5 tips for a Financially Happy Marriage
Start Talking About FinancesHaving the financial talk is never an easy conversation to have, but once discussed, it can actually be a rewarding bond with your spouse. The sooner you can have the conversation, ideally before you are married, the better you can enjoy your marriage. Start with what you both have that’s existing; work income, bank accounts, investments and how much debt you have are just some of the basics. Then talk about your habits; are you a saver or a spender, risky or conservative investor. Lastly discuss both your short-term and long-term goals such as savings goals, having kids or retirement plan. Take time to discuss both your individual goals and what you would like to achieve financially as a couple.
Create a BudgetCreating a budget is a valuable financial tool that provides the discipline to live within your means. With a budget in place, you and your spouse are able to feel in control of where your money is going. An easy way start your budget is by combining your income then subtract your combined monthly expense as well as your collective debt. Don’t forget to allocate money towards your emergency fund for unexpected expenses such as a car repair or medical bill. After creating your budget you will have a better idea of the money left over that you and your spouse can decide how to invest or spend.
Update Legal DocumentsAfter getting married, it is the perfect time to review and update your beneficiaries if needed. Look at any key financial accounts including your investments, savings, employee retirement plans and insurance policies. Keeping your information updated is essential for your beneficiary to have a smooth transition of assets during a difficult time.
Invest in Each OtherIn a healthy marriage, communication and honesty is key. This should be the same for your money management plan as a couple. Having discussions about what is important to both you and your spouse can provide a plan for what to strive towards in the future. Work together to bring synergy to what you are trying to accomplish and your goals will become a reality.
Review on a Regular BasisUnfortunately, in life your plans can be quickly upended by new challenges and life transitions. This is why you want to take a fresh look at your financial position and goals periodically. It will also ensure that you and your spouse are still in sync and on the right track towards meeting your goals. Since no plan is set in stone, it might make sense to make a few changes along the way. A helpful tip is to try to do this review either at the same time each year or at a certain milestone.
Marriage and money can be challenging and overwhelming. Don’t expect to be an expert right away as it will always be a work in progress. However, the sooner you work together on your money management, the better habits you will create for your future. If you and your spouse would like to further discuss a money management plan for your marriage, we’d be happy to set up a free consultation. Give us a call or set up an appointment online through our website.