What every newlywed couple ought to know about money
Money, it’s what makes the world go round or, conversely, what causes the world to come to a screeching halt as the epic battle of the newlyweds plays out. Who will reign victorious: the spendthrift or the penny pincher?
Not every newlywed fits neatly into the spender or saver category, but inevitably one partner will be more of a spendthrift and the other more of a tightwad when it comes to the finances. Believe it or not, differences in financial points of view do not have to cause a war.
Here is some peaceable financial advice to newlyweds who would rather be allies than enemies.
- Lay all your cards on the table. Clear, open communication is essential to the success of your marriage, especially when talking about finances. Couples should disclose all their debts and assets to their partners prior to or at the start of their marriage.
- Create financial goals together. Uniting in pursuit of a common financial goal can make marital bonds stronger because both partners are making sacrifices to achieve a greater goal. Real-life loves Kim and Matt created a system called MBO, or Marriage by Objective, to align their actions to achieve desired results.
- Delegate responsibility. Typically, the physical act of paying the monthly bills falls to one partner, but both partners should know how to pay the bills if they need to. Some couples suggest giving one person responsibility over short term finances, like bill paying, and the other person responsibility over long term investments, such as saving for retirement.
- Pay debts ASAP. According to theknot.com, the average wedding costs couples around $28,000. That’s a hefty sum, especially if the couple has been taking advantage of all the great money saving wedding advice available online. If both partners have student loans (the average graduating senior has $19,237 in loan debt), then debt is creating quite a burden in the beginning of the marriage. Make paying back debts a priority early on.
One final piece of advice for newlyweds is to invest in your relationship. All the money in the world cannot strengthen a marriage like the bonds of communication and the pursuit of shared interests.