Combining finances with another individual can be difficult, so planning and communication are essential, both before and after the “big day.” Knowing the specifics of each spouse’s financial situation is vital, as honesty and transparency are important. It is also critical to align your views regarding money to the best of your abilities, as each of you have developed financial habits based upon your own experiences.
Once you begin marriage on the same financial page, you can start to accomplish your goals with specific actions. Establish a monthly budget by using spreadsheets to distinguish inflexible bills such as rent, insurance, and loan payments from flexible expenses such as savings and entertainment. Although both spouses need to be involved in the family’s financial decisions, you may want to designate a bill payer, as having one person oversee the output of money avoids confusion. Establish specific goals linked to the budget, such as saving for a new home or the percentage of income that you would like to set aside for retirement. Other specific tasks may include filling out a new W-4 Form, updating your driver’s license and Social Security information, determining which spouse’s health insurance to use, changing account beneficiaries, or addressing other types of insurance needs (i.e., life) that this new path may have initiated.
And do your individual best to ensure a successful marriage by committing yourself to having a sacrificial attitude. Place your spouse’s needs and desires ahead of your own. With this type of commitment, your financial goals and aspirations will become much easier to accomplish.
by Mark S. Reagan – Financial Advisor
170 Bostwick Road
Oxford, GA 30054