For better or worse, for richer or poorer – newlyweds quickly find out that keeping these vows is easier when you take things on as a team.
With the joining of two lives comes the union of finances. After the honeymoon, couples are confronted with the reality of making two separate lives one, and learning to face obstacles together along the way.
Financially there is a lot to consider – from different money personalities and income levels, to decisions on when and where to pull your finances.
Lots of couples successfully face this challenge by being prepared. Before marriage, you do the groundwork and get to know each other’s personalities inside and out but familiarizing yourself with your partner financially is important too.
Discovering your spouse’s money likes, dislikes and habits will put you in a good position before you embark on a journey of a lifetime together.
Marriage causes you to re-evaluate what you want. Selfish whims are put aside as priorities and goals change to include home and family. Pulling money requires huge lifestyle adjustments and with it comes a fundamental need to communicate.
Ted Massro, financial planner, states that the key to any couple mixing finances successfully is honesty. He believes that it is vital to have a good understanding and communicate openly with regard to finances before the wedding. If this is not established early on you are always going to have the financial fight.
Ted points out the importance in starting a joint account – for shared and jointly produced expenses – but also keeping individual accounts in order to maintain your own financial identity.
As long as you’re upfront with one another about your spending, and openly explain your reasons you will avoid many of the pitfalls encountered by young couples starting out.
One of the main factors to consider when adjusting to the shared finances of married life is to make sure you’re not paying twice.
‘It is critical that people look at their employee benefits, what’s afforded to them, what’s available to each other, and what’s a duplication,’ advises Massro. It is crucial that you ask yourself, ‘where are the most cost effective options and where can you gain most benefits for both parties?’
Offering one another support and bearing in mind common goals will help you to overcome arguments and work together towards creating a stronger financial future.
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