There are plenty of changes you will have to make with your partner when you get married. One thing that often gets overlooked is how your finances will change. Once you get married, your personal financial profile will be shared with your partner. You’ll also have to address how you’ll manage money. It can help to create a plan that addresses all of these important factors.
Talk About Your Credit History
The first thing you should discuss with your new spouse or fiancée is one another’s credit score. Once you’re married, your credit will be linked to one another, so you should know how you’ll be changing your financial outlook. Be honest with one another about credit card debt, loans, and bankruptcies. If one partner does have a large amount of debt, transparency will help you create a plan for paying it off.
Plan to Start an Emergency Fund
Once you pay down your debt as a couple, that disposable cash should be deposited into a high-interest savings account. Money should never be taken out of the account except to pay for financial emergencies. You never know when you’ll be faced with a water heater failure, auto repairs, or a serious medical condition. Having a fund set aside to cover these expenses will save you from having to borrow money.
Live Within Your Means
You should manage your finances together just as you would co-manage other aspects of your partnership. Even if you choose to share joint bank accounts, both of you should be involved in household budgeting and paying monthly expenses. This ensures you will know what’s involved in meeting your financial obligations. Your budget should leave you with disposable cash each month, which you can divide between your regular savings and your retirement investment account. You should also set aside some money each month for entertainment and recreation. Working together to meet these financial needs will help you prevent most financial setbacks.
By talking about your finances in advance, you can avoid any unexpected surprises. You’ll also ensure you both have a good understanding of what’s expected of one another. Good communication about your finances as a couple can help you avoid disagreements and conflict early in your marriage.