Super smart money tips for newlyweds

Learning to say “I do” to financial planning may not be nearly as exciting as planning your big day. But doing so sooner rather than later can save you and your partner a lot of time, stress, and, of course, money.

Money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce  , after all. Finances for newlyweds can encompass an array of topics, ranging from basic budgeting to planning for a child (or a dog!).

Discussing Money Motivations

To jumpstart your newlywed financial planning, you may want to start off by discussing your money motivations. This can mean both understanding how money motivates you and why you want money.

Setting a Budget

Once you understand each others’ money motivations, it may be a good time to start budgeting. To make a monthly budget, you and your partner will need to know what your income is versus what your expenses are.

Laying Out Financial Goals

Setting financial goals may help you and your partner stay on budget. Are you hoping to pay off debts? Do you want to build up your savings? Or maybe you want to build your credit to increase your odds of getting a good rate on a home loan.

Being Honest About Existing Debts & Student Loans

Most graduates are leaving college with student loan debt. If you or your partner (or perhaps both of you) are in this position, you may want to have an honest talk about just how much each of you owes and what your repayment obligations are, such as monthly payments and interest rates.

Making a Master List of Assets & Liabilities

Having a master list of both your assets and liabilities can help you create a combined financial statement, which can in return help you keep better track of your finances and budget.

Deciding Whether or Not to Combine Accounts

For instance, if one partner has a low credit score or a lot of debt, it may be wise to keep separate accounts, especially if you’re concerned about how it may affect your combined ability to get a loan or apply for a mortgage. You may also opt to have some combined accounts and some separate.

Planning for Big Ticket Expenses

Discussing whether either of you have big-ticket expenses planned for the future, or if you have one combined, can help you start planning and saving now. And if you need some help jumpstarting your ability to pay for those big-ticket expenses, you may want to consider getting a personal loan.

Creating an Emergency Fund

You and your partner may want to talk about how much in savings you already have, how much of that can go toward starting an emergency fund (if you don’t already have one), and how much both of you would need combined to cover a month’s worth of expenses in case of an emergency.

Discussing Insurance Options

While newlyweds may not want to talk about what could happen if a spouse is seriously injured, becomes disabled, or even dies, this conversation is important to have early in your marriage.

Determining if Investing Makes Sense

Investing could be a great way to help you and your partner create some wiggle room in your newlywed financial budget (assuming you invest wisely!). If you or your partner have investments or have invested in the past, you may want to discuss what you invested in.