Marriage and Money

5 Factors for Newlyweds to Consider When Combining Your Personal Finances

Before you tie the knot, it's important to have a conversation about combining your personal finances. There are several important factors you will want to consider before making that leap.

Combining Personal Finances as Newlyweds - Important Factors to Consider

Merging your personal finances

Before you decide to combine your personal finances, you and your spouse should form a solid game plan to address each of these five major financial factors.

Bills

There are a few simple options for addressing your recurring monthly expenses. If you prefer to maintain separate checking accounts, you and your spouse can simply set up a joint account expressly for bill paying, to which you both contribute a set dollar amount, or a set percentage of your respective incomes. If one of you makes markedly more each year than the other, you could also opt to let him or her take care of bill paying solo and let the spouse with the smaller income take care of his/her personal debts or more flexible monthly expenses such as groceries and entertainment.

Assets and Debts

Before you wed, you'll need to take a hard look at what assets and debts you're both bringing to the table. Will you address debts together or separately? Do you have assets that you could leverage to absolve some of your debts? If you have a significant amount of student loan debt or credit card debt, we have additional tips for managing your mammoth student loan debt and building a healthy credit score in the Protective Learning Center.

Savings

Even if you feel you're both too young to start worrying about retirement planning, it's important to start setting money aside for long-term plans as soon as possible. By now, you're well aware of your aspirations as a couple. Maybe you're planning to have a large family, or you'd just like to be able to afford a small condo in the city. If you want those financial dreams to come to fruition, you'll need to determine how much money you can squeeze out of your current finances to set aside for the future. A common financial rule of thumb is to set aside enough savings to cover 3-6 months of expenses, should one or both of you suddenly find yourselves unemployed. If saving is a problem for the both of you, set modest goals and then build on them. Resist the urge to empty out your savings for anything that doesn't provide lasting, long-term benefits for you as a couple.

“Fun Money”

After you've paid your bills, addressed your debts, and put a little money in your savings account, what's left is your monthly entertainment budget. It's important to know what that figure is, so you can avoid blowing your household budget altogether with impulsive, frivolous spending. Whether you've chosen to completely merge your personal finances or to maintain some financial autonomy, it's important to set “fun money” limits that fit within your budget. This practice can help prevent you from putting all that fun on a credit card and getting further in debt.

Budgeting & Money Management

Money can be a huge source of conflict for couples and careful budgeting is key to avoiding long-term financial strife in a marriage. For this reason, it's important to be aware of your separate money management styles and find what works best for your relationship. And remember, it isn't fair to put all the duties of household budgeting and money management on one single pair of shoulders. Instead, tackle monetary issues as a team. If you'd like some help making a budget, or you're worried that you may already be losing control of your household budget, we can offer you further tips and helpful resources in the Protective Learning Center.

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Marriage and Managing Money as Newlyweds

Merging personal finances as a married couple can feel overwhelming. From budgeting to managing credit card and other debt, it's best to work together as a team. This article looks at smart ways newlyweds can achieve firm financial footing when it comes to combining personal finances as a couple. For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center.


All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

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