Getting married isn’t just a big emotional step, it's also a leap into the world of joined finances and responsibilities. Though it can seem scary, it does not have to be. In fact, taking on the world with a partner you trust is a great thing. Here's our handy finance management guide to help you and your spouse get started:
Covering the basics
Life is full of ups and downs and, no matter how well and detailed your plans may be, things can often go in a whole new direction. As a team, you and your spouse will have to learn to navigate life together gracefully, learning acceptance and adaptation in case of unexpected events. For these unexpected events, there are a few things you can do to make things easier. For example, providing your growing family a safety net by way of insurance. This can give you the confidence of having the means to tackle future emergencies without financial strain. That said, your new status as newlyweds might call for some new policies or investments. So be sure to have a conversation about what kind of coverage you might need and make sure you're prepared and protected against every eventuality.
First off, protect against the worst
No one likes to think about their own mortality but responsibilities as a partner and a parent mean that you need to. Now that you and your partner are starting a life together, it is important to make sure they’re taken care of in case of an unfortunate event such as an untimely death. This is especially important if you are the main provider in the family. Getting a good life insurance plan can make you feel at ease that your family will be provided for, even if you aren’t around to do so.
Ease future medical burdens
Health insurance will ensure that you and your spouse do not have to face huge hospital bills if illnesses or accidents occur. Insurance is a great way to protect your financial future together. Many kinds can be held jointly, so be sure to review all your policies to see which of them can be merged.
Start investing together
Investing may not have seemed very important when you were single but being married can change that. Marriage is a great incentive to get your finances in order, start budgeting and make investments for a future together. There are plenty of great long-term investment plans to help you reach your future goals. Speak to family and friends who are well-versed in finances, or a professional investment planner, to expand your portfolio as a couple and move closer to your financial objectives.
Make a will
Making a will is important. If you don’t have one, you need one. And if you do have one, you’ll probably need to update it to account for your change in circumstances. As mentioned earlier, now that you're starting a family together, make sure you're both protected by investing in a comprehensive life insurance plan.
Talk about your financial situation
Besides talking about your dreams and plans for the future, sit down to talk about your separate financial situations and how they might work together. If you’re getting married, being open means full disclosure of your incomes, expenditures, and debts. In case you're unaware of your financial situation, the first thing you should do is to understand and control your finances.
Agree on a money management plan
Becoming organized starts with budget planning. Will you still have separate budgets alongside your joint budget? Whether you'll split the money or pay for things using the joint account? Some couples like to join everything, while others prefer to maintain separate budgets and accounts for their personal spending and savings.
While there’s no right or wrong answer, you can decide on married couple finances that work for you and make adjustments as you go. If finance management turns out to be more difficult, try using a money app for couples to record joint expenses and income.
Save together as a newly married couple
Young couple goals should translate into joint savings goals. This means being open about what you want for the future. For example, you may want to redecorate, buy a car, or even just go on holiday together. For any of these purchases, you'll have to learn how to save money as a couple. Talk and finalize on how much you both need to contribute and then work those into your joint budget.
It’s also important to be open and organized about how and when you spend from the joint pot of money. It’ll never work if you’re both making purchases you haven’t agreed to and don’t tell each other about. So decide on some ground rules to ensure you’re always on the same page and that everything gets recorded. Use this expense tracker app if you find spreadsheets tiring!
Finance management means cutting expenses
The best thing about financial management is joint expenses, as it enables you to save a lot of money! To make the most of it, you need to proactively question everything. Do you need those separate accounts for watching web series? Can you get a joint gym membership? How will you buy groceries together?
You’ll also have plenty of things, such as furniture, that you suddenly have duplicates of when you start living together. These can make you some serious cash if you sell them online on apps. Pay particular attention to those big-ticket items—figuring out that you don’t need two cars is a great way to start saving for your first big joint purchase as newlyweds!
Learn to manage money as a couple
One of the most important financial tips you can get – be wary of lifestyle creep. This happens when luxuries become necessities as your disposable income increases. Moreover, this tends to happen pretty suddenly when couples merge their finances.
While there’s nothing wrong with spending your hard-earned money, overindulgence can cancel the savings brought by joint budgeting. This can prevent you from reaching your savings goals and needlessly stretch your budget. So, be mindful of everything you both choose to bring into your lives, asking yourselves whether it will genuinely add value—and if it does, whether that value is really worth the price tag.