While couples vow to love each other till death do they part, nothing can kill a marriage like money woes. Thus, getting off to a good start and staying there is key. Seeing that we are in the midst of wedding season, there are plenty of newlyweds out there looking to make sure they start their married life off on the right financial footing. With that in mind, here are a few pearls of wisdom to pass along now that his and hers will become “ours” from a financial planning standpoint (in fact, this wisdom can apply to a couple of any age):
- Define shared goals: Money should not be a taboo subject, especially if you’re planning to spend a life together. One of the most important things for a couple is to get on the same page on how they want to live that life and what they want to achieve. This won’t be a one-time discussion, but an ongoing dialogue to get a better understanding of each other’s money views and values. These discussions will help you understand what financial goals you want to achieve, such as buying a house, saving for retirement, or planning for a child.
- Establish good patterns early: Whether it’s getting out of debt, beginning to save for retirement, or keeping track of your monthly expenses, the patterns you set as a new couple are going to carry on with you, for good or for bad, for the coming decades. So get into good money habits early to avoid friction later on.
- Create manageable steps: Using manageable steps helps couples to measure their achievements. No matter the financial goal or plan, having smaller steps will make the process smoother. For example, make some things automatic, such as retirement saving or bill paying. This will help you keep consistent. The more consistent you can be, whether paying off a debt or saving for retirement, the faster you can build.