The dress is chosen, the flowers picked and the cake is ready to cut. The wedding is planned and organized for every possible change, but are your finances? As a newlywed, you begin to build your life with your new partner, learning who loads the dishwasher correctly, and ahem, who doesn’t, and other things that will become increasingly clear.
However, if you and your partner never talk about your finances in detail, problems larger than water spots and stuck on food could derail dinner talk. Even if you are already married, and maybe have been for 10 years, it’s a good idea to sit down with your partner and set money expectations. By making financial plans together and checking in regularly with your significant other, you could avoid fights over money spent.
Finding financial middle ground between you and your significant other might take a little work but with these beginning steps, your path to financial wellness might be a little smoother.
1. Set Goals
Are you both travelers? Set a certain amount aside each month to go where the winds take you. Plan IRA and 401(k) contributions together. Talk about how much makes sense at current income levels and when to add extra. Communication is key to setting every day and retirement financial goals.
2. Get Organized
Make lists of shared assets and debts. Be transparent. Holding back from your significant other could create bigger problems than whatever you would like to hide.
3. Protect what Matters
After your marriage license is inked, it’s important to review and update your life, health and disability insurance policies.
4. Create a Will
Your will is the most important legal document in your estate. It establishes your wishes with respect to the distribution of your estate and provides direction on how it should be carried out after your death. Be sure to review them every three to five years to make sure the will can address your changing circumstances.
5. Update your Beneficiaries
Make sure to change your beneficiaries for your retirement accounts and any other accounts you may need to assign beneficiaries. Make sure to give your spouse power of attorney and designate them as a health care proxy.
6. Look at the Numbers, Together
Tally up all your assets – savings, checking accounts, retirements, real estate, collectibles and debts. Talk about that budget and set a minimum threshold cost for discussing big expenses. If you feel you need to talk over any spend over $50, but your partner feels like $200 is when it needs to be discussed, it could cause a problem. When you are both on the same page, money won’t be such an issue.
While working on your finances, if you need help consolidating debt, obtaining an emergency credit card or are looking for your forever home, Travis Credit Union is here to help. Visit a branch, give us a call at (800) 877-8328 or visit traviscu.org. We help people every day save and spend for a better tomorrow. At the end of the day, you married your best friend. Don’t let a thing like money get between you and years of marital bliss.
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