The beginning of marriage is a fun and exciting time, but it is also a time for adjustment and learning more about your spouse in many ways. Budgeting as a couple is much different from budgeting on your own and it will take time to adjust, but these ten budgeting tips can help newlywed couples start out on the right foot.
Prioritize Your Goals as a Couple
Sit down over a nice dinner and talk about your future goals whether it is planning for kids one day, buying your first home together or taking a second honeymoon. Talk over ways you are willing to help each other achieve your goal.
Establish Shared Needs
You need a place to live, you both may need a car or some kind of transportation, but you may be surprised to find out that your spouse thinks they need something you never would have considered. In order for a budget to be effective, both spouses need to be on the same financial page.
Develop a Budget
Now that you have your needs and wants prioritized, sit down and create a budget you are both willing to follow whether it is by creating a new budget or merging your individual budgets together. Besides your basic expenses, a good budget should also include a plan for savings and emergencies.
Eliminate or Reduce Debt
You may have both brought debt into your marriage, but now that you are a couple it is important to work together to eliminate or reduce your debt. Improving credit rating will open the door for future loans at a lower interest rate when you are ready to buy your dream home. Improving credit rating as a couple will also allow you to have more disposable income as each debt is paid.
Plan for Emergencies
Every newlywed couple should incorporate a plan to save for emergencies. Having a cash reserve can save you financially if faced with a loss of income, major car repairs or any other unanticipated expense.
Make sure you have adequate home, health and life insurance for both spouses. Insuring you are protected in case of a catastrophe is one of the best things you can do not only for each other, but for yourself as well.
Retirement may seem a long ways off when you are just starting a new life together, but it is never too early to start planning for your retirement. The sooner you start planning for your retirement; the better off you will be when it is time.
Many people do not understand finances and if you, as a couple, do not then consider taking the proper steps to learn more about budgeting, planning for the future and eliminating debt. The more you know at the beginning of your life together, the better and more financially secure you will be for the duration of your life together.
Do not be afraid to consult with a financial counselor. Financial counselors can offer a fresh perspective to your finances, help you avoid pitfalls you may not see coming and help you plan out a sound financial future. Money issues can be a sensitive topic and you do not want something like finances causing a rift between you and your new spouse.
Make a Financial Date Night
Schedule and set aside time once a month or so to sit down and talk about your finances. Use this time to talk about your budget for the next month and make any adjustments as necessary. Make it fun, but also make it a priority.
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