As unromantic as it may be, newlyweds should talk about money, especially if they want to live happily ever after. This may not be an easy thing to do but you really need to sit down and talk about your finances to build a stronger foundation for your relationship. How do you do it? Here are some tips that you may want to consider:
Financial Tips for Newly Wed Couples
Organize your finances. If you haven't talked about money matters before tying the knot, then this is the perfect time to do so. Start organizing your finances by listing down all your income, assets, and debts. Start working on your budget, identify which accounts to consolidate and decide how you will own assets from now on. Don't keep any secrets regarding your finances.
Live on one salary. While two cannot realistically live as cheaply as one, you will be saving a substantial amount of money by combining households. As a result, you may find yourself with a lot of extra money on your hands. It may be tempting to start spending your surplus income on some of things you thought you can only dream of but you need to fight the urge to do so. Leave your spending as it is and trim it down a bit if you can. Use the extra money to pay for your credit card and any remaining student loans. Keep in mind that you don't know what will happen in the future so save something for a rainy day.
Keep building your nest egg. Don't think it is too early to think about your retirement. Remember, no one will provide for your needs during your senior years if you don't start building your individual retirement accounts, Roth IRA, 401(k) and/or 403(b) now. For best results, try to contribute as much as you can to maximize company-matching contributions. Aside from these workplace savings plans, you should also aim to save at least 10% of your combined gross income to be able to live comfortably during your retirement years.
Talk to your accountant. Would it make more sense to file taxes jointly or separately? How can you avoid a huge tax bill? Talk to a professional to get a better hold of these things.
Create a will. Now that you are married, you have to create a will to avoid wreaking financial havoc on any surviving family members after your death. If you already have one, you need to update it to include your spouse.
It may feel a little awkward talking about money but you really need to do it to avoid any financial squabbles later on in the marriage.