Money Management Tips for Young Couples

Contributed from a content partner

When you get married, you and your spouse will likely be responsible for each other, which includes the state of your finances. However, it is not always possible to avoid every misunderstanding about money, especially early in your lives together. Looking at your finances can help both of you reduce common issues.

Plan for Your Future

Talking about your dreams for the future can be a great way for a couple to bond with each other. Ask your spouse about things like homeownership, future children, and career goals. The early stages are the best times to talk about these things and make decisions because once you have kids and have bought a house, it becomes harder to change. Planning can ensure you both end up on the same page.

This is a great time to make any necessary adjustments to help you meet your long term financial goals. If you want to buy a home, pay for your education, or purchase a home, you will need to have good credit. However, if you are credit invisible, you may not be able to get any type of loan, or you might get a very poor rate. That’s why building credit now is so important.

Make Sure You’re on the Same Page

It’s easy to assume your spouse has similar goals to yours, but have you sat down to compare where each of you want to be in life? Financial problems are one of the biggest reasons couples end up separating, and it’s not uncommon for one to be a saver and the other to be a spender. Being open about your needs and wants will help your partner see where you are coming from before money struggles become a source of conflict.

Understand Each Other’s Benefits

If you are like most young couples, both of you probably work full time, and if this is the case, you likely receive benefits from your employers. It’s a good idea to sit down and compare the benefits each of you receive, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and life insurance. Talk about how you can combine them to save money. One company may offer better health care coverage while the other one might have a lower cost life insurance plan. Many times, an employee can enroll their spouse and any kids in these types of plans.

Make a Goal of Saving a Fifth of Your Income

If you are still paying off student loans, it might be challenging to set aside anything for the future, but this is important to do when you are young. If you are in a two-income household, it will likely be easier to save compared to single-income households. Each person might be able to pick up some side work or extra hours to make saving 20 percent of your income a reality. These savings should first go to fund an emergency account with three to six months of expenses, and afterward, you can put these savings toward other goals, such as a down payment on a home.

Create a To-Do List Together

Every young couple should update their financial plans after getting married. They should look at things like retirement plans, tax withholding, emergency contacts, investments, and life insurance. Life changes after getting married, and your finances will likely reflect that. Going into this with an attitude of sharing with each other will help set you up for success together.

Check in With Each Other Often

Talk to your spouse about your spending, income, and budget throughout the year. Compare your ideal budget to where you are currently and see if the way you manage money is helping make your goals a reality. Checking in with each other can help you figure out areas you might be able to improve upon. This will also help you improve your trust in each other because you will know the other person is looking out for your best interests.

Set Up Joint Accounts

The idea of having joint bank accounts is not appealing to every couple but setting them up can make it easier when it comes to managing your bills together. If you have two separate incomes but share rent, a phone plan, and utilities, it can get messy trying to transfer money from one account to the other. One person might feel like all their money is going toward the bills while the other one lives rent-free. Having joint accounts can prevent too much transferring back and forth, and it also provides a greater level of transparency for each of you. You can get joint credit cards or add your spouse as an authorized user on your card.

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