Beginning Married Life on a Budget
Marital bliss in planning your wedding and honeymoon insulates you from real life marriage, offering lifetime romantic memories. Unfortunately, one thing you won’t forget is the bills you’ll need to pay for events you wouldn’t trade for the world. When you start watching bills accumulate, realize that beginning your life together means watching your budget, especially if you want to buy your first home. FlatRate Moving presents newlywed tips to protect your budget and allow you to buy your dream home!
Discussing Money Matters
“We need to talk” sounds ominous, but what’s more ominous is not discussing money matters before marriage. If you avoided the topic, after a relaxing honeymoon broach the subject. Even if you lived together before, revisit your financial arrangements since things are official and may need adjustments. Topics to discuss include your debt status and net worth; who will pay for and how best to pay what expenses; figuring out who is the saver and spender; and what are your future financial goals like buying a house or future child care. Fidelity suggests establishing an emergency fund, too. Decide if you need to discuss making major purchases with your spouse before doing so. To keep finances flowing smoothly, meet weekly, says Money Crashers , and see if you’re meeting or breaking your goals.
Creating a Budget
Creating and utilizing a budget will enable you to control spending and encourage saving. Money Crashers points out, though, that you must regularly track your budget to stay within its parameters. If you didn’t draft a prenuptial agreement, there’s still time to craft a postnuptial one, they continue, if you want it.
Rearranging Your Finances and Insurance
Amassing your wealth could help you negotiate a better home than you could as a single person. However, maybe you don’t want to blend your bank accounts with your spouse and that’s okay — as long as you’re in agreement. Talk with your spouse about using separate, joint or combined bank accounts depending on your needs. Remember, says Fidelity, to see what tax deductions and savings you’re eligible for as a married couple. If you’re trying to pay down credit card debt, consider transferring to one with lower interest rates or cancelling one or more. Check your insurance coverage (homeowner’s, car, health, etc.) and search for the most economical coverage for married couples.
Buying Household Items
After you move in together, sort through furniture and household items, consolidating your joint items to a more manageable amount. If you cannot bear to give something away but cannot keep it in your present residence, find a storage facility until you have more room. Although it’s wonderful to purchase brand-new furniture that matches your décor, it’s not always feasible when you still need to pay off wedding debt. Visit antique, consignment and thrift stores for unique pieces or scratch-and-dent appliance stores for reasonable prices. If you walk or take public transportation to stores and work, sell your car(s) to cut down on expenses. Save money by repairing or renovating your new home on your own if you are handy or a quick learner.
Although eating out and vacations are romantic and fun, they cost money. Since you already celebrated in style during your wedding and honeymoon save money by eating in and entertaining friends and family at your home. This includes buying coffee out, drinking prepackaged water and avoiding brand names, says The Simple Dollar. Examine your cable, phone and Internet bills and investigate where you can cut costs. The Simple Dollar recommends canceling club memberships you don’t use, using the library more often and partaking in free community events.