I read an article the other day about a newly married couple being over $50K in debt. To me, that’s insane! I don’t marry for money, but I wouldn’t marry a man who is broke as a joke either. I’m careful with my finances, and I would only be with someone who is equally smart, if not more prudent than I am with money.
Here are my money management tips for the newly married woman.
I know it may sound bad but being selfish about your personal finances makes you a better wife. Don’t give in to every sob story asking to borrow money just because they already spent theirs and enjoyed like there’s no tomorrow. You’ve worked hard for your money, you deserve to have it. Do not be a guarantor for loans of people you do not trust 100%. Financial security reduces your stress and allows you to be more patient with your spouse and more productive at work.
Have your own Nest Egg
I put aside a year’s salary when I was a full time teacher (which really isn’t that much, I wish it were more). And although over the years, I have chipped away at it paying for things like flights and to tide me through the slow months being a freelance writer… the bulk of it is still there in my bank account. Tucked away for an emergency, having this cushion makes me feel very secure.
Take part in Money Management
Many women relinquish all investment and bill management duties to the husbands. Where will you be without him? Even if you’re not the main breadwinner of the family, it is important to be aware of when and how the money comes in and where it goes out to. Attend any meetings he goes to with the investment planner or lawyer. Should there ever be a problem in the future (like a death or emergency *touchwood*), you’ll have the network you need to make important decisions.
Consult your spouse before spending
My husband and I have a joint account that pays for bills and almost all other expenses. I never use if for my own personal wants (such as shopping), and if there’s ever a larger purchase (let’s say, above $200, a painting for the house, etc) we always let the other person know before going ahead with it. It’s a mutual respect, which fortunately for us, came like second nature. However, if you and your new spouse seem to be on different pages on this matter, you need to set aside a time to discuss such boundaries.
Spend money on experiences
Taking into account all the points above, I want to remind you that you don’t have to be a scrooge. Money is a big source of pleasure. Some of my happiest memories with my husband came from spending money on travel and extravagant brunches. Granted, we cannot afford to do this often, but whenever we do indulge in such things, it has been money well spent.
In fact, research indicates that spending money on new experiences, like concert tickets or a holiday, produces longer lasting satisfaction than spending money on material possessions.
Managing money now that you’re a newly married woman doesn’t have to be any different or any more difficult than before, you just have to be smart about it and plan ahead.
Good luck, Mrs!