After the wedding nothing stresses a newly-wed couple more than their finances yet, money is a topic that many will not take the time to sit down and properly address. Do not be that couple.
To help you along this tricky terrain here are few things you can do
Talk about money because if you truly love and respect each other you should be able to talk openly about money and trust each other with money matters. To put it bluntly you should each be able to feel free to lay out the law about the money in your new life together. Be open also about whether you want to have access to each other’s individual accounts or not. Whether you prefer having a ‘yours’, ‘mine’ or ‘ours’ arrangement- talk about it.
Also work out together what your net financial worth is. That is, what you own versus what you owe. And this can only work if you disclose debts too. Be open about whom you owe, when the debt needs to be repaid and how you are going to find the money to pay the debt. If you know what each of you owe you will help each other as facing your debts alone can be overwhelming and lead to depression in some cases.
You both have important documents; birth certificates, school certificates, higher education transcripts and degrees, driver’s licenses, your marriage certificate. These are important documents and may not directly have anything to do with money but are just as important. So if you have not yet done so, do share these documents.
Besides the documents mentioned already, also have a clear idea of and have access to other documents that impinge upon your life together. Documents like ownership documents (title or mortgage agreements), rental lease agreements, car registration papers, utilities bills, and health and insurance documents.
In taking stock and sharing these documents do remember that in no way does it suggest that you love your partner less or that you are questioning their love. But not having full knowledge may result in a bad experience for you and your family down the line.
Do it Together
Do not hand over all responsibility and control of the family finances to one person. And do not relinquish control just because you are a couple. Or because your partner says they have better money skills. Each of you has a right to know about what is happening to the family money. All the money. Not just from one side! And one person should not be tasked with paying for every household item when there are 2 income earners. This is a recipe for disaster for one or both of you.
If one of you is concerned that you might not have money management skills, think back to when you did manage on your own affairs-to the days when you were single! The days you paid your own rent, transport, food, fees etc. You did it then, you can do it now as a couple. If you like, you can agree on areas to tackle and be responsible for and also agree on spending thresh-holds.
Remember to keep each other informed and to always share concerns if you want to build your financial future as one unit.