Recently married? Congratulations! If you plan to merge your finances with your new spouse, Titonka Savings Bank wants to help make the transition as easy as possible. Create your first monthly budget as a newly married couple with the following tips:
- Decide on Your Financial Goals: Before you hash out any budget system, discuss your short-term and long-term financial goals. Your financial status as a single person may have changed since you merged your finances with your new spouse, so now is a great time to reevaluate your accounts and establish new financial goals.
- Create an Emergency Fund: This is one of the first steps in most budget creation guides. The purpose of an emergency fund is to keep you from relying on credit cards or dipping into your retirement account in case emergencies.
- Figure Out Where Your Money is Currently Going: From car payments to eating out expenses and ATM fees, figure out how much you were each spending monthly. At this point, narrow down exactly how much you both need for the basics (i.e. food, shelter, transportation) each month.
- Tackle Debt: Once you know exactly how much you need in order to live monthly, start addressing student loans, car payments, credit card payments and all other forms of debt. As a married couple, certain debts may have even doubled as you are now helping each other to get out of debt. Using your “left overs” to pay off bills is hard for many folks, because if you spend more on debt, you must spend less elsewhere. However, if you can do the hard part now, the sooner you can get to the fun part (reaching your goals)!
- Track and Save: Continue to always track your finances, whether you are new to the budget system or have been doing it for years. Always know where your money is going before you spend it. Once you feel more comfortable tracking your finances with a basic monthly budget, feel free to begin tailoring your budget to meet those unique financial goals that you have as a couple.
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