Managing family money is one of the crucial
components of married life, but it can be pretty challenging to navigate,
especially when you’re just starting out. While some people enter adulthood
with excellent financial skills, others might feel overwhelmed by the idea of
budgeting, saving, and wise investing. These mixed dynamics may lead to
irrational spending habits or even heated arguments that can take a toll on the
Luckily, there are ways to avoid financial
struggles and set your marriage up for success. If you want to be smart about
your finances, you need to understand that managing your own money isn’t just
about setting up a monthly budget. You need to learn to track both your incomes
and make an effort to start saving as early on in your marriage as possible.
It’s also important to take time to assess your financial goals and figure out
how to handle your debts and credit cards responsibly.
This article will guide you through the
essential money management tips that every newly-married couple can follow for
It’s impossible to budget or save money if you
don’t keep track of how much money both of you earn and spend each month.
Learning to keep track of these two on a regular basis is one of the vital
steps for every newly-married couple. It’s also vital that you don’t view this
as a way for one partner to control the other. Instead, try to think of it as a
way to ensure financial security and fluency for both
There are a few different ways to go about
this. You can simply use pen and paper, create a spreadsheet on your computer
using programs such as Microsoft Excel, or download a finance app on your phone
to always have it at hand. Try to choose the method that will be easiest for
you to keep updated.
This way, you will also be able to locate the
areas where you can save some money each month. To figure this out, you’ll need
to carefully list all your expenses, including all the loan payments or
insurance. For instance, if you notice that you’re paying way too much for your
current insurance, you can google phrases such as “Insurance Hero Expats cover” (depending on
your individual situation) and get a quote to see whether it’s possible to get
a better deal, especially if you haven’t thought about the topic for years –
these things change pretty quickly.
Once you know how much money both you and your
partner have coming in and out on a regular basis, you can try to create a
realistic budget that the two of you agree on. This might require some serious
and honest conversations, but it's all perfectly doable if everyone’s willing
to compromise and accept changes. Creating a budget is essential as it’s a way
to ensure that your spending doesn’t exceed the paychecks you both bring home.
Start by getting all your bills and necessary
paperwork together. Calculate your combined income, how much you’ll owe each
month in the essential payments, and what will be left when everything’s paid
If you’re unsure how to write this down, you
can look online for some budget templates and handy calculators. While you’re
at it, it’s also a good idea to set spending limits. Try to talk with your
partner and agree on a set amount that each of you can spend in a month without
consulting the other first.
Do not forget to account for irregular or
unexpected expenses, such as medical bills, and try not to be too strict or
frugal with yourself – allow some wiggle room for occasional splurges or small
things you might rather “want” than “need.”
Having an emergency fund is an integral part of finance
planning, especially when you’re doing it as a newly-married couple, as too
many things can’t be predicted. If there’s a medical emergency or one of you
crashes their car, you certainly wouldn’t want to be left without no money to
pay for the hefty bills. By making sure you have enough cash in your emergency
fund, you can avoid any grim scenarios and have a way of dealing with sudden
Usually, financial experts recommend keeping
enough cash in your emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of living expenses for
the two of you. However, don’t worry if, currently, you’re nowhere near this
amount or don’t think it’s realistic to save that much. It’s crucial that you
at least try to start putting money aside and do it as soon as possible.
For instance, you can try to save around 10%
of each paycheck a month. You can also choose to add saving for emergencies as
a part of your monthly budget plan so that you won’t forget about it. The
sooner you start building the emergency family fund, the better.
Getting out of debt is always a good idea, and
that’s certainly something that newly-married couples should work toward,
especially if they have some student loans or credit card debts.
Similar to building your emergency fund, the
sooner you and your spouse start to pay off your debts, the better, as every
dollar spent on something else is another dollar away from living a debt-free
life. Moreover, when you pay off your loans and credit cards, it is so much easier to stay
within your budget and have money left for other expenses and savings.
When you’re a married couple that’s working
toward paying off their loans and debts, it might be helpful to establish a
timeframe and priority for which debts to pay off first. You can also try to
develop a debt payment schedule, research paydown options, and make decisions
together, as well as stay transparent about your shared and individual debts
and regularly talk about money and review progress.
Many newly-married couples experience trouble
managing money-related problems, but this doesn’t mean
that the same has to happen to your marriage. If you make an effort to
prioritise budgeting and keeping track of your shared finances at the very
beginning of your relationship, it will then make it so much easier to enjoy
the financial bliss for years to come.
You can get your spouse involved in keeping
track of your income and spending, sit down together and learn about the
importance of having an emergency fund, create a budget that both of you can
stick to, and develop a soundproof strategy to pay off all your debts and
loans. Be smart with your finances and enjoy your marriage!