When Opposites Attract
Taking a trip down the aisle with the love of your life who has opposite spending habits? Don’t sweat it. Being up front and honest about your finances will help decrease those dreaded, “where is our money going?” talks and increase overall financial well-being.
Before the wedding bells even ring, it’s a good idea to discuss finances. Your future spouse will want to know if you have $20,000 in student loan debt before they put a ring on it. To get the conversation going, swap credit reports with your partner to get a better idea of each other’s financial situation. This way you know the amount of debt and credit you will be taking on in the near future. You can monitor your credit with tools like SavvyMoney®, a free service that gives you access to your online credit score. Be sure to check it out!
2 becomes 1
To join or not to join…bank accounts? This is a serious question many couples face when it comes to merging their finances. On the plus side, a joint bank account means convenience for paying bills, withdrawing and overall easy access to funds. But on the other hand, a joint bank account means little financial privacy and the possibility of a drained bank account or declined credit or debit transactions from lack of communication.
If one account doesn’t sound ideal for you and your partner, you can always consider three; one account for you, one for your partner and one shared. This may sound like a lot of work, but it allows both you and your partner to have some financial privacy, while at the same time working together to pay bills and save for your common financial goals. Check out our wide selection of checking products.
Finding Common Ground
If you and your partner are taking the plunge, it must mean you both have similar interests. Your future goals should be no different, whether it’s owning a home or saving for the trip of a lifetime, you will want to have short and long term goals. Having open conversations about each other’s goals will help you plan, budget and save for all of your future possibilities. Need help creating a spending and savings plan? Try BalanceSM, the Credit Union’s free budgeting tool.
One goal every couple will be able to agree upon is the importance of saving for retirement. Where and how you will save for both of your retirements is key when managing finances together. Figuring out how much you and your partner are able to put towards retirement every month will be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Updating the Paperwork
Once the vows are exchanged, it’s important to change the beneficiaries on any existing insurance policies and retirement accounts you or your spouse may have. If you and your partner are looking to buy a home, you will want to consider life and disability insurance and add the premium costs to your monthly budgets.