Make Money a Hot Topic

Money matters don’t magically work themselves out. Financial Educator, Amanda Christensen, says newlyweds need to talk about finances. She has some tips to get the conversation started.

1. Formulate a Debt Philosophy
a. How will you use debt?
b. Good debt/bad debt?

2. 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!

3. Update Beneficiaries
a. If you’re taking the time to change your last name be sure to get online or call to make your new spouse the beneficiary on any retirement accounts, life insurance policies, etc.
b. If you don’t have any of these accounts, now is a good time to have a conversation about what your retirement and life insurance needs are. There are many financial institutions (investment firms, banks, etc.) that will answer questions and give you options for free.

For more information on newlyweds and money, watch 5 Tips for Money-Smart Newlyweds.

Amanda Christensen is an assistant professor at Utah State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences. Visit:

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