3 Tips For Newlyweds to Invest Your Money Wisely
You and your fiance have probably already had to make a few big decisions together – pick a many people…where to have the all of these decisions easy? Did you always agree?
Decisions and plans abound. The more you do up front, the better off you will be, so: Don’t leave out working with your future mate on bringing all of your finances together.
Start talking now. Use this guide to start the conversation and outline your plan. Then, when you get back from the honeymoon, you can both sit back, relax, and put your plans into motion.
1. Get to Know Each Other – Financially
While opening up about money won’t immediately resolve all financial issues, it will eliminate the taboo that often is associated with the topic. No matter what the situation, honesty is key.
Discuss your Financial Personality
Take the time now, before the wedding, to get your feelings out in the open about money, spending and saving. Are you a spender and your fiance a saver? Are you up in the air about buying or renting your first home? Get to know each others financial personality and tolerance for financial risk.
Conquer your credit rating
Your credit rating affects everything from the rate on a mortgage to the credit limit on your department store credit card. Your score is yours alone and is not affected by another unless you obtain a joint loan or credit card. There may be surprises and inaccuracies. Get started correcting errors and bringing up your score if necessary.
Get a free credit report annually from . Other advertised websites usually make you sign up for another “pay” service in order to get you a “free” report!
2. Plan Your Future – Together
Agree on your goals
Now that you know where you stand, take a minute to decide where you both want to go from here. Start to think about how much you’d like to save.
Are you in the market for a house; need to pay-off debts? Whatever the goals are, agree on their priority and outline a plan to meet them together. Also, decide now how debts accumulated by each individual prior to the marriage (i.e. student loans) will be handled.
Build a budget
Now that you have decided on your goals, make a budget that gets you there. This always includes paying yourself first (savings) and living within your means. Resolve to make credit card debt a thing of the past.
Pay yourself first means the money you’ve budgeted for savings should be stashed away before paying the bills. Now you won’t be tempted to spend it elsewhere.
3. Changing from “I” to “We”
You and your fiance have made some important decisions so far. Once you’ve understood each other’s financial personality, you used that information to build spending and saving objectives and determine what goals you will pursue together over the next few years. Now, it’s time to start opening some accounts: checking, emergency and investment accounts.
How many checking accounts?
Some couples have one family checkbook, others two, and some even have “his, hers, and ours.” What method works best for you?
Two checking accounts are usually best for the busy couple who uses their debit cards freely. Keeping track of these expenses in the checkbook is easier if it’s only your own items – reducing the risk for bounced checks and those horrible words, “Sorry, your card has been declined.” After having been independent before marriage, this method gives everyone their own sense of freedom and independence.
Start an emergency savings fund
This is truly your emergency cash as well as your stash for “big ticket” items.
This should be at least three to six months’ worth of combined income and should be readily accessible, like in a money market account. Either use your combined savings to start this account, or put the “pay yourself first” income here. Then you’ll have a cushion for any surprises, as well as a place to save for the down-payment on the first savings goal on your list.
Invest for your future
Once you set up your emergency fund, you can turn your attention to saving for longer-term goals. Possibly a new car or a down-payment on a house; and it’s never too early to save for retirement. Use your Financial Goals to drive your savings and investments.
Preset a date when you check-in with each other on account balances and savings rates to make sure you are on track with your goals.
Wondering if you’re on the same page financially? Take the Financial Compatibility Quiz here.
No matter what your future holds as husband and wife, you can certainly get a jump on it by planning that future today.