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, but here are some basic guidelines to get you started.
Be transparent with one another.
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 that perhaps you differ on. If say 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 and other you can communicate more efficiently and work toward the goals you each 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 also utilizing a combination of joint and separate accounts to maintain relative independence and have access to personal spending funds. Some 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. This helps alleviate any financial tension should any money situations arise. By openly discussing successes and failures in your household finances on a regular basis you maintain a level of security in seeing where your finances stand in conjuncture with your goals each and every month. To be successful with your finances your spouse and you must create and maintain a household budget. When creating your monthly budget remember to factor in costs for any loan installments, debt repayment, monthly expenses, and joint or separate 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 grow in your monetary capabilities. As Ramsey says, “Marriage is a partnership, and couples can’t win with money unless they’re doing the budget as a team.