The magical wedding that you painstakingly planned over the course of the last several months or even a year or more is finally over. You and your new spouse have taken your enthralling honeymoon, the gifts have been opened and now it’s time to return to reality. You and your betrothed are now a unit and the reality of day-to-day obligations is just beginning to set in. One of the most sobering aspects of returning to regular life post-honeymoon is that many couples have to communicate about and co-manage their finances. There is an old adage that identifies money as being the most common denominator in marital discord. Many newlyweds have never previously dealt with budgeting their finances, and even fewer have experience in managing a household budget and establishing financial goals with a partner. As couple embark on their lives together, they have meshed two separate households. Within that equation, there may be two very different financial histories as well philosophies about managing financial matters. This article discusses seven budgeting tips for newlyweds. The ultimate goal is for the couple to establish a relationship with money with which both partners are comfortable; the ultimate challenge is setting up a process to which both will be able to adhere. Here are seven ways that newly wed couples may budget their finances without making too many sacrifices:
- Pack your lunch. No, this doesn’t mean that you have to endure lunches reminiscent of middle school bologna sandwiches and corn chips. By packing a lunch to take to work each day, each
- Brew your own coffee. Sure, there’s a certain thrill in walking down to a local coffee shop and having a specialty order drink prepared for you. These beverages, at $3.00 or more on average, add up quickly. By brewing coffee at home, your advantage is fresh coffee before you leave the house as well some great savings; a week’s worth of coffee brewed at home costs the same or less than one cup of coffee purchased at a coffee shop.
- Evaluate services and cancel those that you don’t really need. Daily newspaper delivery? Monthly credit reports? Subscriptions to magazines that pile up on the coffee table? If you and your partner take stock of all services and products that your household receives, this is an excellent opportunity to evaluate whether a given product or service is worth keeping. This may be the easiest method of budgeting, especially if you are canceling services that you did not previously utilize to their fullest potential.
- Watch streamed movies at home. Rather than going to a cinema and paying upwards of $10.00 per movie ticket, you can watch movies from the comfort of your own home. Another perk: the popcorn won’t be stale nor will it leave you another $10.00 lighter at the end of the evening.
- High interest rate credit cards. If you have credit cards with balances, review the card carrier’s interest rate. Pay off the balance(s) with the highest rate of interest first. A phone call to the credit card carrier to negotiate the current interest rate on the card may yield you with a decreased rate, thus lower finance charges for any credit cards on which you carry a balance.
- Have a budget meeting with your new spouse. Though this may not be romantic, or the most desired way of spending your already-limited time with your significant other, setting aside an hour at least once each month to discuss household finances, large purchases and financial goals will yield you a great return on investment of your time. Such meetings often lead to a decrease in potential arguments involving finances as partners have made an effort to communicate openly and regularly with one another.
- Reward yourself. Though most financial advice speaks of measures aimed at saving and investing, it is important to set aside some money for treating yourself and your new spouse. Occasional dinners out with your significant other, affordable weekend getaways and small purchases for your new home that are affordable should be budgeted for as you hit your financial milestones. Balancing savings plans and expenses lead to a healthy relationship with money.
As the transition from bride and groom moves to newly wed husband and wife, maintaining a household budget with which both partners are comfortable with and his reviewed on a regular basis will help keep financial goals on track as well decrease the likelihood of arguments that stem from financial-related matters.