October 3, 2018
One survey found financial matters is “the most common source of discord among American couples.” 1 Further, the survey concluded, arguments over money predominantly involve a differing opinion of “needs” versus “wants,” unexpected expenses and insufficient savings.
Fortunately, couples may be able to head off many of the problems in a marriage that money can cause.
Ten Tips for Newly Married Couples
- Communication. Couples should consider talking about their financial goals, memories and habits because each may come into the marriage with fundamental differences in experiences and outlook that will drive their behaviors.
- Set Goals. Setting goals establish a common objective that both become committed to pursuing.
- Create a Budget. A budget is an exercise for developing a spending and savings plan that is designed to reflect mutually agreed upon priorities.
- Set the Foundation for Your Financial House. Identify assets and debts. Look to begin reducing debts while building your emergency fund.
- Work Together. By sharing the financial decision making, both spouses are vested in all choices, reducing the friction that can come from a single decision-maker.
- Set a Minimum Threshold for Big Expenses. While possessing a level of individual spending latitude is reasonable, large expenditures should only be made with both spouses’ consent. Agree to what purchase amount should require a mutual decision.
- Set Up Regular Meetings. Set aside a pre-determined time every two weeks or once a month to discuss finances. Talk about your budgeting, upcoming expenses and any changes in circumstances.
- Update and Revise. As a newly married couple, you may need to update the beneficiaries on your accounts, reevaluate your insurance coverage and revise (or create) your will.2
- Love, Trust and Honesty. Approach contentious subjects with care and understanding, be honest about money decisions you know your spouse might be upset with, and trust your spouse to be responsible about handling finances.
- Consider Speaking with a Financial Advisor. A financial advisor may offer insights to help you work through the critical financial decisions that all married couples face.
1 American Institute of CPAs, 2014
2 When drafting a will, consider enlisting the help of a legal, tax, or financial professional who may be able to offer additional insight, especially if you have a large estate or complex family situation.
The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2018 FMG Suite.