Money is one of the greatest stressors in a relationship. Here are four tips for newlyweds looking to build a strong financial foundation for their lives together as a couple.
1. Talk about it
It might seem obvious, but you have to talk about finance as a couple. It might be awkward at first, but once you make it habitual it will only strengthen your foundation—financially and emotionally. We’ve written before about how important it is to discuss money with your partner, but it’s worth restating that talking about money on a regular basis may be the key to a happy relationship. TD Bank polled 1,339 people—either married, engaged or in relationships—to explore the impact finances have on relationships. Their “Love & Money Study” revealed that couples who regularly talk about money are happier in their relationships than those who discuss finances less frequently.
2. Save early for retirement
Saving might seem daunting, especially with things like wedding planning and student debt looming over your checkbook. But you must make saving a priority, even if it seems small. 32% of couples surveyed by American Express said their greatest financial mistake was not putting more into savings and investments. Many employers take the guess work out of retirement saving—it’s as simple as checking a box to contribute to an employer-backed plan. If your job doesn’t provide retirement planning, consider making a yearly deposit into a Roth IRA or setting up your own retirement account with a bank like Vanguard. (P.s. We’re not financial advisors. If you’re gearing up to make a big decision for retirement planning, we suggest you find yourself one!)
3. Make decisions together
You’ve made a commitment to one another for life, so making decisions—especially important ones around your finances—should be done together. If you can successfully conquer the “talk about” part, the decision-making process gets much easier. And studies show that couples who make decisions together are happier and feel more confident in their choices. So it’s clear there are lots of reasons it makes sense to share financial decisions, especially when you’re embarking on life as newlyweds. You can address your individual and shared money issues together, making sure that you are both on the same page for your current and future finances, and there is far greater satisfaction when you share goals and can make progress together as a couple. In other words, when you make decisions together it can strengthen your relationship.
4. Be transparent
In the survey conducted by American Express, 91 percent of Americans surveyed find reasons to avoid money talks with their partner, with couples indicating they are more likely to know their partner’s weight than their salary. It’s one thing to fudge a pound or two, but another thing entirely to not be fully disclosing with your partner about your spending and saving habits (or lack thereof).
One way to bring more transparency to your finances is to download an app like Honeydue. Honeydue is a personal finance app for couples that takes a lot of the friction out of managing money together. The app also lets couples stay on top of money matters in other more fun and interactive ways. You can comment on individual transactions and manage bill reminders together, all in a way that is beautiful and intuitive.
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What advice do you have for newlyweds planning for their financial future? Tell us in the comment section below!