You’re probably still on cloud nine from your wedding and honeymoon, but now that the two of you have joined together as one, it’s time to have a serious talk about money. As one of the top causes for divorce, your personal finances are something you want to get on the same page about to create a solid foundation for your lives together. If you’re not sure where to start, these ideas should help you out.
Determine a Plan for Paying Down Debt
If you haven’t already taken care of your personal debt prior to tying the knot, you’ll need to create a plan to tackle it now. Be open and honest with each other about the debts you’ve accumulated over the years. Then, come up with a plan to get them paid off. You can start by paying off smaller debts in full.
If your funds are tight you can try using installment loans for bad credit to pay small lump sums off. For collection and old accounts, try working with creditors to come up with a settlement. Other accounts, determine how much you two can commit monthly to a payment arrangement.
Create a Budget
To maintain financial stability in your marriage you should create a joint budget that manages all the household expenses. Budgets help to keep track of spending, manage savings, and provides a solid foundation for making sound decisions that ensure a prosperous future. There are plenty of tools that can make budgeting easier. Whether you decide to write it out, create an excel spreadsheet, or use a budget app, find a method that works for both of you.
Do you have a clear understanding of your future? What are some things you want to accomplish as a couple or individually? Take the time to thoroughly answer these questions so that you can begin to align your finances accordingly. For instance, if you’re thinking of buying a new house in five years, you’ll need to start cleaning up your credit and saving towards your goal. If one or both of you wanted to start a business, you can determine how much you’d need to set aside each month to make that happen.
Start an Emergency Fund
You simply never know what could happen that could rock your life and finances. You or your spouse could get injured or lose a job. You could have an expensive car or home repair. There are just too many unforeseen circumstances that could arise in which you need money to resolve (at least partly). An emergency fund is an account containing money that is only to be used in urgent matters. Start putting money aside each month until you have at least three to six months of expenses in an account.
There are so many forces and factors against marriages these days. Don’t make money one of them. Through simple communication, planning, and proper management, the two of you can greatly reduce the odds of your union breaking up over cash. The best part is, when money isn’t an issue, you can focus your time and attention on evolving in other areas of your marriage.