Saturday, August 10, 2013

Staying Financially Afloat After the Wedding

You pored over thousands of websites and magazines to make your wedding dreams come true. There are countless resources that help plan your wedding, but what about advice in facing the practical matters of your marriage after the big day? Merging your lives includes financials, so knowing how to handle common money matters and the stress that comes with it is essential to the longevity of your marriage.
Start your marriage by laying a strong financial foundation and avoid becoming a statistic of divorce.

Promote Transparency

Now is the time to share all of your financial information with your partner, if you haven't done so before the wedding. When you're married, you affect each other's credit scores and are both responsible for shared debt, sometimes even debt that is only in one person's name. It's common for at least one half of a couple to enter into a marriage with significant debt. The average student loan debt is $25,000, and the average credit card balance is $5,000 per cardholder, explains No matter how embarrassing huge student loan bills or credit card balances are, it's best to get it all out in the open in order to properly start a budget.

Stick to a Budget

Even if you aren't in debt, getting in a budgeting habit serves you well in the long run. Start by keeping track of every single expense — even that daily coffee at Starbucks or the bag of chips from the vending machines. Many times, you'll find the little expenses are what really takes a big chunk out of the budget. If possible, make sure each person has some money per month they can spend without having to justify or seek permission for the purchase.
Once you get a handle on what your total income and expenses are, you can begin contributing to a rainy day fund. With the current economy, it's best to get six months of expenses put back into savings to safeguard against job loss.
Identify areas where you can save money. For instance, you get a large discount on your home computing services if you bundle your Internet and cable together, according to Other areas to cut back include switching from a smartphone to a messenger phone to avoid high data costs, heading out to free and low-cost events for date nights, keeping one car and carpooling to work and learning how to cook a good variety of dishes instead of eating out every day for lunch.

Make a Debt Management Battle Plan

If you are dealing with debt, don't make the minimum payments and hope they'll go away. This works with installment loans, but not credit cards. Make a list of all of your cards, their balances and their interest rates. Ideally, you go from the highest interest rate down to the lowest to minimize the amount of money you pay on balances. This is a big priority so you don't end up drowning in debt when you would rather buy a house or a car.

Establish Responsibility

Establish who is going to pay what bills for financial success. You can split the bills between each person, have each person pay a specific percentage of major bills or have one person handle all of the bills. A shared bank account that the bill money goes into helps separate these funds from your spending accounts.
Fotos para pauta
Flickr photo: Jenifer Correa
What money management tips do you have for newlyweds? Share them in the comments.

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