Sound Advice for Newlyweds
It's the season of love, but before couples take the next step in their relationship, they should shape their financial plan. First National Bank and Trust (FNBT) reminds customers that taking the next step is not only a marriage of hearts but also a marriage of finances.
It's no secret that people can become blinded by love, but if you stick to a plan, your financial situation doesn't have to be impaired. An important component of any romantic relationship is a solid financial footing. FNBT suggests couples use the following tips to achieve financial intimacy:
Be mine, or yours?
Will you and your spouse-to-be keep finances separated or combine them? Consider individual money styles, having one joint savings account and then separate accounts that you can use how you'd like. Making these financial decisions together will help you find a system that works for you.
Couples that tackle money problems together, and take mutual responsibility for solving them, will inevitably find that their overall relationships are better for it, so calculate your monthly costs and discuss how bills will be paid. Both may contribute to the bill payment, but who will physically write the check to pay the bills, monitor the investments and take care of the taxes. Consider setting a date every month to review and discuss finances.
It's important that spouse's are aware of the others' credit situation. Marrying a person with bad credit will not drag down your stellar record. However, your other half's credit will be factored in when applying for joint financing. Knowing ahead of time will help you to plan more strategically.
Couples should develop a plan to shoot down existing debt, starting with the balances that carry the highest interest rates. Whether or not the pair works as a team or alone, debt must be tackled. Think twice before every purchase and ask yourself if it's worth not putting that money in your savings. You'll be able to eliminating frivolous spending this way while keeping your priorities top of mind.
Saving as a couple fosters teamwork and is essential in times of financial hardship. Decide how much you want to save as a couple and do it automatically from your paychecks. It's important to be realistic when budgeting your monthly savings goal. Try using FNBT's online banking and other free online tools that segment your spending in different categories.