Protecting Your Marriage from Financial Mishap
Six Easy Tips
We all look forward to the day when we meet that special someone - to share our life, our love, and our...finances? Money matters are unfortunately one of the top stressors of marriage, but they do not have to be! Smart moves in your financial life set you on a course for short and long term success and happiness.
Learn How to Talk Money Together
You've heard it all before: You're a team, and great communication is essential to a healthy relationship. This is highly important when it comes to your finances, as they will play a major role throughout your lives together. Make sure you are both comfortable talking about money - the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable. Do not hide spending habits, debt, or dreams from one another. Sit down together and share your finances regularly, and always keep your partner informed.
Create and Share Joint Financial Goals
Ensure you and your partner are on the same page with short and long term goals. Are you saving for a trip to Europe in 2 years, while your partner is saving for a child's education in 20? What is your retirement or emergency plan? You should even discuss short and long term career goals and how it will affect your finances. Discuss how you plan to save, how much and how often money will be put aside, and your financial priorities.
Decide if Your Bank Accounts Get Hitched Too
Deciding whether or not to merge your bank accounts is a huge decision. Whether the answer is yes, no, or somewhere in between, clear communication is, again, essential. So is good planning. If you will merge your finances, there are a few questions to discuss:
- How will your accounts be managed?
- Will it be a one or two person job?
- Which accounts are for which expenses and how will you hold one another accountable?
- If you keep separate accounts, how do you handle joint expenses like utility bills, home repairs, or a mortgage?
- Is there a significant difference in salary? How will that affect your responsibilities?
- Do you balance or join your loans? (Hint: Understanding your credit scores will help)
Make Plans for Tomorrow
Your savings accounts are essential, but ensure you are creating emergency and retirement funds. Do either or both of you have an employee 401k or pension? Do you have a plan if one of you is laid off or gets sick, or if you decide to have children? If you're unsure how to secure your short and long term family finances, speak to a Certified Financial Coach about your options.
Draw a Map to Get There
Discuss how to achieve your goals. A critical factor mentioned above is your credit score. You should know yours and your partners. It will affect the types of loans you can get, and the amount of credit you're allotted. It will allow you to know what is realistic for your team. Based on your score, your income, and your goals, make a solid financial plan, and make it as specific as you can. Discuss all your interests - everything from "I'd like to have 2 kids and own a house" to "I'd like to be able to eat out once a month".
Pick the Right Place to Set Up Shop
Choosing the right financial institution is no small decision, especially these days. Do your research: Ask about banking fees, loan rates, member benefits, and conveniences. BMI Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial institution. When you become a member, you'll have access to exceptional products and personalized member service. We guarantee our investment in our community, and in your financial lives.
Don’t let finances cause unnecessary problems in your loving and powerful partnership. If you approach money with as much honesty and respect as you have for one another, you will sail on calm waters. If you’re not sure how to get started with any of the above, a BMI Federal Credit Union Certified Financial Coach has your back. Check out our award winning Financial Education Program for more.