…A Guest Blog From TheManRegistry.com!
(Photo credits: provided by TheManRegistry.com)
Statistics say that finances are the number one topic that married couples argue about (think about some of the couples that you know and you’ll realize that this is probably accurate). Money is always a very touchy subject, especially if you don’t have a lot of it. This is generally the case for newlyweds who are just starting out.
The best way to align yourselves for financial success and avoid arguing over money is to discuss some financial topics before you take the walk down the aisle. Here are a few of the major issues and some quick recommendations from us on each one.
Should we combine our finances after getting married?
Not every couple combines their finances after getting married, but our answer to this question is yes. First, determine who the money manager is going to be in the family or if you’re going to split that duty. From there, we recommend creating joint checking and savings accounts and keeping personal checking accounts for each of you. By doing it this way, you can split common bills and still have “mad money” to spend on your own things.
It takes every couple awhile to get used to the “my money is your money mindset” that comes along with marriage, but if you can stay organized – it won’t be a difficult transition.
How much should we be saving from our paychecks?
If you haven’t noticed, our economy hasn’t been the most stable over the past year. The recovery has been nice, but we all have learned just how important saving for rough times can be. Depending on incomes, 30% is a great amount of net income to put away in savings/investments each month. Obviously, every couple isn’t going to be able to put aside that amount, but you’re doing yourself a huge favor even if you can only do 10% each month.
We both are bringing debt into the marriage, how should it be tackled?
Don’t freak out if you’re bringing debt into marriage. More couples do than don’t and there are ways you can tackle the debt together. The first and most important step is to be upfront and honest with each other about how much debt you each have. We recommend creating a chart of spending habits (it’s lame, but it works). This chart will help you both identify places you can cut back each month. If it’s an option, we highly recommend speaking to a financial planning professional. A financial planner can look at your debt and interest rates and help you plan where to begin paying down.
What should we do with all that cash we get as wedding gifts?
Who doesn’t love cash? You’ll definitely be seeing green after the wedding as cash remains the most common wedding gift that couples receive. There’s nothing wrong with splurging a little with the new found greenbacks, but this might also be a great time to create that joint savings account we talked about earlier. The wedding cash would be a great first deposit. Depending on how much you get, you could always pocket a few hundred for honeymoon drinks and save the rest!
Thanks for the great advice, guys! Brides, be sure to send your grooms over to TheManRegistry.com. Okay fine, you can peek too…you know I did (and loved it – The Man Registry rocks)! Also, here’s a lil’ extra frosting for your cake – today while picking up a bottle of wine, I heard the guy ahead of me say to the cashier, “Can I please have the receipt? My wife told me I have to keep track of my monthly beer drinking expenses.” – I just smirked and walked away… ~Jaime