Hopefully if you have been living together then managing your finances should not be a big problem but if you have run separate accounts until now, it's time to think about joint financial management . It's all about investing in your future as a couple. Here are some money management tips for newly weds:
1. Do Not Buy Budgeting Tools or Accountancy Tools
As tempting as it sounds, this is the first mistake that new married couples make. If you have to spend money to make money then…well, surly you can see the missteps in logic on that one! There are plenty of free apps for money management from simple budgeting tools to credit score management.
2. Start a Contingency Fund as Soon as Possible
All married couples need a contingency fund, and you need to start saving it as soon as possible. Now that you are married, both of your credit ratings are on the line. Even if one of you starts overdrawing to the extreme, the other one is going to have to start handling bills and the like, which will result in a downward spiral. Start saving a nest egg as soon as possible, and only use it when your credit ratings are on the line. Do not use it for purchases, and do not use it as an excuse not to plan (finically plan).
3. Both of You Need to Discuss Accountability Matters
Both of your credit ratings needs to be protected, but you both need to be held accountable for your spending. If one of you has gone out and bought a motorcycle, or a Prada bag, then it is not up to the other person to make up any shortfalls. The over-spender should be held accountable, and have to make sacrifices in the future to make up for his/her overspending.
4. Discuss and Arrange Your Roles in Money Management
There are two ways you can do this. You can have one person who deals with all of the money matters, from budgeting to paying, with the other person acting as an overseer. Or you can split the responsibility, to make one person the budgeter, and one person the payer.
5. Budgeter/payer and the Overseer
If one person is the budgeter and payer, and the other is the overseer, then the budgeter/payer is the one who is responsible for everything (the burden lies with him/her). However, the overseer should be able to ask for very specific details and be able to get them. The overseer should also be allowed instant access to all accounts and budgets. If the overseer does not get full disclosure at every request, then it means the budgeter/payer is failing, and roles may need to be reversed.
6. One Person is the Budgeter, and the Other is the Payer
The alternative to the payer/budgeter and overseer is to split the responsibility. You can try working together on this, but many couples do not find the time to keep each other up to date. So you should split the responsibility. One person sets the budget and makes decisions upon how much is spent, however the budgeter is not allowed access to all the accounts. The other partner has full access to all the other accounts, and must approve payments. The one who controls the accounts can keep an eye on the money itself to be sure that overspending is not occurring, whilst the other keeps an eye on cash flow. If both of you work together then you can keep a check on each other to be sure that one person is not overspending needlessly.
7. Communicate about Money More Often
If money is a taboo subject, then you will always be short of it. Discuss your financial plans so that you both know what direction you are heading. Discuss early on if you are going to set up a college fund, trust fund, or nest egg, and then work towards getting it. Do not plan to save money for if you break up, because every time you add money into your “Just in case we break up” fund, you are adding to the “Prize” money that you will get if you divorce (which is unhealthy).