Marriage is a milestone that alters your financial life, not just your personal one. It can be tricky to combine your finances, but with the right approach, you can avoid common pitfalls and achieve shared financial goals. Here are some tips to marry your money and stop it from becoming a source of conflict after marriage.
- Have open communication.
Being honest and transparent about your habits will help you compromise and avoid disputes. A big thing to discuss is your money motivations. Some questions to talk about are:
- Are you a spender or a saver?
- How much you save each month?
- What is your credit score and how is it important to you?
- How do you pay your credit card balance every month?
- How do you invest?
Answering these questions will shed light on your individual money management philosophy and help you find ways to merge them.
- Talk about financial goals.
It can be more fun to work towards financial goals when you are doing it as a team. Discuss your short- and long-term goals to find common ground. It can be about buying your first home, a new business, children, retirement, emergency savings, or a large vacation. Be realistic in your approach and prioritize your goals. Then, develop a spending and saving plan to achieve them.
- List assets and liabilities.
What are you bringing into the marriage? It can be savings and investment accounts, houses, and cars or student loans, credit card bills, and mortgages. You must both be upfront about these, especially the liabilities that you hope to tackle together. Talk about your assets and liabilities in light of your financial goals.
- Figure out your financial life.
Some couples choose to combine their money after marriage while others do not. Choose the option that makes the most sense for you as a couple.
- Come up with a monthly budget.
It is important to talk about your budget and agree on spending limits. This is not a one-time thing, but a task that you must deal with every month. It helps if you decide who handles what when it comes to your bills and money. Also, make sure you update the other spouse about your responsibilities every month.