Financial Tips for Married Couples
Marriage makes the world go round – as the popular song lyrics put it! However, marriage can also make your financial world see some upheaval! With marriage comes the financial responsibility of running a family. Many people step into marriage without thinking about the financial aspect of it or how they will manage two incomes, two financial viewpoints, two differing investment preferences, spending and saving patterns, and so on. To save you going to a marriage counsellor for financial advice, here are a few tips that married couples could use to make financial life a much smoother affair!
Set Your Financial Priorities Right:
Each partner should clearly spell out what is their most important financial priority. For one, buying a house might be the dream, and for the other, saving for retirement might be more important. Sit together and clearly talk to each other about your financial priorities and work out a plan in an organized manner. You can seek the help of a financial planner.
Follow the three S’s – Save, save, save:
Whether one of you is working, or both, make a point to save at least 10 % of your income. Do not live month-to-month, and do not rationalize that you don't have enough money to save. Put some cash in an emergency fund and invest in a retirement account. Spend the rest on necessary expenses and entertainment. Most people think that Income - Expenses = Savings. Instead think Income – Savings = Expenses. Spend only what you have left after your mandatory saving.
Got debt? Work it out together and make a plan to pay off existing debt as soon as possible. Note that the negative credit score of your spouse could also negatively impact your chances of availing a loan together. It is always ideal to have a healthy credit history so that you are offered the best rates and conditions, coupled with a larger loan amount when you need it. You will apply for an auto or housing or personal loan at some time – make sure you have good credit health before you apply for a loan.
Try to live debt-free:
Some kind of debt cannot be avoided – like a home loan. But other kinds of debt, like excessive credit card spending, is a financial nightmare and will get you into a debt trap that might well be impossible to get out of.
Communicate about your financial requirement:
Couples need to plan together. Be vocal about your needs and share a common financial goal. Be in harmony to achieve that goal. Manage accounts together. Make a joint or individual budgets with each other’s inputs and make sure you stick to it.
Support each other during pitfalls:
Loss of a job could occur anytime to anyone. It is during this time that couples should stay calm and plan out an emergency route to financial stability. This is why it is important to save from the very start of your career, so that you have some financial buffer to fall back on in times of emergency. This can offer huge mental and emotional security during good times and bad.