November 16th 2017 - by Amanda Perkins
Congratulations – you just got married! Now not only have you exchanged rings, but you’ve also acquired each others debt. This means anything from student debt, car loans, credit card debt or any personal loans. Being a newlywed doesn’t mean talking about money has to be stressful or even just assumed everything will work out okay. However you want to approach your joint finances, you need to take the time to talk about it, work through and create a plan that now works for both of your finances. You aren’t just worrying about your own money anymore, you should both be thinking of the financial impact your personal finances now have on your spouse.
Luckily, we have some tips from a few newlyweds that we know on how to rock your new marriage and stress less about money.
Hopefully this conversation about debt has happened well before actually tying the knot, but if not, communicating openly and honestly about your finances right away is key in eliminating your stress and tackling each others debt head on. Keep in mind, when chatting about money we don’t necessarily mean to only talk about debt, but also talk about each other’s savings, daily spending, upcoming expenses and monthly budgets. However you want to combine your finances, being honest with one another about all aspects will spare you the fighting later.
Open a joint account
Now this can be different for every couple and you have to work through what works best for you. Some people prefer to have everything all together into one account. Both pay cheques go in and all expenses come out. Along with this means you would be fully aware of each other’s pay, all debt payments as well as any daily spending habits. If this type of openness with finances is a bit too much for you, we suggest having individual accounts, as well as one joint account for any type of joint expenses such as, rent or a mortgage payment, insurance, utilities, future savings, or everyday living expenses. Feel free to break up the amount that each other contributes into the account based on your income or split everything 50/50. Do what works best but talk about what you are comfortable with and come up with a financial plan together, so everything gets paid on time.
Tackle debt & savings as a team
Considering what’s mine is yours has now taken on a new meaning as a married couple, it’s good to sit down and talk about your plan to pay down each others debt as well as your plan to save for the future. Set goals for each other to achieve both individually and together. Are you going to focus on paying down debt first or saving? Are you planning to have a big family? Start thinking about your next home or paying off wedding debt. Whatever the goal may be and whichever route you decide to tackle first, sit down with your partner and make a game plan as to what works best for you now with your incomes combined.