Money can be a difficult subject at any time, but after marriage it becomes even trickier. Combining assets and bills can put a lot of stress on newlyweds. There are many questions to answer after the big day… Should we have kids? Where do we want to live? What is the best way to manage our finances? None of them are usually that easy to answer.
Managing Money After Marriage
Of course, everyone's journey is different. Mike and I met in our late twenties. We both had already started our lives as independent adults. Each of us owned our own homes and other “things”, and we were both pretty set in our ways. I think part of the attraction was that we both had our “stuff together” when we first met. However, as the relationship progressed, decisions had to be made. Mike gave up his condo to move in with me. We wanted to build a place of our own, but the economy just wasn't going to allow that. Being the manly man that he is I think that was a little hard on him. It's bred into him to be the provider, so living in a home that's technically owned by me seemed to be an adjustment. Plus, then came the beginning of money issues… more bills to pay and how to divvy them up.
After we got married (yes, we lived together first… no judging) then the real money talk began. I became determined to establish some sort of savings for us as a couple. My goal was to create a retirement account, but I wanted to at least start off with a savings account. While reading about tips for planning your retirement, the sooner you start the better. There are also helpful companies, like Genworth Financial to look to for guidance. We had never had a joint-anything, so again, another adjustment. Much discussion led us to agree that we should still maintain our own accounts, and add an additional joint-savings account. This account would be reserved for household improvements, emergencies, and things like that. Depositing into that account is another story… it doesn't happen that often!
Keeping our own separate checking accounts has prevented a lot of money arguments. Neither one of us makes a lot of money, but we are still a two-income household and we pay our bills on time. He has an agreed upon amount that he is to give me every month. I then make the monthly payments towards most of the bills. As long as he gives me that amount, we are good. I don't complain when he comes home with yet another fishing…whatever! And ditto for me and my gadgets!
So, my advice to any couple who is marrying for love (LOL) would be to devise a plan before you get hitched. Every situation is different, but remember that marriage should be a partnership. Try to get a plan into action so you can enjoy each other as much as possible after the wedding.
Do you have any money-managing tips for newlyweds? I would love to hear them in the comments below.
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