. Merging finances can prove to be a difficult task. But what does it mean to combine finances? It can mean a variety of things. Some couples may decide to combine bank accounts, credit cards, and investment accounts. Other couples keep their money mostly separate and only share one or two bank accounts. There is no right or wrong answer to this. It depends on what is best for your relationship. Combining finances after marriage can be a great way to work as a team to achieve financial success.
Here are some tips to combine your finances without straining your marriage.
Talk about your finances regularly and be honest
When it comes to marriage, communication and honesty are crucial and the key to success. First of all, schedule a mutually agreed time to talk about finances so that your spouse will not be off guard when you open the topic. Then, talk about your current financial status and your financial goals as a couple.
If you have not yet disclosed your financial situation such as debt, savings, investments, and credit, it will be a good idea to share it early on.
Keep in mind that this conversation is not a fight or an argument. Make sure to create a safe ground for your spouse so that they will be comfortable in talking to you. Be sure to listen and keep an open mind.
Create a budget together
Here’s an article that may help you create a budget as a couple.
To help you get started, figure out your total income and all your monthly expenses that are essential such as rent or mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, and groceries. You may also want to know your non-essential expenses like travel, leisure, and shopping. Then, list your savings or investment plans.
Once these are done, define what you pay together, what you will pay separately, and what you need to discuss first before paying. You can also discuss your agreement on buying non-essentials- do you need to talk about it first and agree before making the purchase? Or do you pay for your personal expenses?
Decide who pays for what
Once the budget is all laid out, the next step is to determine who is going to be responsible for paying what. It is important to clear this out so that there will be no confusion or worse, unpaid bills because someone thought that the other paid it. You can also consider automating your expenses to ensure that you pay your bills on time and prevent late fees.
There are no rules on deciding who pays for what – just make sure that what is agreed upon works well for the both of you. You can either split things equally or in proportion to how much one earns. Just make sure to practice fairness.
Go for a joint account
It is okay if you do not want to combine all your accounts but it will be beneficial to have one joint account for shared expenses. Through this, you can deposit a portion of your income that you agreed on and make it easier for both of you to manage your finances. Also, this way you can enjoy the benefits of having a joint account yet continue the independence of divided finances.
Work on your financial goals together
Your shared financial goals should not just remain as is – both of you should work in achieving them. Sit down together and plan how you can make your financial goals a reality. You can also get help from finance experts, or read financial blogs so that you can expand your horizon and learn more about how to make the goal a reality.
As a married couple, merging your finances can be challenging. But at the end of the day, just like marriage itself, combining your finances needs respect and commitment. You have to work together to make this work