If your wedding vows were like most, they contained the words “for better or for worse, for rich or for poorer.” What that means is, your marriage should remain strong despite your financial status. To make that happen, you need to talk about money. And considering that most arguments between couples are quarrels over money, it’s probably a good idea to sit down and open up to each other about your finances as soon as possible!
START TALKING ABOUT YOUR MONEY – This seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many married couples skip this crucial step (newlywed or not). You should probably start this conversation before you get married, but it’s okay to start it after you get hitched. Talk about your debt, the bank accounts each of you have, and how you expect to handle savings and spending. The more open you are with each other during this ongoing conversation, the better!
DISCUSS YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS – Conversations about your short-term financial future are great, but you should also take some time to chat about your long-term goals. Even if you’re only in your mid-20s, it’s never too early to start talking about things like retirement (even if you haven’t started saving for it). As for short-term goals, talk about a monthly budget and other daily or weekly money issues.
CREATE A BUDGET – One of the biggest financial pitfalls any married couple falls into is failing to create a budget both sides can agree to and stick to. Talk about your budget – in fact, you should write down you budget! – and make sure you both see eye-to-eye on every facet of that budget. And like any good budget, it should be flexible and capable of evolving along with your marriage.
KEEP TALKING! – All of these conversations are good, but you can’t talk about these topics just once and expect everything to be great. In order to have a bright financial future as a couple, you have to talk about money on a regular basis. Never be afraid of the topic, especially when the topic is about not-so-good news.