Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top 10 Money Management Tips For Newly Weds

All newlyweds look forward to a life of love and bliss. While we certainly hope for the best for all newly married couples, it is foolish to think that married life will always be a bed of roses. One problem a lot of married couples face is their finances. Sadly, this is one important issue that they don’t take the time to plan well. To avoid this, we’re featuring 10 money management tips for all you honeymooners out there.

1. Do an honest financial self-assessment with your spouse


It’s important for couples to do an assessment of themselves and each other before tying the proverbial knot. Not only should they be secure in each other’s love, but they should also be secure in each other’s ability to provide.

Therefore, couples should know each other’s net worth. They should be up front about their income, assets, and investments. Couples who are honest about their personal financial information tend to make better financial decisions in the future. 

2. Set SMARTER goals


SMARTER is an acronym for S-simple; M-measurable; A-attainable; R-realistic; T-time-bound; E-enriching; R-rewarding. Newlyweds, and even those who are getting married, should keep this in mind when setting goals. It’s crucial that they set up realistic and attainable financial goals they know they can achieve. But they should also make it a point not to become a prisoner of their goals.

3. Plan ahead


Financial planning is all about creating a workable budget. A family’s budget is hard to do without doing an honest self-assessment and setting goals. Couples, especially newlyweds, will benefit by creating sub-accounts. These are the monthly payables that take care of their “overhead” expense. Examples of these sub-accounts are rent, utilities, transportation and communication expense, groceries, insurance, etc.

Part of planning is creating a strategy to meet the target budget (meaning: not go over it). But it’s also incumbent among the couple to come up with a contingency plan whenever certain situations dictate that they need to go over their budget for the month.

4. Stick to the planned budget


When the couple receives their individual monthly earnings, they need to deposit money into these sub-accounts first before they spend for their indulgences. This is the best way for them to stick to their planned budget. This method instills discipline in the couple, and at the same time ensures that they are not living beyond their means. Whatever is left after paying the sub-accounts can be used by the newlyweds however they wish.

5. Have a weekly “business” meeting


Couples need open communication in their marriage. And this holds true not only for love, but for finances as well. A lot of times, couples fight or argue because one of them brought out a touchy topic about finances at the wrong time.

This can be avoided by scheduling a weekly “business” meeting. Newlyweds can set aside an hour a week to discuss everything about their finances—from credit card debt, bank accounts, investments, and insurance. In the business meeting, the couple has a chance to confer and iron out financial details with each other. The goal should be to settle financial concerns during the meeting to avoid discussing finances until the next scheduled business meeting.

6. Control or manage debt


This should be easy to do if the couple started off on the right foot by planning and managing their budget early on. But if they were already deep in debt even before they got married, they should make it a priority to get out of debt as fast as they can.

They can start with the debt with the higher interest rate. Between a credit card debt that has an APR of 22% and a student loan with a 17% rate, they’re better off funneling more funds into the student loan. It might take a heavy toll on the couple’s finances on the get-go, but at least they’re not accumulating more penalties and interest on their unpaid debt.

7. Build an Emergency Fund


An emergency fund should be one of the allotted sub-accounts. It is advisable that the couple set aside 10% to 15% of their monthly income to go into the emergency sub-account. At least when the rainy days come, they know they have readily accessible funds they can reach into.

8. Plan for retirement early


It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. Couples will gain a lot if they talk to or ask their employers about retirement options (even on the first day of work). Some companies offer competitive retirement plans where they match employee contributions. Another approach is to invest in a retirement plan with a financial institution.

9. Invest


Another financial aspect that doesn’t get much attention is investments. Newlyweds need to decide early on where their surplus income will go. They need to research on investments that can give them a good yield without tying-up their money for a long time. Or they can talk to an investment or fund manager. These professionals can help them come up with investment packages to suit their current needs.

10. Remember: “For richer or poorer”


All couples should remember the vows they made, especially when dealing with financial issues. Things can get testy when discussing the household budget or when dealing with credit card debt. Therefore, it’s best that couples take a step back before they get eaten up by their financial problems, and remember their promise to love each other for better or worse and for richer or poorer.

Get your married life started on right foot. Take these money management tips to heart and you and your spouse will be on your way to financial freedom.

Do you like this article? You can find more tips and guides and everything about your wedding at http://www.bestbride101.com/.


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