Making Your Financial Vows
You’ve stood at the alter and said “I do” now it’s time to make your financial vows. As scary as the thought may be, it’s a very important task and hurdle to get through together.
The most important thing is to be open and honest with one another about how much money you have or don’t have as well as how much debt you may be in.
Let’s get started….
Combine your finances. First thing’s first, you might decide you want to keep your finances YOUR finances. After all, they’ve been your finances all of your life (after you’ve freed yourself from the Bank of Mom and Dad). If this is your situation, consider starting small and open a joint checking account used to pay utility bills, house supplies, and groceries. Or you can open a joint savings account as a mutual rainy day fund.
If you two are more comfortable with combining your finances, go full force and make those single accounts into joint accounts.
Create a budget together. Sit down and make a list of regular expenses. Then look at how much each of you make and set a reasonable limit to each of your expenses. Don’t be afraid to go back and forth until you’ve reached an agreement- that’s what comes with marriage.
Pay down debt. Debt can be perceived as the scary monster hidden in your closet that you don’t want anybody to see. Depending on how much debt you’ve accumulated, it can be an embarrassing situation for you.
However, knowing how loving and supportive your spouse is, facing the monster will be much easier when you have someone by your side. Lay the cards on the table and figure out how you’re going to pay it down. Remember, making a plan and sticking to it is the best way to achieve anything.
Have a common goal. Are you trying to save for a house? Maybe you just want some financial security and have a hefty savings? Whatever the case may be, think long term and create a common goal you would like to achieve. If it’s something you both want, it will be easier to work towards as a team.
Now I want to hear from you. Tell me, which steps did you and your spouse take to combine your finances?