When you get married you officially become a couple, and that means there is also a chance to make some changes to your finances as well as your personal life.
Here is a look at ways to strengthen your financial relationship, including some worthwhile strategies and tips for managing your money as a couple. Plus some insights on organizing your finances and a notable exception to the rule of sharing everything together.
From this day forward
You take a solemn vow during a traditional marriage ceremony and make a commitment towards each other that covers most eventualities that you are going to face as a couple, for better or for worse.
Another important promise you can also make to each other at this point would be to agree to share your financial picture with each other.
Money issues can drive a wedge between couples and cause heated debates, but that sort of unpleasant scenario can often be avoided in the first place if you agree to open up to each other about your finances.
Trying to hide debts that you have or spending secretively on things in the hope that your partner won’t find out is a recipe for disaster and you are creating the opportunity for some serious trust issues.
It would be far better to have a full and frank discussion about your finances with your spouse and work your way through any problems or other situations that they need to be aware of.
There are numerous benefits attached to sharing your financial profile with your partner and in addition to pooling your resources towards shared goals, you can enjoy a stronger relationship when you both trust each other with money.
Budgets and goals
You have to think as a couple rather than an individual once you are married and sharing certain financial responsibilities together.
These changes in your circumstances become apparent when you decide to apply for a new credit card, for example, and during the credit card application, you are asked whether you want to an additional cardholder.
This is just one scenario where you became aware that in the future you will need to work out your household budget as a couple and set your financial goals together.
Two heads are often better than one when trying to balance the books and seeing where your money is going, so create a combined budget and see exactly where all of your money goes each month.
Combining your resources will also make it easier to set some financial goals that you can both contribute towards and share the satisfaction when you get where you want to be in the future.
One exception to consider
Having just got married, you won’t be contemplating a future where you are no longer together, but things can change and sadly, unforeseen circumstances like an untimely death can take away your future in an instant.
You probably don’t want to contemplate any scenario where you are parted, but it makes sense to save for your retirement separately. Not only is this normally more tax-efficient, but if death or divorce intervenes at some point, it is often better to be financially independent at this point with your retirement pot.
Newlyweds tend to get plenty of advice from well-meaning friends and family, but one of the best tips to take on board is the suggestion that you should sort your finances out at this stage and prepare for a shared financial future.
Leon Hunt is a life coach who puts the emphasis on finances when it comes to sorting out couples since this is usually the 1 thing most couples fight over.