Couples who don’t talk about money may eventually end up fighting about it. To avoid this conflict, it would be best if newlyweds would start discussing their finances as early as possible. As soon as you come home from your honeymoon (or earlier if possible), sit down with your partner and come up with financial protocol for specific situations. Below are a few questions that should be the highlight of your conversation.
1. Should we open a joint account?
Some couples like to pool their earnings together, while others prefer to keep separate accounts. To avoid any misunderstanding in the future, state in clear and certain terms just what you’re comfortable with--no more, no less.
2. How are we going to budget our money?
Typically, there is only one person in charge of the household budget, but that doesn’t mean that the other half has no right to make decisions as well. Decide on who’ll keep track of the daily expenses, but put your heads together to come up with an effective budgeting strategy. Keep in mind, though, that with marriage comes compromise. Your single girl budgeting tricks may no longer be enough to tide two people over until the next pay day.
3. How are we going to save up for our child’s education?
If you're planning to have children soon, then it’s important that you talk about preparing for their future. Quality education can be expensive, so you better plan for it as early as possible. Make a list of prospective schools and universities, and compute for the tuition in 10 or 20 years’ time. This gives you a realistic view of how much you need to set aside right now.
4. What is our contingency plan?
Aside from budgeting for daily expenses and saving money for your children’s future, you should also talk about building an emergency fund. After all, life is unpredictable. You'll never know when one of you has to be rushed to the hospital or when a flood might ravage your home. Still, one thing’s for sure, a little bit of cash will always go a long way.
5. How can we grow our money?
As a couple, your assets should be growing and not dwindling. Find the perfect opportunity to discuss your options with your partner. Should you make a small investment or perhaps open a small business? Weigh the pros and cons, and proceed with caution. Just make sure that you keep your regular savings, your contingency fund, and your children’s education fund out of your investment plans so your non-negotiables won't get compromised.
(Photo from Fab via Julie Levenhagen on Pinterest; edited by Jennifer Chan)