We hear this time and time again!
Money can be seen as the biggest problem for married couples. And, the primary cause of divorce. It’s a problem that begins before most people tie the knot. Before you let money issues ruin all that wedded bliss, allow us to tell you the ‘do’s & dont’s’ of combining your money when you marry.
Have the Conversation
We call this the ‘money talk’.
You have known one another for how long? Great. A conversation with your loved one shouldn’t be hard. Being comfortable will make those awkward chats seem like walking through a daffodil field.
The first step is to have a deep talk about the financial situation of both your partner and yourself. The Wedding will take a lot out of you, sure, but it’s always better to skip on some major costs which could affect you in the later stages of life.
Most couples take the traditional route when they get married and merge their money. This means putting their paychecks and other income in a joint account.
We suggest couples ‘play it safe’ and set up separate bank accounts with each person having their own checking account. But, if a joint account is agreed upon, who will pay for the majority of supplies?
Society have made some ‘unwritten rules’ that have been working for centuries. A man is entitled a ‘bread-winner’, and will need to invest in certain things to assist his family.
Of course, we agree on the term ‘be fair’. To avoid any types of fights, we think couples should create columns. They can be listed as ‘yours’, ‘mine’ and ‘ours’. With this, you can each spend without permission from the other.
Who Shall Manage thou Assets?
There is no right answer!
When a joint account is open, it could be successful when paying bills or the mortgage. Sometimes, partners will contribute their share if they are responsible for certain payments.
Another discussion will need to occur in order to decide what’s right for you as a couple. Just be clear on who is responsible for paying the bills.
Where Does the Money Go?
Writing a list of household expenses will work when determining where your money is actually going.
Fixed expenses like rent and car payments tend to be non-negotiable. Unless you plan on walking or moving back in with your parents. There are also times where you spend money IF you choose to. This can include such things like eating out or holidays.
As we mentioned, a list works like a charm. Write a separate schedule of your personal expenses (money for your benefit alone) and fixed (mandatory payments).
The Long Term Plan
Think of the future. There are many important things to consider once you are married. Trying to pay off debt is definitely up there, and creating long-term savings.
Weddings are expensive, but if you saved enough money from gifts alone, storing it away for a rainy day is essential. Research has shown that couples are more likely to build wealth and meet their financial goals if they are working together. Are you planning on having children? Re-developing your home? Always plan ahead!
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