Financial Management for Newlyweds: How Young Couples Can Prepare for a Bright Future
Provided by Derek Cockrell
When two people come together and decide to spend the rest of their lives with each other, it’s a momentous occasion filled with love, hope, and promise. Along with all of those happy emotions come some serious practical considerations—like how you’re going to combine your lives (including your finances). If you’re about to take the plunge into married life, consider these financial management tips from Contemporary Benefits to get started off on the right foot!
“Newlyweds have a lot of things they want to achieve together...But it’s essential to be realistic about what you can achieve in the short term and long term."
Establish financial goals together.
Newlyweds have a lot of things they want to achieve together. Buying a house, traveling the world, starting a family—these are just a few of the many dreams you might share. But it’s essential to be realistic about what you can achieve in the short term and long term. And you need to set financial goals accordingly. For example, if you want to buy a house within the next five years, start saving now and determine how much money you’ll need to put away each month to reach that goal.
Combine your finances.
Once you’re married, there’s no such thing as “your money” and “my money.” It’s all “our money” now. This can be a big adjustment for some couples, but remember that you’re in this together.
Talk about what kind of financial setup makes sense for both of you, whether that means merging all your accounts, keeping things separate, or creating a joint account while also maintaining separate accounts. Make sure you’re both on the same page and that regardless of whatever financial system you agree to, you know you’re on the same team and agree to adjust to whatever comes your way.
Prioritizing your long-term earning potential.
If you want to ensure that you and your spouse can reach all of your financial goals, it might be worth considering returning to school for an online degree. Not only will this give you the chance to increase your earning potential, but getting an online degree from an accredited institution can also set you up for success in any number of exciting career fields.
If you have the heart to teach young minds, consider getting a BS in early childhood education or elementary education. Here's a good one to consider.
Save for a house.
One of the most common financial goals for newlyweds is buying a house. If this is something you and your spouse are hoping for, start saving now! The sooner you start putting money away, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to make an offer on your dream home.
Also, try to keep your overall debt load low. Be mindful about taking on new debt (like student loans) as quickly as possible. Lenders will likely use your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) to decide whether or not to give you a loan—and the amount you qualify for. Calculate your DTI (total monthly debt / gross monthly income), and work on improving it as needed.
Create a monthly budget.
Working together to create a monthly budget is one of the best ways newlyweds can get a handle on their finances. Sit down together and talk about your income, debts, expenses (fixed vs. variable), and savings goals. Once you have a clear understanding of where your money is going each month, you can make adjustments to stay on track financially.
Regularly evaluate your financial progress.
Finally, don’t forget to check in regularly with each other about how things are going financially. This is essential for ensuring you’re on track with your goals and for maintaining transparency in your relationship (which is key when it comes to managing money). Schedule regular “financial check-ins” throughout the year—maybe quarterly or semi-annually—to openly and honestly discuss any changes or concerns.
Establishing clear communication channels around financial management is critical for newlywed couples preparing themselves for a bright future ahead! By following the tips outlined above—from setting realistic goals together to saving for a home—you and your spouse will be well on your way toward achieving your dreams. Just remember that your relationship supersedes all the worries of this life, so remain transparent, communicative, and gracious with one another!
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about our wealth management and employee benefit services? Visit ContemporaryBenefitsLLC.com today!
Derek Cockrell may be reached at (575) 769-3965 x101 or Derek@ContemporaryBenefitsLLC.com