Once the marriage ceremony ends and the honeymoon are over, the reality of day-to-day finances sets in for the newly married couples. When you are just starting out, talking about money may not sound romantic. But couples who have spent many years together learn that their financial situation can be a source of strength and partnership, or a force that can tear them apart. As you embark on a new relationship, here are advices to make your relationship as solid and strong as possible.
First and foremost choose from joint or separate bank account which is good for both of you. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. However you do it, decide together and then be consistent about executing.
Experts suggest one way that works for many couples is to maintain three accounts: a joint account and one for each partner. This allows the couple to pay household bills from the joint account, and keep individual funds as well. For couples in which both are working, paychecks can be deposited into individual checking accounts, and based on what each spouse makes, a certain percentage of each income “salary” can be moved into the joint account each month (based on the budget). If only one spouse works, the system can work backward by depositing the wage earners income into the joint account first, then transferring money into each individual account.
Also, make your plans together. It’s always hard to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. And it’s hard to convince yourself, let alone someone else “spouse”. Write down your goals. Saving with a specific goal in mind is much more achievable. Revisit your goals at least yearly if not more often, and modify as needed.
You also need to build a budget around your goals, and use the budget together. While it makes sense for one spouse to handle day-to-day financial tasks, like bill paying, budget together to avoid financial woes and stress. Track your expenses daily for a good look at exactly where your money goes, enter expenses into the budget weekly, and take time – even just an hour – once a month to review, see where you could trim the budget, and analyze progress toward the goals you laid-down.
For every marriage, don’t lie. Nowadays couples lied to their spouse about spending money. While I believed that newlywed couples can start out on the right foot by setting some ground rules for talking about finances. By creating, and then reviewing monthly, a simple budget can avoid much of the stress, finances can bring into a marriage. Being upfront and honest about money matters will pay off in many ways.
Both of you don’t need to assume each other will save. In the budget, make sure to include a category for savings. Whatever the allocated amount is for savings, 15 percent or more if possible, less if necessary and make sure you stick to a percent that works for you.
Finally, Don’t go into debt, though it is easier said than done, but basically, this means to live within your means, and ideally, a bit below your means so you can save and find some financial freedom. The issue of responsibility for debt in a marriage can get complicated. Debt that a person acquired before the marriage does not automatically attach to the new spouse. But, a new spouse can feel the impact of their partner’s debt depending upon how finances are handled after marriage.
Also, prepare for retirement. No matter what you earn, put aside a portion of savings for retirement. This is one time it makes sense to take advantage of your employer too. Take advantage of any retirement savings plan you may have at work.
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