Written by: Chelsea Petersen
It’s important for couples to discuss their finances regularly, and develop a joint money management plan, rather than take on individual responsibility, or let clashing spending habits continue unchecked. Both spouses should be responsible and honest about money to avoid future complications.
1. Talk about your finances
It helps to talk about money before you even get married as you can more easily plan for the future. Go over all bank accounts you may have, as well all debt you may be carrying. Also be honest about your spending habits, and how you expect money to be handled so that you can always be aware of where you stand financially as a couple.
2. Create goals
Once you’ve determined your current financial status, discuss your long-term financial goals, and how this can be reached together. Keep financial security in mind when planning for these goals.
3. Discuss bank accounts
List the pros and cons of both opening a joint account, and maintaining individual bank accounts. You may even decide to do both, but the decision should be mutual- both spouses need to be aware of all financial matters. This can even be a good trust exercise.
4. Design a budget
In order to reach the goals you set earlier, and maintain financial security, you both need to stick to a budget. Review all your individual expenses and decide where you can cut down. Once you have a set budget, stick to it! Track your expenses every month to make sure you stay within your limits, and make adjustments where necessary.
5. Build an emergency fund
This is incredibly important. An emergency fund should be set aside for the event that you face an expensive and unexpected setback where your finances take a hit. This can be anything from a lost job, an illness, or a car accident. This will help you avoid falling into debt, and stay on track to reaching your goals. Try to prepare for a crisis in as many ways as possible.