How to handle your finances as newlyweds

finances as newlywedsfinances as newlyweds
finances as newlywedsfinances as newlyweds

How to handle your finances as newlyweds

With the hustle of wedding planning followed by being in the honeymoon bubble, the financial situation is barely at the back of you and your partner’s minds… until you get home and back to reality that is.

You cannot escape the finance talk with your partner and you’ll both need to come to an agreement on who or which account pays for what, what the budgets are for the month and how much each needs to save. Ideally, you would have prepared a few things before the wedding itself but, in any case, finances will be an ongoing conversation throughout the marriage.

Here are a few tips when it comes to handling your finances as newlyweds.


Be honest about your personal financial situation

When the time comes to sit down and actually have “the talk”, you need to start by being honest with each other. If you have personal loans, credit or any other debts and large expenses you’re still paying off, tell your partner about it. Let them know the reality of your financial situation so you can both brainstorm solutions and figure out how to go ahead with things.

Mention all your sources of income, look at the figures before and after tax and provide a list of your necessary and luxury expenses. If you’ve kept track of your spending from the past year, bring those figures to light and, as a couple, see where changes need to be made in order to save your marriage from unnecessary financial stress.


Agree on a responsibilities system

Now, the bank account options are for you two decide based on what makes the most financial sense in your circumstances. If you have personal financial debt that you want to settle on your own and not add that stress to the marriage, you can keep your separate accounts. If one of you is unemployed or without a stable income, you can choose to have a joint account. What most newlywed couples tend to do these days, is have their separate accounts and open an additional joint account.

You need to decide who will be responsible for which expenses and arrange for a percentage of each salary to go towards the joint account. Be realistic about what you can afford with your individual salaries and the wishes of your partner. As one example, if you earn less than your partner but would still like to contribute to the household expenses, you can undertake paying for rent and your partner can cover insurance and other costs. That way, each person is contributing and it’s not a one-sided financial burden.


Support, save and scheme

Together you will need to set up a budget to which you need to motivate each other to stick to. It may take a while to get into the financial swing of things and it won’t always be easy to save every month. But the importance of saving as a newlywed couple cannot be stressed enough.

There’s just been an enormous amount of money spent on the wedding, you may still have debt to pay off and the future is unknown territory. You never know when there may be an accident or emergency that will need a lump sum of cash to get through. You also need to think about the future of children and retirement.

By saving every month and being frugal, you’ll be saving yourselves from future debt and stress. And don’t underestimate the weight that finances have on a marriage. Money is leading cause of stress and a motivator in divorce cases. Trust needs to be present in every aspect of your relationship, even in the case of money matters.

If you want to make saving and budgeting easier, you can put together a list of financial priorities. A simple scheme of goals to motivate you to save and stick to the budget. Debt and an emergency fund should be top of the list. Then you can think about what else you want to achieve as a couple. Say, for instance, you want to generate a passive income. Then you can create a goal to save up for an apartment that you can buy and rent out.


Consider hiring a professional

Keeping tabs on finances can be confusing and intimidating, especially for a newlywed couple – you’ve never done this before, it’s understandable. In that case, do yourselves a favour and hire a financial advisor, accountant or finance professional to handle things for you. You may think you’ve created a bulletproof plan, but you and your partner may execute in different ways. There’s no shame in asking for help and calling in a third party to sort things out. It will be healthier for your relationship if you divert (but still deal with) any financial stress.

finances as newlyweds