Now that the hustle and bustle of planning your Big Day are over, real life begins. It can be daunting for some couples just starting out to figure out how to wisely use their finances, especially if they’ve never before shared a life—let alone a bank account—together.
In most cases, newlyweds will have the “money talk” well before they say their wedding vows. But for some, this conversation may not take place until after they say, “I do”. Whether or not you and your partner have had the chance to explore your financial barriers, debts, plans or goals, there are a few areas that you both should consider investing in for financial health.
Joint Savings Account
Want a place to safely store your wedding day cash and save up for future expenses in the process? Starting a joint savings account might be for you. While some couples opt to have separate checking and savings accounts; investment advisor, Stephanie Genkin suggests couples think about at least sharing a savings account. This account can be helpful as you plan ahead for future investments such as a house, car or other large purchases.
If you and your partner don’t consider yourselves financial experts, you may want to consider hiring one to help you both get started off on the right footing financially. According to Psychology Today, financial problems are one of the biggest causes of relational stress and turmoil. Nip it in the bud before things get too complicated and save your relationship the stress by finding a professional whose job it is to help you maintain your financial health.
Paying Off Debt
While we’re on the topic of financial planning, let’s get real debt happens. Most Americans have credit cards and on average, carry about $8,000 worth of debt. Try working on a budgeting plan together. Add in a buffer to cover payments toward monthly debt. By keeping on top of your payments, the amount of interest that you will both owe will slowly decrease. While it may seem never-ending, with both of you dedicated to tackling it, your combined debt will be extinguished before you know it.
Childcare (or Pet Care)
If you and your significant other are planning on having children or fur-children, now is the time to invest in saving for their care. Let’s face it, child care isn’t cheap and is most expensive within the child’s first few years of life. Start planning now around saving a portion of your combined income to childcare (or pet care), unexpected medical bills and miscellaneous expenses related to child-rearing (e.g. college savings, bonds, etc.). Begin investing in the future of your family to ensure that you can successfully provide for and support each other when the time comes.
So, you both graduated from pre-marital counseling with flying colors. Now all you have to do is implement the knowledge you gained into your relationship. But what happens when that is easier said than done? No couple expects for marital drama or relational hurt to creep into their partnership early on. However, for some newlyweds, unmet expectations and the stressors of everyday life can put a strain on their wedded bliss.
While many married and non-married couples don’t often consider couples therapy. Especially when all is going smoothly, it is not a bad idea to consider investing in your relationship’s health now. Just as you make your yearly appointments to visit the various doctors’ for physical and mental health check-ups, so should you consider doing the same for your relationship’s health. An investment in a trusted and knowledgeable marriage therapist could mean the difference between a healthy familial foundation and relational distress.
Spending time together as a newlywed is vital to ensure your relationship gets the proper attention and care it needs to thrive. Before you both get tossed back into the swing of everyday life after the honeymoon. Sit down and dream together about your next vacation you’d both like to take together. Don’t let the humdrum of everyday distract you from planning for your next trip. From budget-friendly staycations to luxurious international getaways, taking time to plan ahead and save for your next escape from reality will help immensely. While forgoing that iced latte for the next week might sound difficult, your future self and vacation budget will thank you for it!