Financial Tips for Newlyweds

When you get engaged, you’ll find that there’s no shortage of advice freely given to you, whether you asked for it or not. And, most, if not all couples, believe their way of doing something should be the way YOU do things. Some tips make sense, some will have you rolling your eyes. BUT, at the end of the day, some sound newlywed financial advice should be welcomed given that “money” is one of the top causes of divorce.

Before your money issues turn into a marriage issue, have a conversation with your fiancée, new spouse, or even your old spouse if the conversation is warranted.

1 – BE HONEST ABOUT DEBT. If you are carrying debt into a marriage, you need to be upfront about it. It’s not at all unusual for at least one person to bring debt into the marriage, such as student loans. Once you’re married, it becomes “our” debt. And, you’ll be paying it off as a team.1 Discuss your plans for repayment and avoid the “blame game” with your partner.

2—OPENLY DISCUSS SPENDING HABITS. Always be open and honest with your partner about your spending habits. Are you a spender or a saver? Would a joint checking account work best for you? Or maybe you should have a joint checking account for household bills, but separate accounts for personal spending? The point is to communicate about your needs up front and to work together toward a happy medium.2

3 – FIGURE OUT YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS & CREATE YOUR BUDGET ACCORDINGLY. This is very important to your financial success as a couple. What are the big expenses coming up in your future? What are your plans for purchasing a home? How much will you need for your down payment? Where do you see yourselves in 10 years, 15 years, and 20 years? Will one of you stay home when you have children? Setting your goals and creating a comfortable spending plan/budget around those goals will help you get there without going into massive amounts of debt.2

4 – DECIDE WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF THE BILLS. Don’t confuse this with “who will control the money.” That’s not what is implied here. Determine how bills will be paid and from which account or if you’ll use a credit card to earn rewards. Both of you should be aware of what your bills are costing and who is making sure they get paid so that no mistakes are made. A routine and rhythm will fall into place if you are both on the same page.2

5 – DON’T CHANGE YOUR SPENDING HABITS. When two comfortable incomes combine into one, the surplus money can begin to burn a hole in your pocket. Resist the urge to change your lifestyle! This “found” money can be a great start to a down payment on a house or an emergency fund. Align your spending with your agreed upon budget and goals.3

The rest of the tips on the list are more like “house-keeping” items, but should be addressed soon after the I-Do’s…

6 – COORDINATE YOUR WORK BENEFITS. If both of your places of employment offer health benefits, compare them! Review what your medical expenses have been in the past year, and determine if both of you being covered on the same plan makes more sense. Most couples often find that they save money by doing this.2

7 – UPDATE INSURANCE AND BENEFICIARIES. You definitely need to make sure that your spouse is set as your beneficiary on any accounts or policies. At the very least, you should change your beneficiary to be “your estate” which will default back to your spouse. Insurance also needs to be updated to include your spouse. For example, if you have renter’s insurance, chances are that your policy only covers your possessions. It should be updated to include your spouse’s belonging. Do you need an insurance rider on the engagement ring or any high-end electronics? Don’t have life insurance or disability insurance? Now is the time to get some. (A wise man one said – you want to set your insurance high enough that your spouse is taken care of when you died, but not high enough to give them any ideas…)2

8 – MAX OUT RETIREMENT SAVINGS. When you’re a newlywed, retirement is hardly the top priority on your list. But, the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better. And the more you can contribute the better. Each spouse should be contributing to their 401(k) if available to them through work, and should have their own IRA.3

9 – PREPARE A WILL. You may be thinking – I don’t have anything of value! On the contrary, sentimental value can far outweigh monetary. The best way to make your family doesn’t come to blows over property or a priceless family heirloom is to have a will prepared. This becomes exponentially important if you have children. Having a will drawn up saves time, money and energy at a time when no one wants to be worried with the details.2

We hope that whether you’re engaged, a newlywed, or looking to tighten the knot of your current marriage you’ve found this information useful. Remember that if any of it is confusing to you, engaging the assistance of a Financial Advisor is a smart decision.  You can also view several short educational videos on these tops through our You First Academy.



1 – www.daveramsey.com
2 – www.youngandthrifty.ca “10 Financial Tips for Newlyweds” by Justin
3 – www.kiplinger.com, “ 5 Tips for Newlyweds” by Knight Kiplinger



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