After tying the knot, finances can be a tricky subject, but they are an absolutely necessary discussion. As Dave Ramsey says, “If you can talk about money, you can talk about anything.” Getting your finances put together takes some decision making. Here are some basic guidelines to get you started.
Be transparent with one and other.
Begin the conversation with sharing each of your individual financial states, and the goals you have for where you want to be in the coming years. Once everything is out on the table you are able to dissect the differences between your finances and discover any areas where you may differ. If one of you has debt and the other does not, then you are able to build a plan to first eliminate your now joint debt. By being open with one another you can communicate more efficiently and work toward the goals you share.
Evaluate your account setup.
In today’s world the words “joint checking” don’t always apply. While most common among married spouses with children, a joint checking account can provide a larger sum for paying expenses and saving toward goals. Additionally, spouses today are utilizing a combination of joint and separate accounts to maintain relative independence and have access to personal spending funds. Other couples choose to select separate accounts for all their financial means, paying bills fifty-fifty or perhaps every other. Whichever account scenario you choose, ensure that you and your spouse are on the same page, establishing ground rules and acceptable spending habits.
Make a plan and stick to it.
At least once a month set aside time in your day to discuss finances with your spouse. By openly discussing the successes and failures of your household finances, you maintain a level of security in understanding where they currently relate to the goals you’ve set. You and your spouse must create and maintain a household budget to gain success in your finances. When creating your monthly budget remember to factor in costs for any loan installments, debt repayment, monthly expenses, and savings. By evaluating your budget during your monthly finance discussions you can track your progress and adjust the budget (if needed) to better reach your joint financial goals.
By utilizing these simple tips you will begin the path to financial security and develop your joint capabilities. As Ramsey says, “Marriage is a partnership, and couples can’t win with money unless they’re doing the budget as a team.”
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