Top 5 Money Management Skills that Every Newlywed Couple Needs to Know

The top 5 money management skills newlyweds need to know to keep a marriage strong.

You did it! You decided to fully commit and marry the love of your life.  Ideally, now you can both live happily ever after, right? If only it was that easy. The current divorce rate in America is looming around 50% and financial difficulties are often named as the primary reason. For newlyweds, it is easy to think money issues will never affect their marriage, but without the proper money management skills, some couples could be headed for splitsville.

Being aware of common money management mistakes and knowing the best and more essential money skills will help married couples know what to avoid. Money is such a big factor in any relationship but it doesn’t always have to be a negative topic. In some instances, money can bring a couple closer as well as allow couples to learn new things about one another.

1. Communication: Talk About Money with Your Spouse. Communicating is by far the most crucial thing in any relationship but it plays a pivotal role in the success of a marriage. Even more difficult than just communicating, is to bring up the dreaded topic of money. But avoidance is a sure fire way to guarantee failure. Couples must absolutely talk to each other about their financial goals as well as their money burdens. In all honesty, this conversation should have happened long before anyone walked down the aisle but if not, it’s not the end of world.  At the beginning of a new married, establish new and open communication lines. By creating a budget together and figuring out where exactly you stand financially is essential to being financially successful.

2. Control: Don’t Give One Person All the Control. Instead of designating one person in the relationship to be deemed responsible for paying bills, filing taxes, watching investments, and tracking the day to day budget flow, it is recommended that both parties in a marriage share these duties rather than holding one person accountable for everything. It is okay for one person to take the lead on such responsibilities but it is very important for both spouses in the marriage to know the status of the family’s finances.  Both spouses need to know all account information, when all bills are due, passwords, and any other information related to the finances.

3. Plan: Create a Joint Financial Plan. Blending two completely different lifestyles together into one household isn’t the easiest of tasks. To make the process smoother, it is advised for a couple to sit down and create a basic budget plan that both individuals will follow whether they are our spending on their own or together. Begin by listing both incomes and from there determine the fixed expenses, which will be monthly bills like rent, food, insurance, etc. and the money leftover is designated for flexible expenses. Once a basic budget tracking system has identified where money is spent, after a few months look back over the original budget to tweak where you see fit.

4. Compromise: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.  Whether you are single or married, know when to pick your battles and do so carefully. Money is something that should always be talked about but make sure to be respectful and reasonable with your spouse. Merging incomes and sharing money is not going to be easy – one spouse may spend 50 cents extra for a brand-name product when another spouse thinks the no-name brand tastes the exact same and it’s a waste of money. Remember, it takes time and effort to share a life with someone let mesh their finances. Just be reasonable and communicate with your spouse first foremost.

5. Save: Be Prepared and plan ahead!  You never know what can happen in the future so it is always a good idea to expect the unexpected. That’s why everyone should save, even if it is just a dollar a day, every little bit counts. This may seem almost impossible at first but by starting really small, married couples or anyone trying to be financially savvy and independent will be able to work their way up to saving significant amounts of money.  Don’t get discouraged and remember to always think about the big picture. More importantly – remember that by sacrificing a little savings each month, you and your spouse will be prepared for the future in case an emergency arises.