Starting a family is an exciting time in your life. As you open this new chapter, however, it’s worth doing so not only with enthusiasm but also with a lot of caution. This is especially true when it comes to finances. Young couples are prone to make money mistakes that may haunt them five to ten years down their marriage. Learning how to manage some of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make as a married couple will reduce the risks and increase your chances of living free of money-related stress.
Renting or Buying
It seems many people harbor the misconception that marriage means you have to get a house ASAP. While there’s nothing wrong with that, there is something wrong with doing it when you’re not financially capable of paying a mortgage. What’s even worse is paying for a house in Melbourne that you’re not even sure you want.
When canvassing for house and land packages, ask each other what your long-term goals are. If you’re both hopeful professionals with prospects of moving abroad or relocating to a new site, renting might be the better option. Otherwise, you should talk about payment options, terms, and packages you can afford. Don’t be afraid to open up to a realtor about your financial standing. They might have the solution to your funding problems.
Loaning and Saving
Sometimes, loans are unavoidable. The harsh truth is that most of the time, they are avoidable. Just because you have an offer from a bank to get a personal loan doesn’t mean you should get it. The same goes for credit cards. These forms of loans should be reserved only for emergencies.
Save money for the appliances and vacations you want. It might take longer than you expect, but paying in full will always cost less if you compute the sum of both options. Getting into the habit of taking loans will bring you trouble down the road. You and your spouse will soon find that you’re two years away from completing a payment, and you’ve already stopped using your purchase months ago.
Sharing and Separating
Here’s where it gets tricky: should you have a joint account, or should you keep your separate accounts? Do both. A joint account is where you’ll get the funds for household care, groceries, mortgages, and bills. Use your separate accounts for personal purchases like clothes, birthday gifts, and passion projects. ;
It’s a dated notion that keeping separate accounts is a sign of distrust. On the contrary, it’s a great way to steer clear of petty arguments about your expenses. If it’s her money, then she has the right to spend it on cosmetics. If it’s his money, then he has the right to spend it on limited-edition footwear. You might not feel it now that you’re just starting, but soon you’ll encounter problems faced by every couple who don’t keep separate accounts.
Love Might Not Be Enough
The honeymoon face of married life isn’t the best time to make hasty financial decisions. Love might not be enough when you’re up to your neck in debts and keeping an eye out on each other’s personal expenses. In all things and at all times, be money-smart. It’s one skill that could keep your marriage afloat during bad times.