What Should You Be Doing Financially After Marriage?
Getting married is a time to celebrate, but financial pressures can make it stressful. Here's how to avoid newlywed money blues.
While marriage is a beautiful institution, many couples find that they are ill-prepared to navigate the world of dual finances. You have to know how to manage your money as a team. Here are a few tips to starting your marriage off on the right—and financially stable—foot.
Plan an Appropriate Ceremony
Even before you marry, you can jeopardize your financial stability with the wedding ceremony alone. Resist the temptation to splurge on a glamorous wedding day if you know that it will put you in debt. You don't want to spend your first years together trying to pay down unnecessary expenses. Your wedding should be a day to celebrate your future – a future where finances are the least of your worries.
Know Your Spouse's Views on Spending
For those newly married, it can be extremely difficult to stick to a budget if the two of you have opposing views on spending. Make sure you are aware of each other's spending habits, so that you can help one another become more financially savvy. Play off of one another’s strengths and find what works for the two of you. Make an effort to compromise and come up with a budget that works for each of you.
Don't Just Try to be Frugal—Draw up a Plan
At some point, nearly everyone makes the decision to cut back expenses. Unfortunately, a large percentage of those same people abandon their plans after only a few months. It is critical to make a detailed long-term budget, outlining day-to-day needs as well as incidentals and the occasional luxury. Come back to your plan as needed and adjust it as your circumstances and goals change.
For a successful financial plan—and marriage—it is important to allow for some flexibility and to keep both of your needs and habits in mind. Yes, discipline is important, but neither of you should feel as though you're living in a prison of your own making.
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