You and your spouse have just tied the knot with tips and advice from Virginia Bride Magazine, and now that the wedding day is behind you, it’s time to kick off the next chapter of your life together as a married couple. Transitioning from managing your finances as two single individuals to handling your money as a married couple is a big lifestyle change! With these tips, you’ll be able to move forward in your respective career paths, combine your bank accounts, and set realistic savings goals.
Invest in Professional Development
Now that you’re married, you might be thinking about how you can ensure long-term financial prosperity for your household. You and your partner may be curious about professional development and boosting your salaries.
You can both pursue career advancement while having plenty of time for each other by enrolling in online degree programs. For instance, if you want to earn your business degree online, this deserves a look. You’ll learn about subjects like accounting, communications, leadership and management, and organizational psychology. Just make sure that any online schools that either of you are accredited and offer reasonable tuition fees.
Combine Your Finances
You do not necessarily have to share a bank account just because you’re married – but having joint checking and savings accounts can make it much easier to pay your household bills. Money Under 30 recommends maintaining a joint checking account to cover everyday expenses, a mutual savings account to contribute funds for emergency savings and short-term goals, and a shared credit card.
Tax and Insurance Considerations
If you and your spouse have questions about your new tax filing status, or how to choose a health insurance policy, you may want to meet with a financial advisor for guidance. Depending on the health insurance packages offered by your individual employers, you’ll want to weigh the benefits of each before you decide which to use going forward.
Set Savings Goals
When you were single, you saved for things you personally wanted – but once you’re married, you’ll need to balance saving for your own wants with saving for your needs as a couple. For example, you and your spouse might need to buy a new car, set aside money for a down payment or home repairs, or even build a bigger emergency fund for extra financial security if you plan on having children.
To determine your financial objectives as a couple, The Ascent recommends discussing your short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals together, and then assigning specific figures to each. For example, a short-term goal could involve saving $2,000 for a domestic vacation in six months, while your long-term goal could be saving $40,000 for a down payment in three years. Create a budget that will give you plenty of room for savings.
Schedule Financial Meetings
It’s easy to get distracted from working towards your financial goals if you don’t continuously monitor your progress together and check in on your status. Once per month, commit to having a household financial meeting. You can even maintain a shared spreadsheet with information about the value of your savings, checking, and retirement accounts, as well as any debts you’re paying down. That way, you’ll easily be able to check in on your net worth and ensure that you’re still on track to meet your savings goals by your desired deadlines.
After the big day has come and gone, you and your new spouse need to ensure that you’re on the same page when it comes to finances. It’s never too early to focus on improving your financial situation and establishing your financial goals. With these tips, you’ll be able to further your education online, decide on your insurance plans, and keep up with regular financial meetings.
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