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These are the 15 crucial money tips for newlyweds because as we know, being newly married can have plenty of challenges, such as:
- Learning about each other
- Adjusting to living together
- Consistently being around one another
- Getting accustomed to communicating
Then throw on top of all of that… the money.
I definitely understand that money can be a big stressor of a newly married couple, but I wholeheartedly believe if you take the following tips and apply them in your relationship, you can have a marriage (no matter how long it has been) that is completely confident in your personal finances.
I cannot overcommunicate how much I believe in the importance of communicating about money.
When you first get married it is so important to immediately start discussing money in a way that is effective for both of you. If you have a hard time communicating about things like this, I suggest the book, Crucial Conversations, as a great read to learn how to talk about almost anything with anyone.
It is crucial to talk monthly about the next month’s upcoming budget, weekly about the past week’s spending and tracking, and sometimes daily about different things. I would certainly err on the side of overcommunicating at first, then deciding together how to scale it back as you go along.
Learn Each Other’s Relationship with Money
It is so important to understand how you relate to money.
Here are some good questions to contemplate:
- How did you learn about it when you were growing up?
- Did your parents teach you about it directly or indirectly?
- Do you see money as a good thing, a bad thing, a way to show love, a way to show status?
- What is money to you?
Talk Things Through
Talking things like this through is vital so that you can fully understand each other’s relationship to money. For me personally, I see money as a way to be safe and secure. If I have enough saved away, I know my family is taken care of and will be taken care of if something happens.
There is a great devotional that Pastor Jimmy Evans explains so well. I encourage you to read this together, then discuss how you find yourselves relating to money.
This will really help you understand each other so much better.
Learn Eachother’s Tendencies
You know what they say, that opposites attract! Normally, couples tend to be different in their tendencies than the other, making things… interesting.
Do you tend to save, or spend?
Do you impulse buy or try to completely control the money?
No matter your tendencies, it is just as important as knowing how you relate to money. I know that for me, my tendency is to save everything and not do anything fun at all. My wife, on the other hand, loves spending money to have fun and using our resources to enjoy ourselves.
Here is the thing, if it were only me, my life would be so boring and I wouldn’t have any fun at all, but I would have a lot of savings. If it were only my wife, her life would be so much fun but she probably wouldn’t have any money anywhere.
It Is All About Balance
The great thing is that we balance each other out.
My wife helps me have fun with money and I help her remember to save some every now and then. When you know and understand eachother’s tendencies, you can bring a balance to the relationship that will help you go further than you could ever go alone.
What To Do If You Have Similar Inclinations
If you are both really similar in your tendencies, that is totally fine, it just means you may need to seek outside accountability. If you are both really big savers and tend not to have any fun, find someone you trust in your life that is good with their finances but understands how to spend some of it to enjoy. They will help you keep a balance of saving and spending.
Do the same thing if you are both spenders. Find someone in your life that has a tendency to save and ask them to help you remember to set some aside for later.
All in all, it is important for you to understand each other’s tendencies so that you can work together to find a good balance, and win big with money!
A lot of times, because of the way things are set up before the marriage with checking accounts, savings accounts, and everything else, it can be easy to leave everything separate. I would encourage you to combine all of your accounts, your checking, your savings, your investment accounts, everything. You should both have access to everything.
Unity is the Reason
Unity is so important because it allows for trust, mutual accountability and a sense of togetherness. When all of your income and expenses are coming out of the same account, it almost forces you both to be sure to stay accountable to each other because if one of you spends it all, the other suffers!
Talk Over Your Current Situation
How much money is in the savings account?
What about the 401k?
How much money do you both make?
Talking Over Everything Is Vital
This will give you both an understanding of exactly where you are at. You may not always be at this exact same spot, but it is important to know where you are at today.
You may even consider doing this monthly, or quarterly so you are continually on the same page. This could help you address goals that you had, and if you met them or not.
Discuss How You Learned About Money(from your past)
Understanding each other on a deeper level by talking about your past and money can be beneficial.
Discussing things like how you both learned about personal finances can tell you a lot about each other’s inclinations, the way you process money decisions and why you do what you do when it comes to finances. Try discussing your upbringings and how you see it having an effect on your current situation.
Some Example Questions to Discuss:
- What did your parents teach you about money?
- What did you learn from your parents about finances just by watching them?
- How was money perceived in your home growing up?
- Did your friends influence your thought process on money?
- Have you made personal money mistakes that you remember? How did that make you feel?
- Moving forward, what would make you feel like you’ve succeeded with money?
Decide On a Goal Together
This one is huge! What will you focus on and how will you go about each goal you have? Maybe you want to get out of debt, buy a house and get a new car. Deciding together on how to go about each of those goals, and when, is very important.
Deciding on a goal together can help keep you both on track, focused on the achievement and keep you committed to working for the same thing.
If one of you wants one thing, and one of you wants another thing, you’ll be running in two different directions and never arrive together. Deciding on a goal together allows you to both run full speed together, getting to the finish line as a couple and winning!
It doesn’t matter what it is, whether you’re checking up on a goal, on the budget, on spending, on debt… continually checking up is crucial. This will keep you both on the same page, involved and committed. Staying on the same page is so important. If you never check up, how will you know if you reached the goal you set out to accomplish? It will also keep you both involved.
Checking In Keeps You Engaged
Remembering you need to check in will keep you included in the process and always having your personal finances at the forefront of your mind. Commitment is huge as well if you both are continually checking up with each other, your commitment will stay high and you will stay devoted to your goals and pursuits.
Work the Budget Together
This doesn’t mean you both have to create the budget. One of you can set up the budget (normally the one who is more inclined to like numbers and math) and get everything ready. Working the budget together means coming to an agreement, tracking and discussing. If you have never done a budget before, learn how by heading over to my blog post, 5 Simple Steps to Create a Budget.
Agree Before the Next Month’s Budget Begins
Before the next month begins, it is very important for you both to come to an agreement of what next month will look like. You don’t have to be perfect at this, but for the most part, you are going to be able to predict what will happen and both be on the same page.
Tracking Together is Key
If one of you is the only one that puts things into the budget, and that works for you, then that is cool. However, it is helpful to have both of you tracking as you spend things because you will always know how much you have budgeted, how much you spent, and how much is left. This can help reduce overspending accidentally on a category because you are always tracking together
Discuss Things As They Come Up
Working the budget together also means discussing things as they come up. Things are going to come up. The plan you created before the month began is likely going to change a bit from time to time because that is life. Someone has a birthday you forgot about, you end up having to drive a little more than needed, a car tire goes flat… things happen that will require adjusting the budget and it is important for you to be consistently discussing these changes. When changes or adjustments are necessary, discuss them. If you want to increase or decrease something in the budget, discuss it. If something was forgotten in the budget, discuss it.
Overall, remember to discuss it!
Talk About the Future
Where do you want to travel together?
What do you want to be able to do?
How would you like to go about retirement?
As we look towards the future, what would we like to see happen?
My wife and I are personally looking forward to traveling to Italy and buy a house! We talk about the future often, just to keep our eyes up and not so focused on exactly what’s going on right now, all the time.
Talking about the future every now and then can keep you motivated and energized to keep working hard together to meet your goals.
Have Occassional Vision Meetings
Vision meetings are great, they are intentional times to sit and talk about the future and beyond. This can be things like a life of retirement and what that looks like. Are we going to travel when we retire? Do we want to plan to spend a lot of time with our family? What will the priority be?
Ultimately the vision meetings are setting aside time to really look far in the future and talk about your options and where you’d like to get to. Doing this occasionally will keep you both on the same page, and continually energized to keep putting a priority on tomorrow, and years down the road.
Create a Vision Board Together
I love vision boards. Vision boards are basically a way to make your dreams and desires visual. Do you want to go to Italy like us? Do you have a dream house that you want to move into one day? Put photos of those things on the vision board!
Whatever you’re looking to do in the future, maybe you want to give a bunch of money away and feel the freedom to do that, try making it visual and putting it on a vision board to see consistently so you always remember what you’re working for.
Create a Will
I know. A will? Really? That’s not the happiest thing for a newly married couple to focus on. I get that, but here’s a statistic that I don’t have to link to any major study, 100% of people die. It’s not the happiest statistic in the world, but it is true.
A will is important because it is going to help sort everything out if something were to happen. If this did happen, the will that is in place would at the very least reduce some of the stress of things because everything that needs to happen at that time will be outlined in the will document.
Death stinks, but it is a part of life and being prepared is important. Take the time to create a will and be sure to update it every time an important life event happens like you move states, have children, etc.
Consider Term Life Insurance
This is also not the happiest of topics but it is very important. Life insurance is intended to replace an income if something were to happen to that person. If your spouse died, you would be losing their income. If you have life insurance, you can replace the income with that life insurance by placing the amount into an investment account and make it work for you and live off the interest, dividends and other income it provides.
Money is not something you want to think about when someone passes away, having the security that you’ll be just fine if something does happen, is worth it.
Life Insurance Can Allow You To Just Grieve
Life insurance can be put in place so that you don’t have to worry about money after something happens. It is one less thing to worry about and you can simply focus on your grieving process. Having to worry about money can cause more undue stress.
Here is what I know personally, I want my wife to be taken care of if something were to happen to me, and I the last thing I want her thinking about is how to pay the bills because she doesn’t have my income anymore. With life insurance in place, she doesn’t have to worry about that at all.
Get Accountability or Find Another Couple
Accountability is so impactful and certainly when it comes to money it can be a key factor in your marriage. If you are both spenders, you may need extra accountability to ensure that you don’t spend everything you make. If you are both savers, you may need extra accountability to ensure you aren’t always in your house and never do anything. Maybe you are both the complete opposite of each other and really just need the extra accountability from an outside party. Whatever your situation is and if you recognize the need for accountability, find it.
Consider a Financial Coach
Financial Coaches can provide you with the accountability you need as a couple. I meet with couples often and they find it incredibly impactful to get on the same page. I am even able to be an unbiased third party without emotions attached and give helpful insight into their situations. In addition, I can help them discuss their differences that sometimes we choose to ignore altogether.
You Can Connect With Other Couples
This is something that my wife and I are intentional about. Some of our greatest joys come from spending time with other couples that have “been there done that” and been married for a good 10 to 20 years. This really helps us since we have only been married about a year and a half. Their experience is something we can learn from.
Additionally, if you can find a couple that is where you want to be financially, talk with them! See if they are willing to discuss personal finances and the challenges that come with it as a couple. You don’t even have to require specific information from each other like numbers or anything. Just a simple and general conversation regarding money and marriage can be incredibly helpful.
Accountability is important and not a negative thing. It can help keep you on track, encourage you, and give you the guidance you need as a newly married couple.
If you are newlyweds, what is most important for you when it comes to money? If you have been married a while, what do you think the key to money and marriage is? Let me know in the comments!