The Man Registry: Newlyweds Money Questions

Posted by Azure on June 2nd, 2010
About The Man Registry

Finances are an area of stress for many newly married couples. We encourage every bride and groom to properly research and openly discuss personal finances BEFORE the wedding day. The only way to plan for financial happiness and freedom is to talk with your fiancé/spouse. Here’s a starter guide on three common financial questions: Should we combine our finances after getting married?

Not every couple combines their finances after getting married, but our answer to this question is yes. First, determine who the money manager is going to be in the family or if you’re going to split that duty. From there, we recommend creating joint checking and savings accounts and keeping personal checking accounts for each of you. By doing it this way, you can split common bills and still have “mad money” to spend on your own things.

It takes every couple awhile to get used to the “my money is your money mindset” that comes along with marriage, but if you can stay organized – it won’t be a difficult transition. How much should we be saving from our paychecks?

If you haven’t noticed, our economy hasn’t been the most stable over the past few years. The recovery has been nice, but we all have learned just how important saving for rough times can be. Depending on incomes, 30% is a great amount of net income to put away in savings/investments each month. Obviously, every couple isn’t going to be able to put aside that amount, but you’re doing yourself a huge favor even if you can only do 10% each month. We both are bringing debt into the marriage, how should it be tackled?

Don’t freak out if you’re bringing debt into marriage. More couples do than don’t and there are ways you can tackle the debt together. The first and most important step is to be upfront and honest with each other about how much debt you each have. We recommend creating a chart of spending habits (it's lame, but it works). This chart will help you both identify places you can cut back each month. If it’s an option, we highly recommend speaking to a financial planning professional. A financial planner can look at your debt and interest rates and help you plan where to begin paying down. What should we do with all that cash we get as wedding gifts? Who doesn’t love cash? You’ll definitely be seeing green after the wedding as cash remains the most common wedding gift that couples receive. There’s nothing wrong with splurging a little with the newfound greenbacks, but this might also be a great time to create that joint savings account we talked about earlier. The wedding cash would be a great first deposit. Depending on how much you get, you could always pocket a few hundred for honeymoon drinks and save the rest! Helpful Links: Marriage Prep Advice Budget Wedding Ideas
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