Your finances change dramatically when you get married. You now have different sources of income as well as different expenses to consider, especially if you are just starting a home together. It is easy to get into financial trouble if you are not careful, thus it is extremely important to manage your money well, especially in this difficult economy. The following are some financial planning tips for married couples.
Make a budget
Making a budget might be the single most important thing that you do to protect your financial security. Many times people spend without realizing how much money things are adding up to. You should look at the income you have to work with and allocate different amounts to different things and try to stick to that. Make sure that the essential bills are paid first such as the food and rent and work your way down to less essential items. To avoid getting behind, make sure you account for overspending in an area by reducing the amount that you spend elsewhere. If you want something big, set aside money for it. You could set up a “fund” to contribute to every month until you have enough to pay for that extra special item. Also, account for money that you want to save for the future – money for children’s college funds, money for a home, money for retirement.
Communicate with Each Other
Make sure both parties understand what needs to be done with the finances. If one person is working hard to save the money and then the other person is just spending it, then that can cause financial problems as well as discord later. One person can deal mostly with it, but both people should at least understand the positions you are in. Make sure that you talk through financial issues that arise and that you are on the same page as to where you are and where you want to be.
Get professional help if you need it
Don’t be afraid to consult a financial planner to help you with your budgeting, especially if you have gotten yourself into trouble. Be wary of the people you get to help you as some individuals are taking advantage of people in bad positions. A financial planner may help you to spend and invest wisely and make the most of the money that you do have. Make sure you understand what he or she can do for you as well as any fees or costs.