If you just got married, the last thing you want to think about is financial stress.
However, married couples do need to start planning for their futures as quickly as possible.
That's why we've created this list of the seven things newlyweds need to focus on to maximize their money potential for their shared financial future!
1. Open Up About Your Finances
You and your spouse share everything, even in most cases a last name. That's why it's important that you share as much as possible about your respective financial situation and prospects.
Many couples open a shared bank account, and help one another with paying down debts to open up avenues for opportunities later down the road. Make sure your spouse knows everything about your financial history so the two of you can plan for a better future.
2. Make a Plan
Married couples aren't exactly like business partners, but by looking at your shared resources as a flexible tool for investing in what can come later in life, you can create an optimal financial relationship.
Strive to understand what each partner has to offer, and what the two of you can do to grow together and make your finances flourish. Set goals for the next 5 years, the next 10 years, and so on. Putting your heads together this way can lead to some serious success!
3. Be Ready for Heightened Responsibilities
When two people enter into a marriage, you should both realize that you aren't living your lives independently anymore. You have to care for one another, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health.
That means if one of you falls short financially, it shouldn't be seen as a burden by the other partner. As one, you can tackle any difficulties that come your way. Be prepared with proper budgeting, emergency funds, and savings accounts that can help you get through times of money woes so you can come out stronger for it on the other side.
4. Invest Wisely in Your Future
When you're married, you will very likely want to make shared purchases together. But these should rarely be frivolous -- instead, they should be strategic.
Purchase products that will save you money in the long run, or even make you more money than you put into them. Consider buying a home, land, or even a business together. Improve your existing property, make repairs to your vehicles and other belongings so they can be sold for more money than you spent on them if necessary.
5. Decide on a Financial System
You will both come into the wedding with your own way of doing things. Getting on the same page will help. If you are just-married, here are four money organization tips for newlyweds:
- Discuss whether you will jointly or individually own assets you acquire after marriage, such as a car.
- Determine whether you will have separate or joint banking accounts and whether you will bank at the same institution.
- Make sure you have access to each other's financial account information and passwords.
- Download budgeting apps you can use together to plan for your financial future.
6. Take Care of All the Paperwork
Marriage involves a seemingly endless parade of paperwork. Filling it all out can be cumbersome, but it's also vital to newlywed finances and one of the smartest budgeting tips for newlyweds. You may need to file papers to get on your spouse's health insurance plan at work, for example, or to put your spouse's name on your retirement account.
Keep a running list of everything you have filled out so you can reference it in the future. Make copies of all documents when you can. If something gets lost or someone claims you never signed a paper, you will have proof.
Review your tax withholding, too, and fill out a new W4. You want to ensure you don't begin your marriage with a huge tax bill because you forgot to change your documentation.
7. Create a Will
Often lost amidst the financial planning advice for newlyweds is deciding what will happen if one of you dies. No one likes to think about this, and it may seem especially sad when you just finished your joyous wedding celebration. But planning ahead ensures your wishes are carried out exactly as you want them.
You can go to a lawyer to draw up a will or you can use an online program. Both will walk you through the steps you need to determine power of attorney, who receives your inheritance and who will care for your kids, if you have any.
Enjoy Financial Planning for Newly Married Couples
For newlyweds, the world should be your oyster. You finally found and united with the person you love most, so don't fret about what the future has in store. You now have a lifelong partner to help make the world a better place for you and your family.
And remember, newlyweds are never alone financially. If the two of you can't afford to pay the bills this month or need a financial rebound after an extended honeymoon, consider a quick and easy bad credit online personal loan from Atlas Credit. If you live in Texas or Oklahoma, drop by your local Atlas Credit to discuss your options for a fast loan of up to $1,400. You can pay it back over the next year at an affordable rate to help the two of you get started building a future full of financial success.