Money can often be the cause of the demise of many marriages, so instead of dealing with things down the line, why not start things off financially on the right foot?
From sharing bank accounts to setting financial goals, to making sure one has enough insurance, there’s a lot for new married couples to discuss. It’s important newlyweds instill some key financial habits to ensure their marriage is successful from the start. Think about it–you don’t want to spend your first couple of years of wedded bliss worried about your wallets! So Radio One and #TeamBeautiful teamed up with founder and CEO of Edelman Financial Services, Ric Edelman who has amazing tips for newlyweds to combine finances. Trust us, you’re going to want to take notes before you tie that knot!
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1. Start Saving: You may have emptied your bank account paying for the wedding, but once you’re married it’s time to build it back up. Aim to accumulate at least 12 months’ worth of spending in reserves. Also, start funding your retirement plans at work, and invest any extra cash into a diversified portfolio.
2. Say Goodbye To Separate Checkbooks: When you’re married, money isn’t “yours” or “mine,” it’s ours. Pool your money into one checking account and one savings account.
3. Update Beneficiaries: Change all the beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement plans, annuities and IRAs to the name of your new spouse.
4. Address Debt: If your spouse doesn’t know about your debts yet, have that conversation now. Together, you need to decide how the two of you will pay off those loans.
5. Figure Out Where Your Money Goes: Work together to track your expenditures. It’s easier to achieve financial goals when you know how you’re spending your money.
6. Create Ground Rules For Spending: Chances are, you’ve both been earning and spending money for years without consulting anyone. Those days are over. Discuss your approaches to handling money. Is one person a spender and one a saver? Make rules to handle any differences, perhaps setting a monthly spending limit for each person or promising to save a certain amount every month to achieve a joint goal.
7. Prioritize Purchases: Part of being married means jointly deciding how to spend your money. Make a list of upcoming purchases — a new car, living room furniture or a pet — and prioritize them.
8. Consolidate Your Credit Cards: Avoid having more credit cards than you need. Using fewer credit cards also makes it easier to track household spending.
9. Buy Life Insurance: If you need both of your incomes to pay your monthly expenses — and most couples do — make sure you both have enough life insurance to protect each other.
10. Organize Documents: Make sure you both know where important documents are kept. This includes birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, bank and investment account information, and tax records.
About Ric Edelman
Ric Edelman, founder, and CEO of Edelman Financial Services has been ranked the #1 Independent Financial Advisor in the nation by Barron’s three times. His commitment to teaching consumers about personal finance has established him as a popular and trusted financial professional in the U.S. A #1 New York Times best-selling author, Edelman’s seven books have collectively sold more than one million copies and have been translated into several languages. In April 2014 he published his eighth book, The Truth about Retirement Plans and IRAs. He also hosts his own award-winning radio show, The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman, which attracts more than one million listeners weekly. In addition to being an acclaimed public speaker, Edelman frequently provides his expertise to major national media, including CBS, FOX, CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest and much more. For more information, visit www.edelmanfinancial.com.
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