15 Smart Money Moves All Newlyweds Should Follow for Financial Success

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Getting married is an exciting milestone, filled with dreams of a shared future and a lifetime of adventures together.

However, along with the joy and romance comes the practical aspect of merging lives, which includes managing finances as a couple.

Navigating the financial landscape as newlyweds can be challenging but with the right strategies, you can set the stage for a secure and prosperous future.

Sadly, too many marriages end because of money.

With the tips in this guide, you’ll learn how to build a solid financial foundation, avoid common pitfalls, and make sure that money matters strengthen, rather than strain, your relationship.

#1. Organize Your Finances

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Organizing finances together is essential as it lays the groundwork for a transparent, cooperative, and financially sound marriage.

Hopefully, you talked about where you both stood financially before you married.

Now is the time to take the next step and lay everything out. This will help you prioritize debt repayment, save for retirement, and reach other financial goals.

This approach not only helps in avoiding misunderstandings and financial conflicts but also strengthens trust and partnership.

#2. Combine Finances or Not

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In the past, it was common for newlyweds to immediately merge their finances.

But now that people are waiting to marry, they bring significant assets to the marriage.

This can cause some hesitation about merging money.

The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer here. All that is required is to talk it over and agree on how you want to handle things.

When I first married, we kept everything separate. It worked at first. But after a few years, it felt like we were roommates, with one person paying some bills and the other paying the rest. We decided to merge everything and have done so since.

#3. Try to Live on One Income

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You might wonder why trying to live on one income is something you should do. But it can make life much easier for you in certain circumstances.

When you live on one income, you can save all of the other person’s. This can be a tremendous boost to your savings, whether you’re building an emergency fund, saving for a house, or saving for retirement.

Second, if you decide to have kids, being comfortable on one salary means there is the option for one of you to stay home and raise the child.

Additionally, if one person decides to start their own business in a few years, you can live on the other’s income.

The only downside to doing this is not having everything you want right now. If you spend everything you make, you can enjoy more vacations or a nicer car. But you will be much happier if you delay these things and learn to live on one income.

#4. Set Long Term Goals

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Setting long-term financial goals is crucial as it provides a clear roadmap for your future together, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.

By establishing these goals early on, couples can align their financial priorities and work collaboratively towards common objectives such as buying a home, starting a family, or planning retirement.

When you work together to reach a goal, you support each other and keep yourselves close. Then, when you achieve your goals, you can enjoy the work you put in that much more.

#5. Do You Want Kids

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Discussing the prospect of having children is a vital conversation, as it significantly influences your personal lives and financial planning.

Children bring immense joy and fulfillment, but they also come with substantial financial commitments, ranging from everyday expenses like food and clothing to long-term costs such as education and healthcare.

By discussing your desires and expectations regarding parenthood early on, couples can prepare for these financial demands, ensuring they have adequate savings and a well-structured budget.

Not only does this conversation help set realistic goals and timelines for major life events, but it also minimizes financial stress and enhances overall stability.

#6. Create a Budget

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Creating a budget is crucial as it establishes a clear and structured approach to managing your finances, ensuring that both partners are aligned in their financial expectations and goals.

A well-planned budget helps you track your income and expenses, allowing you to make informed decisions about spending, saving, and investing.

Additionally, by setting financial boundaries and priorities, a budget prevents overspending and minimizes the risk of debt, fostering a sense of financial security and stability.

It also encourages open communication and collaboration, as couples must regularly discuss and adjust their financial plans to reflect their changing circumstances and goals.

#7. Have a Monthly Finances Meeting

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In relationships, one person is usually the finance person, and the other person goes along for the ride.

Regardless of who you are, you both need to be active in planning your finances and knowing where you stand.

This doesn’t have to be super involved, or an hour-long meeting, but a monthly update on where you are, your plans, and your goals is critical.

It helps you feel connected and to be financially successful.

When one person is clueless about your finances, overspending, arguments, and separation can result.

#8. Keep Both Parties Engaged

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Building on the last point, you both must know where your accounts are and how to access them. You also need to know where you stand.

If one of you passes, having the other person know this information is critical.

I’ve seen too many times working with people where one person passes, and the other is completely unaware of how much money they have, what credit cards they use, etc.

You don’t want this for your partner or yourself.

#9. Divide Responsibilities

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Dividing responsibilities is crucial for a new couple as it promotes efficiency, harmony, and mutual respect within the partnership.

By assigning specific tasks and roles based on each partner’s strengths, interests, and availability, couples can streamline their daily routines and alleviate the burden of managing household and financial affairs.

This division of responsibilities fosters a sense of teamwork and collaboration, as each partner contributes to the smooth functioning of their shared life together.

Moreover, dividing responsibilities allows couples to leverage each other’s skills and expertise, maximizing productivity and effectiveness in tackling various tasks.

This reduces stress and overwhelm and strengthens the bond between partners, as they rely on each other for support and cooperation.

#10. Design Your Ideal Life

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Dreaming about your ideal life is essential as it provides a shared vision and motivation to work towards a fulfilling future together.

By envisioning long-term goals, such as buying a home, traveling the world, or starting a family, couples can align aspirations and priorities, fostering unity and collaboration in their relationship. Dreaming together encourages open communication and sparks creativity as partners explore different possibilities and imagine the life they want to create together.

This shared vision is a guiding light, inspiring couples to make intentional decisions about their finances, career paths, and lifestyle choices that align with their dreams.

#11. Have Open Communication

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Open communication is vital for newlyweds as it forms the bedrock of a strong, trusting, and resilient marriage, particularly regarding financial matters.

Transparent discussions about money enable couples to understand each other’s financial habits, priorities, and goals, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and conflicts.

By openly sharing, newlyweds can collaboratively develop a cohesive financial plan that reflects both partners’ aspirations and concerns.

This level of honesty fosters mutual respect and ensures that both individuals feel heard and valued in financial decision-making processes.

Furthermore, open communication helps address potential financial issues early on, allowing couples to navigate challenges together and find solutions that work for both.

#12. Be Frugal

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Embracing frugality is crucial as it fosters a mindset of mindful spending, resourcefulness, and financial discipline.

By living within your means and prioritizing needs over wants, you can stretch your income further, build savings, and achieve financial goals more efficiently.

Frugality encourages couples to scrutinize their expenses, seek out cost-effective alternatives, and make deliberate choices about how they allocate their resources.

This approach not only helps avoid unnecessary debt but also instills valuable money management skills that can benefit the couple throughout their lives.

#13. Avoid Lifestyle Creep

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For newlyweds, avoiding lifestyle creep is essential to maintaining financial health and achieving long-term goals.

Lifestyle creep occurs when increased income leads to proportionally higher spending on non-essential luxuries rather than saving or investing.

This can quickly erode financial gains and prevent couples from building a secure financial future.

By consciously resisting the temptation to upgrade your lifestyle with every raise or bonus, you can allocate more resources toward paying off debt, saving for a home, or investing for retirement.

Additionally, keeping living expenses stable despite rising incomes helps accumulate wealth, provides a cushion against unforeseen expenses, and ensures financial stability.

#14. Start Estate Planning

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It might not sound important to work on estate planning when you first get married, but it is an important task to protect your assets and your wishes in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Estate planning involves creating legal documents such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, which provide clear instructions on the distribution of assets and the care of dependents.

By addressing these issues early in their marriage, couples can prevent potential legal complications and family disputes, providing peace of mind for both partners.

Of course, this is not a “do it once and forget about it” thing. You need to review your documents regularly as your goals and life change.

#15. Have Personal Fun Money

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Whether you combine or keep your accounts separate, you need to have personal fun money to maintain individual autonomy and promote healthy financial habits within your marriage.

Allocating a portion of your budget to personal fun money allows each partner to indulge in activities or purchases that bring them joy without feeling guilty or constrained by joint expenses.

This discretionary spending fosters a sense of independence and self-care, promoting mental and emotional well-being within the relationship.

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