Money, it’s what makes the world go round or, conversely, what causes the world to come to a screeching halt as consumers struggle to navigate today’s tough economic climate. Successful money management is important in maintaining any family budget, but especially so for newlyweds as the epic battle of who’s the better money manager plays out. Who will reign victorious: the spendthrift or the penny pincher?
Not every newlywed fits neatly into the spender or saver category, but inevitably one partner will be more of a spendthrift and the other more of a tightwad when it comes to the finances. Believe it or not, differences in financial points of view do not have to cause a war. Money Management International offers some peaceable financial advice to newlyweds who would rather be allies than enemies.
•Lay all your cards on the table. Clear, open communication is essential to the success of your marriage, especially when talking about finances. Couples should disclose all their debts and assets to their partners before or at the beginning of their marriage.
•Create financial goals together. Uniting in pursuit of a common financial goal can ease the tension of sacrifice because both partners are giving up little things they would normally spend on to save for the greater good.
•Delegate responsibility. Typically, the physical act of paying the monthly bills falls to one partner, but both partners should know how to pay the bills if they need to. Some couples suggest giving one person responsibility over short-term finances, like bill paying, and the other person responsibility over long-term investments, such as saving for retirement.
•Pay back debt as soon as possible. Many couples get married within a few years after college. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average student loan debt among graduating seniors is $19,237. If you dished out $21,814 dollars for your wedding, the average cost of the ceremony according to CNN Money, you probably have a great deal of debt bogging down your marriage. Make paying these debts a priority early on.
One final piece of advice for newlyweds is to invest in your relationship. All the money in the world cannot strengthen a marriage like the bonds of communication and pursuit of shared interests.