Just married? Congratulations!
Haven’t had the talk about finances yet? Experts say it’s the right time to start!
Top 10 Financial Tips For Newlyweds
- Tip #1: Talk about financial goals
An honest conversation between two people is important especially when it comes to finance. It’s critical to be completely honest about goals, future and plans.
- Tip #2: Set financial goals
In order to figure out budgets, savings, spending, it’s always good to set financial goals. Ask each other: “Where do we see ourselves in a week, month or year. What do we want to achieve, buy or own?” And based on these set goals, define how you will save money and where any savings deposits will go; into a joint or separate accounts
- Tip #3: Create a budget
Open communication is important when it comes to problem solving, and the only way to avoid stress!
Budgeting is my favorite part, especially when it comes to setting goals for car, home, groceries, etc. It’s critical to know how much you make per month and where you are spending your money. This is one of the most important steps to avoid stress.
Guys, if you want to buy an expensive car or ATV, NO PROBLEM, speak with your wife and find out the way to make both sides happy.
- Tip #4: Setting up accounts
Talk to your bank about savings options – automatic transfers on a regular basis, fees, and rewards. They might have some great options that could help get to your financial goals faster!
- Tip #5: Speak openly with your partner or spouse
This is a big one, and sometimes the hardest. The more honest and upfront you can be with your partner, the more time and uncertainty it will save you down the road. Sharing and voicing your dreams – whether it is to open your own business, buy a home, get a degree, finish a course, or go on an extended dream vacation – can be scary. Trust that your relationship is strong and your partner is there to support you and help you achieve your goal. After all, they are your partner for better or worse and ultimately, want you to be happy. Just remember it’s a two-way street, so be ready to stay open-minded and listen to their dreams as well. Next, start to map out a plan and realistic timeframes for achieving each of your goals. Chances are your lists will have many of the same things on them!
- Tip #6: Track how you are spending money
There are lots of great resources online (like this cashco template?) that help you manage your bills and your money. There are also apps – like Mint – that you can link directly to your credit card so as you spend, it categorizes where you are spending in real time. With today’s technology, managing money has never been easier. Figure out what works best for you both and stick to it! It’s always good to have a day in the week you can spend 10 minutes reviewing and making sure you’re on track. If weekly is too much, try to pick at least one day a month to review.
- Tip #7: Handle debts as a couple
Debts are much less scary and more manageable when you’ve got a handle on them. Figure out how much and how long you have to pay off any debt you may have and then prioritize.
Pick ones with the highest interest rates first, if you can afford to only pay one at first, credit card debt is #1. If there is one thing you get out of our post here today – it is to always pay off your credit card. Draw off a credit line, take out your savings, redirect your pay cheques – just keep it as low as possible – the high interest rate will make it much harder for you to move ahead.
- Tip #8: You may have to face tough times financially
For better or for worse. Yes it’s a cliché, yes it’s traditional – but it’s the foundation of marriage. When the tough times hit, and inevitably in a lifelong future together there will be a bump or two, try to have savings to get you through 6 months of no income. It will take time to build that 6-month pot, but work towards it now when everything is great and any tough times will be much less stressful.
- Tip #9: Figure out who will take control of the bills
Marriage is about negotiation and compromise. There is no secret formula for this one. Figure out if you will each have your own accounts, and a joint account for ‘house’ or ‘life’ expenses. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re both comfortable and understand who is doing what. Miscommunication ends in disaster, so again, be brave and speak up. The earlier you can work through any grey areas, the easier it will be to turn those financial dreams into a reality!
- Tip #10: Talk – Adjust – Improve
Any goal or plan can go a little off track. Having a regular time to check in can help avoid major disasters, so tweak as you go. Maybe you get a bonus cheque and you want to put half of it in savings, and then indulge with the rest. Maybe you’re taking time off work resulting in your household income dropping, so your monthly savings deposits might need to be cut down. Whatever it is, the more you are in the know, and the quicker you take control of your financial future, the smoother everything will be.
So start being wealthy, healthy and financially FREE!