Financial planning can be fraught with stress, fear and even hard feelings depending on one’s past experiences. However, if you are newly married, you will want to work hard now to create a new and healthy financial future with your spouse. These five tips will help you both get your finances in order, plan for future expenses and learn to feel secure with the amount of money that you have.
Although you may be ready to start paying bills and organizing your finances, it is imperative that you instead begin with an honest discussion with your spouse. You both need to be on the same page if you expect to put your money to work for you. Discuss what you both feel is important financially, what your financial goals are and what large items you want to purchase in the future.
Once you have decided on your spending and savings goals, you can create a budget to put your money to work for you. Once again, you should create this budget together so that neither spouse feels unhappy with the financial decisions that are made. While housing, major bills and savings should be the biggest parts of your budget, you will also want to make room for a fun spending fund each month so that neither of you feels burnt out with saving.
If you are like most couples, a major desire for you is to buy your own home. Home buying is a major purchase and one for which you must plan carefully. You will want to save at least 20 percent of your desired home’s cost before making a purchase to save you money on mortgage insurance.
Savings is an important part of any budget. Your first step should be to save at least $1,000 as an emergency fund for an unexpected expense, such as an automobile repair. Next, you should save enough to cover your expenses for three to six months in case either one of you is without a job for a period.
Part of your savings should be in the form of your retirement account. Be sure to put in as much as you can into any account that is matched by your workplace. Talk with a financial adviser to get a good feel for how much you should be putting into a retirement account each year.
You may feel as if your entire future is before you and that you do not have to worry for several years at least. However, by planning for future expenses that are both expected and unexpected, you will have a high likelihood of enjoying a financially healthy and secure future. Above all, be sure that you and your spouse are both on the same page with your finances so that you can work together joyfully to enjoy all the good things that you do have.
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