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Marriage and Money – Managing Your Finances

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So you’re getting married.   Well, unless your last name is Trump or Gates you will probably need some help with your finances.   It is true that sometimes love is blind but that can be both a blessing and a curse.   If love makes you blind to your financial responsibilities that can become a real problem.   Here are a few tips to help newlyweds keep control of their finances and be happy with their future.

  1. First things first – put together a budget.   For a budget to work it must be livable, pliable and realistic.   It must have room for both savings and some mad money.   It must be trackable and fairly easy to maintain.
  2. You must understand the blessings and curses of interest and credit.   Fees and penalties can raise the interest rate on credit to over 100%!!   On the other hand, if you understand credit, you can earn it and insure a better future.
  3. You need to have a plan to get out of debt if you have any and to stay debt free if you don’t have any.   Debt is really the transfer of ownership.   If you owe money on a car, you don’t really own the car.   You may drive it, fill it with gas and maintain it – but you don’t own it.   If you fall late on your payments, the real owner (the bank etc.) can come and get the car and take it.   That leaves you with nothing for all of the payments you have made.   It is virtually the same with any debt.   You don’t own it until you pay it off.   Of course the best way to handle debt is to avoid it completely.   Save your money and pay cash for whatever you need.
  4. I know that as you are in the middle of all of the fun, joy and happiness of getting married it is a downer to talk about a will but it really is necessary.   Without a will, someone else will make the decisions as to the distribution of your assets if either of you were to die.   OK, you can wait until after the honeymoon if you want to but don’t forget about it thinking that you are not old enough to need one.
  5. Make sure you have adequate insurance for your needs.   You don’t want to be in a situation that gobbles up all of your savings and more because you were unprepared.
    Just follow these few steps and you will find yourselves with little stress and lots of happiness.

Lyman Rose
Winning the War Against Debt