Settling into life as a married couple takes some work. If you’re taking your husband’s last name, you must complete the name change in several places. You also have to discuss managing money as a couple and learn how to live together.
Check the Samantha organizer for the to-do list for those changing their last names: Once the name change is complete, you can now focus on managing money as a couple. “Money is often a tricky topic for new couples,” says Sam Goller, the author of “Yes, You Can… Achieve Financial Harmony.” “But it’s important to start communicating about money at the beginning of your marriage.” Goller offers the following suggestions for newlyweds working to manage their finances as a couple:
Prior to creating a financial plan, talk about your histories with money and what’s most important to each of you when it comes to money.
2.Find missing cents
You have to understand your spending habits before you can spend money in a way that helps meet your goals. Consider keeping a spending journal to find out where your money really goes.
3.Choose a system that works for you
You may prefer to sit down each month as a couple to pay bills and develop a monthly budget. Or maybe one of you is better at handling expenses and prefers to do it alone. Find a system that works with your needs. “The key to managing money as a couple is to never stop talking,” says Goller. “With shared determination, a plan and open communication, newlyweds have the power to improve their financial position both now and well into retirement.”
If you are combining your finances, work together to create a budget that is realistic and that will work for you both.
– Don’t forget to establish an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses.
– Work together to eliminate debt – the closer you both are to being debt-free, the easier it will be to apply for a mortgage together.
– Create a dedicated and organized space where you can pay and store bills.
– Look for savings opportunities
5.Create Financial Goals
Working together to identify your financial goals, focus on both short-term plans, like buying your first home, and long-term plans, like when and where you want to retire.
Is consolidating your finances right for the two of you? Determine how your shared finances will be managed:
– Identify your short-term goals, such as buying a home or raising children.
– Start investing now to ensure maximum growth over time.
– Develop an integrated savings and investment plan for your long-term goals
– Commit to regular investing, made easy with various financial products on the market.
6.Update Your Insurance Plans
There are a number of types of insurance couples can consider at this time, including life, disability, and health insurance. Even if they both have coverage, now is a good time to review what they will need to cover their joint responsibilities.
Things to consider include:
– Reviewing beneficiary designations for insurance policies.
– Reviewing your health coverage insurance options and be sure your selections will cover relevant medical expenses (such as pre-natal care cost).
– Be sure your insurance coverage is updated to include all family members.
7.Create a Will
If you haven’t already thought about estate planning, will your spouse be provided for if something should happen to you? Establish or update your will to include your spouse.
8.Start an Education Savings Plan
If you are planning to start a family soon, you can start saving for your child’s education now. College costs are soaring but with a well thought out plan that’s in place early, your investments may have the time they need to keep up. Compare your options and choose a college savings vehicle. Commit to monthly savings. Even small monthly payments can add up over time.