finance_xtra.jpgGoal setting is the most important part of managing your money. Yet it is also often the most neglected because people assume that they can earn what they need just by working hard.

Most of today’s newlyweds are old enough to have their own careers and individual lifestyles. But being married often means putting the needs of the relationship over that of the individual’s. Newlyweds especially must keep this in mind as they settle down and join their finances. Plan carefully and communicate clearly as you discuss your financial goals. These will have a lasting impact on your future.

As a start, couples must define three “wealth baskets” to fill up in the short, medium, and long term:

1. The protection basket covers life, health, and income protection measures.

2. The capital accumulation basket covers emergency needs, education funds, life goals, like owning a home, cars, and others related to your chosen lifestyle.

3. The retirement basket covers all your needs when retired, from lifestyle and health to maintenance of your desired social and community status.

Read on for more advice on how you and your partner can arrive at good financial decisions.

(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Good Money section as "Money Wisdom" in January/February 2007; photo by Nathan Congleton Photo's via Flickr Creative Commons; adapted for use in Female Network)

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