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Monday, April 28, 2014

50. Five Money Mistakes Newlyweds Make

Marriage is a beautiful thing. There's the wedding, honeymoon, and a whole new life together. It's exciting and new. It's fun, stretching, and frustrating sometimes. Here's some things to consider if you are newly married or engaged to be married. 

1. Not Budgeting. Include all monthly income and spend it all on paper or your spreadsheet. Make sure to include categories for saving and investing. Develop, agree, and stick to a budget together. If one person is better with finances than the other let that person make the budget and allow the other person to agree to it. The one who didn’t make the budget should change at least one thing in the budget. Talk it over. Account for all income by matching it to expenses. Agree to what you’re going to spend. And stick to it. Adapt the budget as needed. Tweak this every few months and track your expenses with

2. Forgetting to Save. Saving for retirement and emergencies is important. If your company offers a 401k match invest the minimum to get the match. That’s free money! If no 401k is offered consider investing in an IRA or Roth IRA. Not having an Emergency Fund is a serious recipe for disaster. Emergencies can and will happen: the car will break down, an appliance will have to be repaired, etc. The credit card with 30% interest should be the last option not the first.

3. Failing To Be Honest About Finances. It is important to pay bills on time. It is also important to discuss major purchases. Consider making decisions together on major purchases like appliances, furniture, vehicles, houses, etc. Be honest about finances with one another. Discuss your budget with your spouse on a regular basis - either bi-weekly or monthly.

4. Tackling Finances as Individuals. Consider shifting your focus: All debt and assets too should be considered both spouse’s responsibility. Work together to eliminate debt brought into the marriage. Again, make major purchases together. Arguments over finances are one of the lead causes of stress in marriages. Consider too not succumbing to the pressure of having kids as friends around you are having them or the family turns up the heat strongly pressing for grandkids or nieces/nephews. Consider your financial situation and talk it over together as a couple.

5. Living Beyond One’s Means. It is important to spend less than you make. Remember that it took your parents years to acquire, save, and build their lives together. Don’t expect to have everything that has taken them 20, 25, 30 or more years of marriage in the first few years of your marriage. Delayed gratification is important. Consider too getting your higher education knocked out before you have children. This will theoretically increase your income potential. Remember there’s two ways to change your financial situation: increase your income or decrease your expenses. Don’t compare yourself to others but realize that wealth building takes time and energy.

Hope this helps! What do you think? What has worked in your marriage and what advice would you give? 


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