Joining finances as a new couple can be challenging. Here are some tips on how to make it a smooth transition without creating added stress in your relationship. Be sure to listen to episode 010 of my podcast where I talk about best strategies for marrying your finances.
Financial infidelity can really ruin things in your relationship. You’re starting to build a life together, the last thing you want to do is start off by hiding things. Be honest, you’d be surprised how understanding your significant other can be when you’re being upfront. If you hide things and it’s found out later, it’s going to be hard to regain that trust. Think of it this way; if your spouse finds you lying about something small, they’re going to wonder what else you’ve been lying about. You do not want to go down that road.
It’s not all or nothing. You do not have to do it all at once. Start by opening a joint checking account. You’re likely going to be splitting the bills anyway, why not start off with a joint account where you can both deposit your share of the expenses? This creates trust and helps each of you see how accountable each other are. As you develop the trust and move on to having joint goals, like vacations, you can then open a joint savings account for those specific joint goals that you’ll have in the future.
Don’t Give Up Your Credit
Just because you’re married does not mean you have to give up your identity. It is a great idea to keep your own credit, especially credit cards that you’ve had for a very long time. You don’t have to keep a balance, but if you have an old card, that history is really helping boost your credit score. You can keep it open and use it from time to time and pay it off at the end of the month so that you don’t pay interest, but at the same time you’re keeping it active.
See Where You Can Save
This might be an opportunity for some savings since you might have duplicate things that you might not need. If you’re married or getting married, consider having one car insurance policy instead of two. You can also explore having a family cell phone plan instead of two individual plans. Also, check to see if you can eliminate things like subscriptions that can now be shared instead of each of you having separate plans.
Payoff Debt as a Couple
If you’re married and you both have debt, you might be better off looking at the big picture. Your efforts might payoff much better if you payoff your debt as a household instead of each of you trying to payoff debt on your own. This is one of the areas a financial planner can help you. Figuring out which debt to pay first, comparing different payments methods, and loan consolidation options.
Be sure to listen to episode 010 of my podcast where I talk about best strategies for marrying your finances.
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