Money management for newlyweds

Finding your soulmate can define and shape the rest of your life in many different ways. Your decisions become “our decisions” and your life becomes “our life.”

One of the most important things in the everyday life of a newlywed couple is money. And not just spending cash, either, but planning for the future. Here’s five things you can do to make sure you and your partner plan ahead.

Discuss big money issues before the knot is tied

What do you really know about your partner’s financial background? How much money do they owe? Is their debt credit-card based or is it locked up in student loans? Do they have a decent savings account or do they live paycheck to paycheck? Finding out these answers before you say “I do” can save you from financial challenges down the line.

Address officials items first – taxes, life insurance, etc.

Will you two be filing taxes jointly? Will the combination of two incomes kick your income into a higher tax bracket? What about if the unthinkable happens and you want to make sure your partner (and possibly children) are prepared if you’re no longer able to provide for them? These are questions that are the most important to address as opposed to your first home purchase or the accessories you want to buy, before your honeymoon.

Discuss opening a joint account

Maybe you want to combine both incomes to make filing your taxes an easier process OR you want to file separate and keep the amount you owe to the IRS as low as possible.

Concentrate on the future

Think retirement, think children and think about a home someday. Start saving NOW to be ready when it’s time to take the next step.

Designate who pays what bills

Will both of you pay an equal amount of bills or will one person pay them all? Having clarity is important to avoid falling behind a bill the both of you forgot.