He’s a spender. You’re a saver. Find out how to handle money after you’re married. Financial Educator, Amanda Christensen, has five tips for money smart newlyweds.
Welcome to the wonderful world of marriage! Now it’s not just YOU, it’s WE. You may think that all the money stuff will just work itself out over time. You’d be surprised at how often married couples need to talk about money in order to stay on top of their family finances. Learning to communicate now will help you avoid some of the common money pitfalls couples encounter in their first years of marriage. Here are my 5 money tips for newlyweds:
1. Talk about Your Money History
a. How were you raised with regards to money? How does that affect you now?
b. Do you have a basic understanding of money management?
c. What are your financial aspirations?
d. What are your career expectations?
e. What are your assets/liabilities?
2. Talk about Your Budget
a. What comes in?
b. What goes out?
c. Who will be the day-to-day manager of the money?
3. Talk about Credit
a. How will we use credit cards?
b. Each spouse has a separate credit report and credit score. Get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com and check to see if there are any mistakes on your report.
4. Formulate a Debt Philosophy
a. How will you use debt?
b. Good debt/bad debt?
5. Establish a Personal Allowance
a. Decide on an amount that both of you can afford to spend each month no questions asked. It may be $100 and it may be $5 depending on your circumstances. Either way it’s yours to spend without any quilt.
b. Rule: When it’s gone, it’s gone; No running to the ATM for more cash after you’ve spent your allowance!
Amanda Christensen is an assistant professor at Utah State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences. Visit: extension.usu.edu/morgan.