Research suggests that 70% of married millennial couples argue about financial decisions more than any other topic. This could explain why some experts say financial problems are one of the top reasons marriages fail.
Fortunately, when couples work together to address their finances, they may be able to mitigate many of the problems money may cause in a marriage.
10 Tips for Newly Married Couples
1. Communication - Couples should consider talking about their financial goals, memories, and habits, as each partner may come into the marriage with fundamental differences in experiences and outlooks driving their behaviors.
2. Set Goals - Setting goals establishes a common objective that both partners become committed to pursuing.
3. Create a Budget - A budget is an exercise for developing a spending and savings plan that is designed to reflect mutually agreed upon priorities.
4. Set the Foundation for Your Financial House - Identify assets and debts. Look to begin reducing debts, while building your emergency fund.
5. Work Together - By sharing the financial decision-making, both spouses are vested in all choices, reducing the friction that can come from a single decision-maker.
6. Set a Minimum Threshold for Big Expenses - While possessing a level of individual spending latitude is reasonable, large expenditures should only be made with both spouses’ consent. Agreeing to a purchase amount should require a mutual decision.
7. Set Up Regular Meetings - Set aside a predetermined time once or twice a month to discuss finances. Talk about budgeting, upcoming expenses, and any changes in circumstances.
8. Update and Revise - As a newly married couple, you may need to update the beneficiaries on your accounts, reevaluate your insurance coverage, and revise (or create) your will.
9. Love, Trust, and Honesty - Approach contentious subjects with care and understanding, be honest about money decisions you know your spouse might be upset with, and trust your spouse to be responsible with handling finances.
10. Consider Speaking with a Financial Professional - A financial professional may offer insights to help you work through the critical financial decisions that all married couples face. In fact, research shows that regardless of US region, age, or income, people who work with financial advisors are three times happier in their personal relationships, compared with those who have not hired a financial advisor.
If you are in need of a referral to a marriage or relationship counselor or an estate planning attorney to assist in any way, please let us know as we are always happy to connect you to professionals we know and trust.
For a deeper look into some of these action items, check out “4 Major Financial Actions for Young Adult Newlyweds” HERE.
Sources and Notes:
1. NPR.org, February 10, 2020; 2. Marriage.com, June 8, 2020; 3. When drafting a will, consider enlisting the help of a legal, tax, or financial professional who may be able to offer additional insight, especially if you have a large estate or complex family situation. 4. Herbers & Company 2021 Consumer Financial Behaviors Study
Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.
The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.
Published for the blog on February 27, 2022 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.