Financial Tips Toward Newlywed Bliss
Getting married is one of the most exciting thing in an adult’s life. That said, it also can take a lot of getting used to. From perhaps moving in to a new house, to thinking about children, there’s no doubt you will need some time to get used to your new lifestyle. One area that is particularly different is finances. When you get married, legally all of your assets are shared between you and your spouse. Even the way you both file taxes will change. In order to help ease the transition, we’ve come up with some fast financial tips to help you acclimate quickly!
- Embrace shared accounts: Many people are nervous to take the plunge and open joint bank accounts or credit cards with their spouse. While this does take a great deal of trust, so does marriage in and of itself! By having shared financial accounts, you can leave the feelings of comparing one person’s contribution vs. another’s in the past. What’s more is that you will benefit from being able to pay bills more easily, track overall spending, and build trust throughout your relationship.
- Consolidate services: While this may seem like a no-brainer, we humans are creatures of habit, and change is hard. However, we also like to save money! So, go through the various services you have and determine if there is a way to cut down or combine. For example, a great place to start is with a phone bill; weigh the cost of two lines on one account vs. separate accounts. Next, tackle things like streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music, and so on. Chances are you can deactivate any individual accounts and being sharing or upgrade to a family plan, which usually will save a few dollars a month!
- Avoid credit card debt: Credit card debt can be absolutely crippling. Moreover, adding it to existing student loan or other debt can be even worse. However, compared with student loans, credit cards often have exorbitant interest rates, hovering around 20%. So you’ll end up spending way more money on purely on the interest, as opposed to the principal amount. If you are looking to pay down current credit card debt, look into consolidating or transferring debt to achieve a lower interest rate. Then, cut corners elsewhere (cable television, eating out, etc.) in order to enable yourself to make high monthly payments. Remember, every bit counts, and stay focused!
- Start a rainy-day fund: It’s no secret that we can’t predict the future, and this is even more true of hard times. After you and your spouse tie the knot and settle down, determine what your living expenses are. Financial advisors recommend having at least six months of living expenses saved up before anything else like retirement and investment. This reserve fund could save you from lost income due to an unexpected medical emergency, or a job loss. If you don’t have to use it, then you’ve shown yourself you can save, and keep it up!