Just a few weeks ago, you and your partner vowed to stay together “for richer or for poorer,” and now’s the time to find out which is which! Hopefully, you already have a sense of your spouse’s financial situation, but now is the time to get better acquainted with each other’s situation and work on stability together. Here are the best financial planning tips for newlyweds.
Talk About Money
The most important tip is more of a general rule: become comfortable discussing money with your partner. Personal finances can be, well, personal, but you have to set aside your hang-ups and come together as a team on this. If you feel uncomfortable discussing financial matters, or if you’ve been known to play fast and loose with your money, make that clear from the outset.
Track Your Expenses
After your honeymoon, start a spreadsheet and track all your expenses. This will help both of you get a sense of what you’re spending (and who is spending what). With every penny listed out, you’ll both think more critically before making an impulse purchase.
Separate or Shared Bank Accounts
Depending on your relationship, you may want to have separate bank accounts or share a joint account. There’s no one right answer here, so you’ll have to figure out which kind of couple you are.
Shared accounts are excellent for keeping track of spending but can lead to uncomfortable conversations if you or your partner tends to overspend. If you opt for separate accounts, make sure your financial transparency and budgeting don’t go out the window.
Start an Emergency Fund
Emergencies happen, and it’s always good to expect the unexpected. You may suddenly find yourself out of a job or expecting a new baby. No matter what the massive life change is, keep an emergency fund just in case. Consider allocating a percentage of every paycheck to a locked savings account to grow slowly over time.
Consider a Spousal IRA
You need to have your own income from a W-2 job to make an IRA contribution unless you have a spousal IRA. Spousal IRAs are ideal if your partner earns income and you don’t (or vice versa) because the person not earning is still allowed to contribute to the IRA account and assist with your retirement plan.
Now that you know the best financial planning tips for newlyweds, tackle married life with confidence and with money in your pocket!